NORFOLK, Va.—Transportation Security Administration officers at Norfolk International Airport stopped a gun from getting through the checkpoint Saturday, Dec. 26.
The 9mm handgun, loaded with 14 bullets, and an additional loose bullet was found in the traveler’s carry-on bag, according to a news release.
Norfolk Airport Authority Police were alerted immediately after the contents of bag were displayed on the x-ray machine. Officers confiscated the weapon and cited the Virginia Beach resident on a weapons charge.
The case was forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney for possible criminal prosecution, and the man also faces a Federal financial civil penalty for carrying a gun to a TSA checkpoint.
Guns caught at Norfolk International Airport checkpoints from 2016 to 2020
(As of 12-27-20)
|Guns caught at checkpoints||14||10||21||15||12|
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
TSA can issue a civil penalty ranging from $4,100 to $13,669, depending on any mitigating circumstances. Rules also apply to those who have concealed gun carry permits. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck® privileges.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.