TSA officers at Norfolk airport catch third gun in less than two weeks

(Photo: TSA)

NORFOLK, Va. – A man was cited by airport police Sunday morning after TSA officers caught him with a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag, according to a TSA spokesperson.

It’s the third gun caught at the Norfolk International Airport in less than two weeks.

The firearm caught Sunday was a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with eight bullets, including one in the chamber.

The traveler, a Florida resident, was ticketed to fly to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. He was cited by airport police after TSA officers called the police to the checkpoint.

Earlier this month, two Virginia residents were caught with loaded guns in their carry-on bags at the airport and were also cited by airport police. In each instance, the guns were spotted in the checkpoint x-ray machines.

In the first incident on March 6, a Chesapeake man was stopped after a Transportation Security Administration officer detected a 9 mm handgun inside his bag. The gun was loaded with five bullets.

In the second incident on March 15, a Hampton man was stopped after a TSA officer found a .22 caliber handgun in his bag. That gun was also loaded with five bullets, including one in the chamber.

As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to a checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.