NORFOLK, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officials caught a local man trying to get a loaded handgun through the Norfolk International Airport checkpoint on December 3.
This is the 22nd firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport this year, more than doubling the 10 that were caught during 2017.
The man, a Norfolk resident, was carrying a .32 caliber handgun in one of his carry-on bags. The gun was loaded with six bullets, officials say.
Airport police responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and detained the man for questioning before citing him on weapons charges.
TSA officials provided statistics on the number of firearms that were caught at Norfolk International Airport checkpoints since 2013:
- 2018 – 22 (as of December 3)
- 2017 – 10
- 2016 – 14
- 2015 – 16
- 2014 – 7
- 2013 – 7
Officials are reminding people that anyone who brings weapons to a checkpoint is subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. People who have gun carry permits are not permitted to carry a gun on an aircraft.
A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. You can view a complete list of penalties here.
Passengers are allowed 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. TSA officials say the gun must be brought to the airline check-in counter to be placed in the belly of the plane with other checked baggage.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers are advised to familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel before departure.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm, which can be viewed here. Airlines may also have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.