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TSA stops man with loaded handgun at Norfolk International Airport

TSA officers found a .40 caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber in a carry-on bag.
Credit: Norfolk International Airport

NORFOLK, Va. — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a Norfolk man after a .40 caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber was found in his carry-on bag.

The TSA officer at the checkpoint X-ray monitor noticed the handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it entered the X-ray machine.

This was the 13th gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport so far this year. In 2018, TSA officers stopped 21 guns at the airport’s checkpoints.

TSA officials notified the airport police. Officers confiscated the gun and cited the man on weapons charges.

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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-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

TSA said nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber. 

Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags.

TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.  

Click here for the complete list of penalties.