On Thurs., Feb. 24, a Virginia Beach woman was detained after TSA discovered a handgun in her carry-on luggage. The discovery was made after the firearm triggered an alarm on the security checkpoint X-ray unit. TSA reports that the 9mm gun was loaded with six bullets.
The following day (Fri., Feb. 25), a Windsor woman was detained after a firearm was discovered. Like the day before, the loaded .380 caliber handgun was discovered in the woman’s carry-on luggage after it triggered an alarm at the security checkpoint X-ray unit.
Airport police were notified by TSA, responded to the scene, confiscated the weapons, and cited both of the women on weapons violations.
The agency notes that neither of these incidents are related to one another.
TSA reserves the right to issue civil penalties to travelers who are discovered carrying guns at its airport security checkpoints, regardless if the traveler has a concealed gun carry permit. These penalties could include thousands of dollars in fines and, if a member of the TSA PreCheck program, the traveler could lose those privileges.
Passengers who choose to travel with firearms may only do so in checked baggage. The gun must be properly packaged and declared at the ticket counter. Firearms are required to be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and packed separately from ammunition. The locked case should then be taken to the airline’s check-in counter for declaration.
Additionally, TSA wants to remind travelers that firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Passengers should also contact the airline should there be any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition prior to their flight.
In 2021, TSA agents detected 21 firearms at ORF security checkpoints. In total, 5,972 firearms were caught at checkpoints nationwide, with 86 being loaded.
For more information regarding traveling with firearms, please visit the website for TSA.