NORFOLK — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Norfolk International Airport stopped a Massachusetts man from carrying a loaded handgun onto a flight Sunday, May 22.
The 9mm handgun was loaded with 17 bullets.
TSA officers stopped the man after his carry-on bags triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. TSA alerted Norfolk Airport Authority Police, who confiscated the handgun and cited the man for a weapons violation.
The case will be forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.
“This individual had his handgun in a firearm case, but it is still not the proper way to transport a gun because you can’t carry it into the cabin of a plane,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Bringing an illegal item such as a loaded gun delays travelers and often results in a criminal charge. Additionally, TSA will issue a stiff financial civil penalty.”
TSA officers detected 23 guns at Norfolk International Airport at the checkpoints in 2021. Last year, 5,972 firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.
Passengers may travel with firearms only in checked baggage. Firearms must be properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. A complete list of civil penalties is also posted.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.