NORFOLK — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that it stopped another local man carrying a loaded firearm at a security checkpoint at Norfolk International Airport. This is the second occurrence of this in less than a week.
On Saturday, July 31, a Virginia Beach man was stopped at one of the airport’s security checkpoints carrying a loaded .22 caliber handgun loaded with five rounds.
At that point, Norfolk Airport Authority Police were contacted and then confiscated the firearm. The local man, whose identity was not released, was then cited on a weapons charge. The case has since been sent to the office of Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney for possible criminal prosecution. Additionally, the person in question faces a stiff civil penalty.
Two days prior, a Portsmouth man was also stopped at a TSA security checkpoint carrying a loaded firearm.
TSA notes that it reserves the right to issue civil penalties upon persons discovered as carrying guns and/or gun parts at security checkpoints.
Passengers are allowed travel with firearms as long as they are declared at the airport ticket counter to travel in the belly of the plane. Firearms must not be loaded, packed in a hard-sided case that is locked, and packed separately from ammunition. To learn more about proper procedure per TSA when traveling with a firearm, click here.
Saturday’s incident marks the eleventh gun confiscated at one of Norfolk International Airport’s security checkpoints this year. In 2020, the airport confiscated a total twelve over the course of the entire year.
In 2020, TSA detected at its checkpoints 3,257 firearms nationwide. The number of passengers screened by TSA fell by 500 million in comparison to 2019. This meant that twice as many firearms were detected per million passengers than in 2019.
Of those firearms detected, TSA reports that 83 percent were loaded. Of the 234 airports in which firearms were detected in 2020, the one with the highest number of firearms detected was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Georgia, where 220 firearms were found. To see more data from 2020, click here.