NORFOLK — A third loaded firearm was discovered at a Norfolk International Airport security checkpoint in a week.
On Thursday, Aug. 5, a Virginia Beach man, whose identity was not released, was stopped at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and discovered as carrying a loaded firearm. Norfolk Airport Authority was alerted and the man was cited on weapons charges. The case was forward to Norfolk’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office for possible criminal prosecution. Additionally, he faces stiff civil penalties.
This is the third loaded firearm discovered in a week at one of the TSA security checkpoints at Norfolk International Airport. The first was discovered on Thursday, July 29 after a Portsmouth man was stopped and the second on Saturday, July 31 when another Virginia Beach man was stopped.
This firearm marks the twelfth loaded firearm discovered at the airport this year. That is the same number of loaded firearms discovered in total during 2020. However, TSA notes that during 2020, the number of loaded firearms discovered was lower nationwide because of reduced travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.