NORFOLK, VA (WAVY) — TSA officers at Norfolk International Airport stopped an Oklahoma man from boarding a flight with a loaded handgun on Friday, Sept. 16. 

The handgun, which was placed in a carry-on bag, triggered an alarm in the X-ray scanner during the security checkpoint. TSA officers alerted the Norfolk Airport Authority Police who confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons violation. The 9mm handgun was loaded with five bullets. 

“Firearms may be transported for a flight, but only in checked baggage,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, the TSA federal security director for the airport. “Travelers can never carry a firearm through a security checkpoint.”

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms, but they must be properly packed, secured in checked luggage, and declared at the airline counter. Passengers are never allowed to carry firearms onto the plane, and special instructions must be followed for them to fly in checked luggage. TSA has guidelines regarding traveling with firearms, which can be found here.  

The penalties for being caught with a firearm can go up to $13,910.  

Firearms caught by TSA officers at Norfolk International Airport checkpoints, 2016 to 2022

Year2016201720182019202020212022 (As of 9/18/22)
Guns caught at Norfolk Airport security checkpoints14102115122320

“Our TSA officers are good at what they do,” Burke said. “They are always focused on the mission, and this is a good example of the fine work that they perform on behalf of our nation.” 

Last year, TSA officers detected 23 guns at Norfolk International Airport at security checkpoints. Nationwide, more than 5,900 firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints in 2021, and 86% of those guns were loaded. 

In 2022 alone, the TSA officers at Norfolk International Airport have stopped 20 guns from making it through security.