NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Transportation Security Administration says an airline employee attempted to bring his loaded handgun past a security checkpoint.

It happened Monday when the X-ray unit alerted on the man’s carry-on bag as he entered the security checkpoint.

After closer inspection, a .22 gun was removed by local police. The man was cited on weapons charges, and his employee airport ID was also confiscated, TSA officers say.

According to officials, the Chesapeake man said he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.

A spokesperson for the TSA says the man faces a stiff financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint. Depending on the circumstances, those penalties rise as high as $15,000.

“This was a good catch on the part of our TSA team here at Norfolk,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “As we all know, passengers are not permitted to carry their firearms through a security checkpoint. That goes for individuals who work at the airport as well as travelers. In this instance, this represented a possible insider threat with the individual being an airline employee.”

The case will be forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney for possible criminal prosecution.