NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — TSA officers say a man from Virginia Beach was caught with a loaded handgun at Norfolk International Airport over the weekend.
Authorities caught the .22 caliber handgun loaded with five rounds at one of the security checkpoints at the airport on Saturday. Two days prior to this incident, a Portsmouth man was also caught with a gun at ORF.
When the TSA officer detected the gun, the Norfolk Airport Authority Police were alerted, confiscated the weapon and cited the man on weapons charges. Officials say the man also faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty.
A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. In this case, the handgun was not loaded.
This is the 11th gun stopped at the airport in just the first seven months of 2021 alone, just one shy of the 12 guns caught throughout the whole year of 2020. In 2019, there were 15 guns caught at the airport for the whole year.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter to be transported in the belly of the plane. Guns are absolutely not permitted to be carried onto planes.
Checked firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm and ammunition posted on its website.