NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s airport detected more guns at security checkpoints than any other airport in the Commonwealth in 2018, according to data from the Transportation Security Administration.
In a news release Thursday, TSA officials said a total of 82 guns were detected at Virginia’s airports in 2018, an increase from the 71 found in 2017.
Twenty-one of those guns were detected at checkpoints at Norfolk International Airport, which is more than double the amount from 2017.
The number of guns confiscated at Norfolk was four higher than Washington Dulles International Airport, and five more than Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
A total of two guns were detected at Newport News-Williamsburg Regional Airport in 2018.
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Virginia’s numbers matched a nationwide trend of more people bringing guns to airports. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected in 2018 were loaded, and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber, TSA officials said.
Although Virginia’s numbers were higher in 2018, they still paled in comparison to those seen at other airports across the country.
The TSA said 298 guns were detected a Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International in 2018, the highest in the nation. The next highest was Dallas/Fort Worth International with 219.
Travelers who are caught with firearms at checkpoints can face criminal charges.
According to the TSA, firearms are not permitted on airplanes, even if travelers concealed carry permit. Travelers can, however, transport unloaded firearms in a “locked hard-sided container” in checked bags only.