Man in Yeager airport stopped with loaded gun

West Virginia

TSA officers at Yeager Airport discovered this handgun in a carry-on bag on Dec. 2. (TSA photo)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a passenger from carrying his loaded 9mm handgun onto his flight at Yeager Airport (CRW) on Thursday. The gun was loaded with 12 bullets.

Once TSA officers discovered the handgun, the police were notified and responded to the checkpoint. The man, a resident of Arizona, was cited by the police and faces a federal civil penalty for bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint.

“Passengers are allowed to travel with their firearms and ammunition as long as they follow the proper procedures,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “Travelers should never bring a gun—loaded or unloaded—to a security checkpoint because they are not permitted to be carried into the cabin of a plane.”

Guns caught by TSA at the Yeager Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2021

Year20162017201820192020*2021* as of Dec. 2
Guns caught at the checkpoint 10 6 6 7 4 5
*Fewer passengers due to the pandemic.
TSA officers at Yeager Airport discovered this handgun in a carry-on bag on Dec. 2. (TSA photo)

Nationwide, TSA officers have found 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic.

That twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.  Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.

Passengers who bring a handgun into a checkpoint can be penalized by the TSA for up to thousands of dollars, even if they have a concealed carry permit.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

The complete list of rules regarding traveling with firearms can be viewed here, and the list of civil penalties can be viewed here.

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