CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A Mingo County, W.Va., man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Yeager Airport caught a loaded handgun in the man’s carry-on bag on Monday, August 8. The .380 caliber handgun was loaded with five bullets. The carry-on bag also contained an additional gun magazine with five more bullets.
This is the second time TSA has stopped someone with a gun in August in the Mountain State.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, local police were alerted, came to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and cited the man, a resident of Delbarton, W.Va., on a weapons charge. When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
“We get that there are plenty of rules related to TSA security screening and that they are not always easy to remember,” said Simone Beyer, TSA’s Acting Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “But travelers must remember not to bring their firearms and ammunition to our security checkpoints.”
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on 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. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
The TSA also stopped a traveler with a gun at the Pittsburgh Airport this month.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2022, about 86 percent were loaded.