HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The Transportation Security Administration says a handgun was confiscated from a local woman at Huntington Tri-State Airport this morning, Friday, April 9.
TSA officials say they found the .380 caliber handgun in the Huntington woman’s carry-on bag as it entered the checkpoint X-ray unit. They say the weapon was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.
Officials alerted local police who confiscated the gun and cited the woman on weapons charges. The TSA says she also faces a “stiff” federal financial civil penalty for bringing the gun to a security checkpoint.
The TSA says when a person shows up to a checkpoint with a firearm, it brings the checkpoint lane to a standstill until police arrive and resolve the incident, which can delay other travelers from getting to their gates. Officials also say the TSA reserves the right to issue civil penalties to travelers with guns or gun parts at the checkpoint, and this also applies to travelers who have a concealed carry permit because those permits do not allow for the firearm to be carried onto an airplane.
Passengers can, however, travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter, according to the TSA. Those firearms must be transported in the belly of the plane and cannot be carried onto the airplane. Proper packaging means the checked firearm must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked and packed seperately from ammunition.
More details about how to properly travel with a firearm are available on the TSA’s website. The TSA also says travelers should check into state and local firearm laws before they decide to travel with guns and contact their airlines in case they have any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
According to the TSA, 3,257 firearms were detected on passengers or in their carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country last year. They say the total number of passengers screened fell by 500 million from the previous year due to the pandemic, which resulted in twice as many firearms per million passengers screened being detected at checkpoints in 2020. Of those firearms, the TSA says about 83% were loaded.