HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK)—A woman from Scioto County, Ohio was stopped by TSA at Huntington Tri-State Airport on Thursday after officers detected a loaded handgun and six bullets in her carry-on.
Local police were alerted after the .380 caliber handgun was found, and they came to confiscate the weapon. This caused the security checkpoint to come to a standstill until the police were able to deal with the incident. TSA says that guns at checkpoints can delay other travelers from getting to their gates on time.
“It’s important to know where your gun is when you pack for a flight. And where that is must not be in your carry-on bag,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “Our TSA officers remain vigilant in their duties even as the end of the pandemic nears. We are still doing what we can to reduce touch-points to help prevent any cross-contamination, but when someone has a prohibited item in their carry-on bag, it means that our TSA officers are going to have to open that bag and go inside to remove it, thus creating additional touch-points. Take extra care not to have anything prohibited in your carry-on bag before you leave your house to come to the airport.”
TSA can issue a civil penalty to those who have guns or gun parts with them at security checkpoints. These penalties can stretch into thousands of dollars. It doesn’t matter if a traveler has a concealed carry permit. Guns are not allowed on airplanes.
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.
Last year, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms at security checkpoints nationwide. This was after the total number of passengers fell by 500 million due to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that twice as many firearms per million passengers were detected at checkpoints in 2020 versus 2019.
About 83% of those firearms were loaded.
For information about how to properly travel with a firearm, please visit the TSA’s website.