News release: LYNCHBURG, VA – A man was caught with a loaded handgun at the Lynchburg Regional Airport security checkpoint by a Transportation Security Administration officer yesterday, September 10th, just one day before the 17thanniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The TSA officer detected the .40 caliber handgun that was loaded with seven bullets in the traveler’s carry-on bag while the officer was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor. TSA officials immediately contacted the local police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning. It marked the second gun that TSA officers have detected at Lynchburg Regional Airport so far this calendar year.
As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. 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 TSA’s penalties is posted online here:https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.