It’s happened again at Lynchburg Regional Airport: a passenger cited for bringing a loaded handgun in carry-on baggage. By our count, this is the fifth such incident at the airport since April of 2014. The Transportation Security Administration says a Lynchburg resident was cited yesterday after the gun was spotted while going through the conveyor belt x-ray. The TSA has reported previous citations at Lynchburg’s airport in September 2016, March 2015 and twice in April 2014.
From the Transportation Security Administration: LYNCHBURG, VA—TSA officers prevented a Lynchburg, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded handgun on board an airplane at the Lynchburg Regional Airport checkpoint yesterday, Tuesday, June 6. The man was stopped by TSA officers at the checkpoint with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets. TSA officers detected the gun as the man’s carry-on bag was passing through the conveyor belt in the checkpoint x-ray machine. TSA officers immediately contacted the Lynchburg Regional Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and issued the man a citation on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
This incident serves as a reminder that passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items. Travelers can view a comprehensive list of prohibited items at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed and declared to the airline. Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $12,000.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are 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 the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.