TSA photo
TSA photo

From the Transportation Security Administration:  For the second time in a week, a man was arrested at Lynchburg Regional Airport after he was caught with a loaded gun at the checkpoint by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers.  The man, a Lynchburg resident, was stopped this morning (April 24) by TSA officers after the officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine spotted the 9 mm automatic pistol in the man’s briefcase-style carry-on bag as it passed along the conveyor belt. The man was originally ticketed to fly to Indianapolis, IN, through Charlotte, NC. The man placed his brief case on the checkpoint conveyor belt to pass through the X-ray machine, and that’s where the TSA officer spotted the handgun, which was loaded with eight rounds of ammunition.  TSA contacted the Lynchburg Airport Police who responded, confiscated the loaded handgun and arrested the local resident on a state weapons charge.  He was originally ticketed to fly to Indiana through Charlotte.

(Continue reading for the rest of the TSA news release.)

A very similar incident took place last week when, on April 17th, an Indiana resident was stopped by TSA officers when they detected a handgun in the side pocket of his carry-on bag. That man also was ticketed to fly to Indianapolis through Charlotte.  He too was arrested. Additionally, last night (April 23rd) an Indiana resident was arrested by Port Authority Police at Newark Liberty International Airport after TSA officers at that airport detected a Soviet-style AK-47 type assault rifle with ammunition in that man’s checked bag.

As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, 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 $11,000.

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.

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 the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)  screens approximately 1.8 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives.  To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.