An Albemarle County, Virginia, man was cited by police after a Transportation Security Administration officer at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) spotted a loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag at the airport checkpoint on Monday, April 9.
The man, a resident of Keswick, Virginia, was stopped at the checkpoint with a 9 mm caliber handgun loaded with 15 bullets and a magazine with another 15 bullets. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint spotted the handgun and magazine as it appeared on the checkpoint’s X-ray monitor.
It was the first firearm detected at CHO Airport so far this calendar year. In 2017, TSA officers stopped four firearms from getting through the security checkpoint at Charlottesville.
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-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed carry permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.