CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – A Kanawha County, West Virginia, woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Yeager Airport today (April 20), when they detected a .38 caliber revolver loaded with four bullets in her carry-on bag.
TSA officials notified the Yeager Airport Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the woman for questioning prior to citing her on weapons charges. The woman, a resident of Tornado, West Virginia, told officials that she forgot that she had a loaded gun with her.
When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. 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 civil penalties is posted online here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement.
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.