HUNTINGTON, WV (LOOTPRESS) – A Scioto County, Ohio, woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Huntington Tri-State Airport (HTS) on Thursday, June 10, when they detected a loaded .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets in her carry-on bag.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, local police were alerted, came to the checkpoint, and confiscated the weapon. 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.
“It’s important to know where your gun is when you pack for a flight. And where that is must not be in your carry-on bag,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “Our TSA officers remain vigilant in their duties even as the end of the pandemic nears. We are still doing what we can to reduce touch-points to help prevent any cross-contamination, but when someone has a prohibited item in their carry-on bag, it means that our TSA officers are going to have to open that bag and go inside to remove it, thus creating additional touch-points. Take extra care not to have anything prohibited in your carry-on bag before you leave your house to come to the airport.”
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. 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. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
TSA Firearms Caught at the Huntington Tri-State Airport checkpoint, 2017 to 2021
*Significantly fewer passengers than previous years due to the pandemic.
Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent 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.