BECKLEY, WV (LOOTPRESS) – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Raleigh County Memorial Airport prevented a Wyoming County, W.Va., man from carrying his loaded gun onto a flight yesterday, Nov. 28. The .32 caliber handgun was not loaded.
It was the second gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport this month.
When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, a Raleigh County Sheriff’s deputy was alerted, came to the checkpoint and allowed the man, a resident of Clear Fork, W.Va., to hand off his weapon to a family member who was not ticketed to fly. However, the man now faces a stiff Federal financial penalty for bringing his weapon to the airport.
“Our officers are well trained and remain vigilant in their mission, especially around the Thanksgiving holiday travel period,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “There is no excuse for bringing a gun to the checkpoint. Responsible gun owners do not bring their guns to a checkpoint. Incidents such as this are dangerous, they disrupt our security screening operations and cause delays for other law-abiding travelers who just want to get on their flights. This man now faces a Federal civil penalty that could cost him thousands of dollars.”
Individuals who want to bring their guns with them when they fly need to pack them properly in their checked luggage, and declare them at their airline check-in counter to be transported in the belly of the plane where nobody has access to firearms during a flight. 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.
This individual faces a stiff federal financial civil penalty for bringing his gun to the checkpoint. Penalties for bringing weapons to the airport can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts 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. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
TSA reminds passengers to always know the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage, either or neither. Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app. Travelers can also tweet to @AskTSA or send a text message (275-872) if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance.