TSA cites man for alleged airport weapons violation

Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Suffolk man was cited on a weapons violation after allegedly being found Sunday with a 9mm caliber handgun loaded with 14 bullets at Norfolk International Airport, including one in the chamber, according to the Transportation Security Agency.

TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bags triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. When they found the gun, TSA notified the Norfolk Airport Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and charged him with a weapons violation.

The case is being forwarded to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

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TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein declined to provide a name for the person cited in the incident, per TSA policy. Neither Authority police nor the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office was immediately available for comment.

“Travelers play a vital role in ensuring a smooth checkpoint experience,” said Robin Burke, TSA federal security director for the airport. “Bringing a prohibited item to the checkpoint delays not only the individual who is caught with the prohibited item, but also can impact the checkpoint wait time of other travelers.

“Bringing an illegal item such as a loaded gun amplifies that delay and often results in a criminal charge. Additionally, TSA will issue a stiff financial civil penalty.”

People are allowed to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. They must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case and packed separately from ammunition. The locked case then should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared.

TSA also has the option to issue a civil penalty to people who have guns with them at a checkpoint and applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits. Though someone might have a concealed carry permit, TSA says it does not allow for a firearm to be carried on an airplane.