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Police cite woman with loaded handgun at Roanoke airport

This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at...
This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Nov. 14.(TSA-Transportation Security Administration)
Published: Nov. 15, 2021 at 2:12 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ/TSA Release) - Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a Virginia resident from carrying her .357 revolver onto her flight at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Sunday. The handgun was loaded with five bullets, according to TSA.

TSA officials detected the handgun in the woman’s carry-on bag and alerted airport police, who confiscated the weapon and cited the woman on weapons charges. The woman told airport officials that when her flight was delayed, she placed the gun into her handbag to head back to town, and when she returned to the airport, she forgot she had her loaded handgun in her handbag.

In addition to being cited by the police, she faces a federal financial civil penalty for carrying a loaded gun to a TSA security checkpoint, according to TSA.

Per TSA:

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. 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.

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.

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 delay travelers from getting to their gates and inconvenience other passengers who are in the checkpoint line.

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