ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Police cited a Bedford County man over the weekend after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped him from bringing two loaded guns onto his flight at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

The TSA says one of its officers spotted the guns — both semi-automatic handguns, one loaded with six bullets and the other with seven bullets — among the man’s carry-on items as they entered the checkpoint X-ray machine on Sunday, May 15.

After being alerted by the TSA, police confiscated the guns and issued the man a summons. The man is also facing a stiff federal financial civil citation for bringing loaded guns to a security checkpoint.

According to the TSA, the Forest man told officials that he forgot that he was carrying his two guns.

“Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are unloaded and properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter,” said Robin ‘Chuck’ Burke, TSA’s federal security director for the airport. “Guns on their person or accessible in their carry-on property are illegal and when detected at the screening checkpoint will result in a significant fine and potential criminal charges filed on the passenger. Security checkpoints and weapons don’t mix.”

For more details on how to properly travel with a firearm, check out the TSA’s website.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because 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. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson

Following Sunday’s incident, the TSA says officers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport have caught five guns this year — which is the same number caught at the airport in 2021.

According to authorities, TSA officers detected 5,972 guns — 86% of which were loaded — at security checkpoints nationwide last year.