Roanoke woman cited after TSA finds loaded handgun in carry-on at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Roanoke Valley News

This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Aug. 11, 2021. (Photo: Courtesy TSA)

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — On Wednesday, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a Roanoke woman from carrying a loaded handgun onto a plane at THE Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA).

According to a TSA spokesperson, the TSA officials at the airport detected the 9mm handgun — which was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber — in the woman’s carry-on bag.

TSA immediately alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon, and cited the woman on weapons charges.

“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.”

Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for Transportation Security Administration

When a person shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, TSA says the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until police resolve the situation, thus delaying travelers from getting to their gates.

This marks the second firearm caught by TSA at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, with the first one caught in an Alleghany County man’s carry-on in late July.

Last year, TSA caught one firearm at its checkpoint at ROA, but there were significantly fewer passengers at the airport due to the pandemic. In 2019, there were five firearms caught at the checkpoint.

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