Travelers on edge after teen caught with gun at Roanoke airport

Teen with handgun stopped by TSA officer at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Teen stopped by TSA with gun inside bag – A 17 year old with a handgun was stopped by the Transportation Security Administration at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Thursday.

“I don’t know why anyone thinks they can get through security with a gun,” Michael Ellis, a traveler said.

A TSA officer found a .38-caliber revolver inside the bag of the teen from Roanoke as he was trying to pass through security.

The gun was not loaded at the time it went through the X-ray machine, but that hasn't stopped some travelers, like Teresa Lewis, from feeling on edge.

“We don’t want to become complacent with it. It seems like kids have guns everywhere. I don’t know how a 17 year old even has a gun coming to the airport. It’s scary,” Lewis said.

Lewis is concerned, both as a traveler and a parent of a 14-year-old son who attends Cave Spring Middle School.

"When a kid brought a gun to school, it was really frightening. We do talk our children about guns and gun safety. We’ve had that conversation with them,” Lewis said.

TSA officials said they notified airport police, confiscated the handgun at the checkpoint and held the teen for questioning. 

They also warned travelers that guns are only allowed onto planes through checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared.

“My hope is that parents will take notice to keep kids safe and have these discussions about gun safety,” Lewis said.

As a reminder, those who bring firearms through security could be subject to penalties and fines.