Man cited after TSA officers stop him with loaded handgun at Lynchburg Regional Airport

Authorities say he had a 9mm handgun that was loaded with 17 bullets

This handgun was detected in a man’s carry-on bag at the Lynchburg Regional Airport TSA security checkpoint on Thursday, July 21. (TSA)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped an Alabama man from bringing a loaded handgun onto a flight at Lynchburg Regional Airport.

On Thursday, a TSA officer detected a weapon in the man’s carry-on bag as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine and immediately alerted the police.

At this time, the man also faces a federal financial civil citation.

“It’s the second firearm that our TSA officers have detected at the airport so far this year,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter.  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.”

In addition to being cited, the man also faces a federal financial civil citation.

The fine for having a loaded firearm at an airport ranges from $3,000 $10,000 and a criminal referral, according to the TSA website.

The TSA says a gun can be transported; however, it must be unloaded and stored in a hard-sided locked case, packed separately from ammunition. The locked case will then need to be brought to the airline check-in counter to be declared. For more information, click here.

Last year TSA officers detected 5,972 guns at security checkpoints nationwide and 86% of them were loaded.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.