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

Authorities say the gun was a .39 caliber loaded with 15 bullets

An Arkansas man was cited after TSA found a loaded gun in his carry-on at Lynchburg Regional Airport. (Credit: TSA) (WSLS)

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

On Thursday, the gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint, and police confiscated the gun, which was a .38 caliber loaded with 15 bullets.

The man was cited on weapons charges, and faces a financial civil penalty. The penalty for carrying weapons recently increased to a maximum of $15,000, according to TSA.

“Our TSA team at Lynchburg perform their jobs well with special focus to our mission,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “I hope this serves as a reminder to others not to bring their guns to an airport security checkpoint. We are happy to make sure that firearms travel with their owners as long as the guns are packed properly. That begins with ensuring that they are unloaded. Please understand that any time dangerous items are presented in the screening checkpoint, we have serious safety concerns for everyone in the area. The resulting mandatory search disrupts the process for passengers behind the offender. Individuals who own firearms are able to familiarize themselves with regulations regarding where their weapons can and cannot be carried on the TSA website.”

Passengers are allowed to travel with guns in checked baggage, but guns must be unloaded and then packed in a hard-sided locked case. 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, 6,542 guns were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. 88% of them were loaded.

About the Author:

Lauren Helkowski joined WSLS 10’s digital team in August 2022, but has held a passion for storytelling long before.