Loaded firearm caught during security screening at West Virginia airport

CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) – A West Virginia man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers at Yeager Airport caught a loaded handgun in the man’s carry-on bag on Monday.

The .380 caliber handgun was loaded with eight bullets including one in the chamber.

An additional gun magazine loaded with eight more bullets was also packed with the gun, officials said.

When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, local police were alerted, came to the checkpoint, confiscated the weapon and cited the man, a resident of Nallen, on a weapons charge.

When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, officials said the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.

“Our officers are vigilant and are focused on our mission to ensure that no weapons of any type are able to be carried onto a flight,” said John C. Allen, TSA’s Federal Security Director for West Virginia. “Responsible gun owners know where their firearm is at all times and they know not to try to bring one through a security checkpoint. We have no concerns if a firearm is packed properly so it can be transported in a checked bag where nobody has access to it during a flight.”

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year.

This is the third firearm caught by TSA at Yeager Airport this year.

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