TSA news release: ROANOKE, VA – Transportation Security Administration officers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) prevented a Salem, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded .38 caliber handgun onto a flight earlier today (Jan. 18). The Roanoke County area resident was stopped at the checkpoint with the firearm, which was loaded with six bullets. He was cited by Roanoke Airport Police on weapons charges after the TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt inside his carry-on bag. The man told TSA officers that he forgot that he had his gun with him. Police confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
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As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags . Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side 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 web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition . Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.