TSA - Transportation Security Administration

01/24/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/24/2023 17:37

TSA prevents man from carrying loaded gun onto a flight at Yeager Airport

Second gun caught so far this month
National Press Release
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A Clay County, W.Va. man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration officers at West Virginia International Yeager Airport stopped the man with a loaded handgun at the security checkpoint on Monday, Jan. 23. The .45 caliber handgun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, airport police were alerted, came to the checkpoint and confiscated the weapon from the traveler, a resident of Bomont, W.Va. When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.

"Individuals who want to bring their guns with them when they fly need to pack them properly in their checked luggage, and declare them at their airline check-in counter to be transported in the belly of the plane where nobody has access to firearms during a flight," said John C. Allen, TSA's Federal Security Director for West Virginia. "Any time dangerous items are presented in the screening checkpoint, we have serious safety concerns for all in the area, and the resolution disrupts the process for the passengers waiting behind the offender."

Last month TSA announced that the penalty for bringing weapons to the airport increased and can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded.

TSA firearms catches at airport checkpoints at Yeager Airport, 2018 to 2023







(As of 1/23/23)

Guns caught at West Virginia International Yeager Airport checkpoint







TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

TSA reminds passengers to always know the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage, either or neither. Travelers can use the "Can I Bring?" feature on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app. Travelers can also tweet to @AskTSA or send a text message (275-872) if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance.