TSA officials: 71 firearms caught going through checkpoint at VA - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

TSA officials: 71 firearms caught going through checkpoint at VA airports

A loaded handgun was stopped by TSA officers at Richmond International Airport Friday, Dec. 15. (Source: TSA) A loaded handgun was stopped by TSA officers at Richmond International Airport Friday, Dec. 15. (Source: TSA)
(WWBT) -

Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) officers prevented 71 firearms from going through checkpoints at airports across the state in 2017. In 2016, 79 firearms were stopped from going through security.

"Most airports saw a decrease in the number of firearms detected at checkpoints with the exception of Richmond International and Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional airports, which saw an uptick," TSA officials said.

Washington Dulles International Airport

  • 2017: 19 firearms
  • 2016: 24 firearms

Richmond International Airport

  • 2017: 18 firearms
  • 2016: 10 firearms

Norfolk International Airport

  • 2017: 10 firearms
  • 2016: 14 firearms

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

  • 2017: 13 firearms
  • 2016: 19 firearms

Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Airport

  • 2017: 4 firearms
  • 2016: 0 firearms

Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

  • 2017: 3 firearms
  • 2016: 6 firearms

Lynchburg Regional Airport

  • 2017: 2 firearms
  • 2016: 3 firearms

Newport News-Williamsburg Regional Airport

  • 2017: 2 firearms
  • 2016: 3 firearms

Last year, 3,957 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at security checkpoints across the country, which is 566 more firearms than in 2016.

The top five airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2017 were:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport: 245
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: 211 
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston: 142
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: 115
  • Denver International Airport: 98

These airports were also in the top five in 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Passengers are allowed to travel with firearms, but they must be properly packaged and declared in checked luggage. More information on how to travel with guns can be found here.

TSA encourages travelers to familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws, as well as their specific airline, for each point of travel prior to departure.

Those who bring weapons through a checkpoint could face federal civil penalties up to $13,000. Click here for a full list of penalties.

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