Loaded Gun Seizure at Norfolk International Sets Record for Airport
Norfolk International Airport (ORF) Transportation Security Administration officers detected a loaded handgun at an airport checkpoint this Sunday. This is the 17th firearm found in 2018 at this airport so far, a significant increase from the 10 discovered at the airport last year and an all-time record.
The firearm, a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, was brought in by Chesapeake male who was then allowed to pass it off to a non-traveling companion. The weapon was loaded with five bullets. Penalties for passengers who bring weapons to airport security checkpoints range from around $3,900 to $13,066.
In 2017, TSA hit a record high of firearm confiscations with 3,957 guns discovered in passenger's carry-on bags. That's nearly 11 firearms a day. 2017's numbers were already a reported 17% increase from 2016, proving a (quite unfortunate) upwards trend.
According to the New York Times, in 2015, TSA officers reported that a majority of those who attempt to bring their firearms through the security checkpoint claim it was an honest mistake. A former Disney star was caught at an airport security checkpoint with a 9 mm pistol just last week, claiming that very excuse.
All of this considered, 2018 isn't shaping up to be a much better year for weapon-free travel. The TSA blog frequently updates airport checkpoint finds, with items ranging from peculiar to chilling. In the week of Aug. 20, 82 firearms were found by TSA. The agency even found a few novelty knives and Batman-shaped ninja throwing stars. So travelers — use your common sense, leave your weapons at home.
Feature photo by Stephen Chernin via Getty Images