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TSA finds 10 firearms at West Virginia checkpoints last year

February 10, 2019
This semi-automatic handgun was stopped by TSA officers at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Thursday, June 21. (TSA photo)

The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON - The Transportation Security Administration saw a 20 percent increase in handguns confiscated at West Virginia airport checkpoints last year.

The TSA found 10 handguns at four airports throughout the state in 2018, compared with eight in 2017, according to Lisa Farbstein, spokesperson for the TSA.

In total, the TSA seized 4,239 firearms from carry-on bags across the United States in 2018, an average of about 11.6 firearms a day. The 2018 national number is about a 7 percent increase from the 3,957 firearms found in 2017.

Of those seized last year, 86 percent were loaded and 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.

In West Virginia, six firearms were seized from Yeager Airport in Charleston and two were seized at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington. Morgantown Municipal and Raleigh County Memorial airports both saw one gun confiscated.

The number is two more than 2017′s number, but four less than 14 seized in 2016.

Even with a concealed weapon permit, firearms are not permitted to be carried on a plane, Farbstein said. Anyone who brings firearms to checkpoints is subject to criminal charges from law enforcement, as well as civil penalties from TSA.

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