CHARLESTON — A Putnam County man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at Yeager Airport on Monday morning when they detected a loaded gun in the man's carry-on bag.
The .40-caliber handgun was loaded with 11 bullets and had one bullet in the chamber, according to a new release from the TSA. He also had an additional loaded magazine. In total, the man had 22 bullets with his gun.
The man, a resident of Buffalo, West Virginia, told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.
Yeager Airport Police officers responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning prior to citing him on weapons charges. The police then cleared the man to fly - without his gun.
It marked the third gun stopped by TSA at the checkpoint this year, according to the release.
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-sided locked case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition, the TSA said in the release.
Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34% had a bullet in the chamber.
TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900.
The following information was provided by booking records at the Western Regional Jail:
Five people have been jailed on felony charges since Sunday afternoon, according to booking records kept at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville.
Justin Michael Vancooney, 29, was jailed at 5:40 p.m. Sunday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with being a fugitive from justice. Bond was not set.
Laemont Pontae Smith, 47, was jailed at 12:30 a.m. Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with receiving or transferring stolen property. Bond was not set.
Eric Stephen Taylor, 34, was jailed at 12:30 a.m. Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Bond was not set.
Jordan Taylor Bailey, 25, was jailed at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with burglary and receiving and transferring stolen property. Bond was set at $25,000.
Travis Johnathan Shepherd, 25, was jailed at 12:05 a.m. Monday. Authorities in Cabell County charged him with home confinement violation by a convicted felon. Bond was not set.