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Officers Stop Woman Bringing Loaded Gun In Carry-On Luggage At Huntington Tri-State Airport

Reported: Apr. 14, 2014 10:58 AM EDT
Updated: Apr. 14, 2014 5:53 PM EDT

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KENOVA, W.Va. (Darrah Wilcox) -- Lesa Compton is flying for the very first time Monday, along with the rest of her family, and she says she did her research to find out what was and wasn't allowed to pack. "I searched the web site a couple of times to figure out," she said.

Huntington Tri-state Airport Police Chief Robert Chafin says some of the prohibited items may seem strange, but they never know what could be used to harm someone. "Some of the rules seem to be a little bit of overkill, but that's basically everyone thinking kind of ahead," he said. For instance, the nail file on fingernail clippers may seem insignificant, but could be used in many different ways. Officers never know what's going to come through the conveyor belt.

Friday, a TSA officer spotted a small handgun,loaded with six rounds and another loaded magazine in a female passenger's carry-on bag. She also had brass knuckles. Officers confiscated the items and contacted police. The woman missed her original flight to Charlotte but she was allowed to re-book an alternate flight.

Chafin says they handle each incident case-by-case, and how it's packed can be a good indicator of possible intentions. "It's prohibited period, but are you bringing it through as in 'I forgot it was in there', or 'I thought I could take it through', or are you bringing it through because you're trying to deceive us and get it through," he said.

TSA officers are using the incident as a reminder to passengers that weapons are prohibited on board flights. Last year, TSA found 1800 firearms at checkpoints across the country last year. At Tri-State Airport, there was one last year and one so far this year, and in Charleston, two last year and none so far this year.

Mike Cleveland is Federal Security Director in Huntington and Charleston. He said security is extremely high throughout West Virginia, and they have the time and people to help people get passengers through fairly quickly and competently.

That's why Compton says she doesn't mind the security process. "It's just very important."

You can find out more about what's allowed and what isn't on the TSA web site or by contacting your local airport. The TSA also has an app available with more information.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (Tiersa Davis) -- The Transportation Security Administration at the Huntington Tri-State Airport said they stopped a woman who had a loaded handgun and brass knuckles on her carry-on luggage.

Officers said it happened Friday afternoon when the woman's carry-on baggage was going through a X-ray checkpoint. Officers said they found a loaded .32-caliber handgun with six rounds, another loaded magazine and brass knuckles. The weapons were confiscated by officials. The woman had missed her flight to Charlotte, N.C., and was permitted to rebook without the weapons, officers said.

TSA is reminding travelers that weapons are not permitted on airplanes. Passengers who bring prohibited items to the checkpoints are subject to possible criminal charges. It is not known at this time if the woman who brought the weapons on Friday is facing any charges.

--Transportation Security Administration Photo

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