Officials say that the 0.380 caliber handgun was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber.
The gun was confiscated by police.
The man, a Newport News resident, has been cited on weapons charges.
TSA reminds passengers that they can travel with firearms if they are packed, unloaded, in a locked-hard-sided case and taken to a check-in counter to be checked in with the airline.
No injuries were reported in relation to this incident.