Thursday, June 13, 2024

Yorktown Woman Prevented from Bringing Loaded Gun onto Plane at Richmond International Airport

This firearm was detected by TSA officers at a Richmond International Airport security checkpoint on April 3. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport prevented a Yorktown woman from bringing her handgun past the security checkpoint on Wednesday, April 3.

The 9mm firearm was loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber. It was the second gun caught within a four-day span.

The handgun was detected in a carry-on bag as the woman entered the security checkpoint, TSA said, requiring a closer inspection by TSA officials. The firearm was removed by the Richmond Airport Police, who confiscated the weapon and cited the woman on a weapons charge.

The woman also faces a financial civil penalty which can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck, that individual will lose those privileges.

“I would like to acknowledge my appreciation to the TSA officers who acted to ensure that this traveler did not retain control of her loaded weapon,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Bringing a loaded gun to an airport security checkpoint introduces unnecessary delays to fellow travelers and of course represents a security risk. Our TSA officers remain vigilant during this busy spring break season to help ensure everyone can travel safely.”

Last year, TSA notes officers at Richmond intercepted 17 guns at the security checkpoints. Wednesday’s was the eighth of 2024. In 2023, TSA officers detected 6,735 guns at checkpoints across the country of which 93% were loaded.


TSA reminds passengers they are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners should ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Those unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither should download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature. Passengers can also ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA, or send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).

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