RICHMOND – A Williamsburg resident was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport Wednesday after a loaded handgun was found in his carry-on bag.
TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bag triggered a security checkpoint X-ray unit alarm. The 9mm handgun was loaded with 12 bullets.
TSA alerted airport police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and issued the man a summons on a weapons violation.
It was the 13th gun caught at one of the airport checkpoints so far this year, according to a TSA press release.
“In addition to being cited by the police, this individual also is facing a stiff Federal financial civil penalty, which could run into the thousands of dollars,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Guns and airports don’t mix, and travelers should certainly know not to pack their guns in their carry-on bags.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A concealed gun carry permit does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. A member of TSA PreCheck will also lose TSA PreCheck privileges.
Passengers may travel with firearms only in checked baggage. Firearms must be properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
According to TSA, officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2021. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.