RICHMOND — A Williamsburg resident was cited at Richmond International Airport by police Tuesday after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found a handgun in her carry-on bag.
The 9mm handgun was loaded with six bullets, TSA said.
TSA officers stopped the woman when her carry-on bag triggered an alarm at the security checkpoint X-ray unit, according to a press release. TSA officials alerted airport police, who confiscated the handgun and cited the woman on weapons violations.
“It is important for gun owners who have a concealed carry permit to understand that regardless of their having a permit, they still are forbidden from carrying their firearm onto a flight,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport.
TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint, it said, regardless of concealed gun carry permit status. Members of TSA PreCheck who violate the rules will lose that status. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.
According to TSA, passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in their checked baggage and if they are properly packaged — unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and packed separately from ammunition. The locked case should then be taken to the airline check-in counter and declared. Details on how to properly travel with a firearm are posted on the TSA website.
TSA reminds travelers firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should make sure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
TSA said officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2021, 86% of which were loaded.