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TSA prevents man from carrying loaded gun onto Richmond flight

RICHMOND, Va. – A Chesterfield County, Va., resident was cited by the police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport caught him with a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag on Tuesday (Sept. 27). The 9mm handgun was loaded with five bullets including one in the chamber.

TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bag triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. Upon spotting the weapon, TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun, and cited the man on weapons violations.

“Our officers are good at spotting firearms and other prohibited items that  are brought through our security checkpoints,” 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. This applies to travelers  regardless of their concealed gun carry permit status.  A concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane.  Members of TSA PreCheck® who travel with a gun in carry-on baggage will lose that privilege.  The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport checkpoints from 2015 to 2022

Guns caught by year

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

2022

(As of 9/27/22)

RIC Airport

6

10

18

14

14

22

20

15

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2021. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.

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