RICHMOND, Va. – A New Kent County, Virginia, woman was arrested on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint on Saturday, June 11, when TSA officers detected a 38 Special handgun among the woman’s belongings.
TSA officers detected the firearm, a .380 caliber handgun, as the woman entered the checkpoint. The gun was loaded with five bullets, including one in the chamber.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and arrested the woman. The resident of Providence Forge, Virginia, had obtained a gate pass to meet a minor at the gate as the child was deplaning. Individuals who receive a gate pass from an airline to meet a passenger needing special assistance must adhere to all TSA checkpoint protocols.
This incident serves as a reminder that individuals are responsible for the belongings they bring to a security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to people is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $11,000.
TSA screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.