RICHMOND, Va. -- A Newport News, Virginia, man was arrested on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint this morning, June 27, when TSA officers detected a .38 caliber handgun with five bullets tucked inside his backpack.
The traveler told TSA officials that he had the gun in his carry-on bag because he had guests with children visiting him this past weekend. He told officials that he did not want the children to have access to the gun, so he hid it inside his backpack.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and arrested the man. It marked the third gun that TSA officers have caught at one of the airport’s checkpoints so far this month.
This incident serves as a reminder that individuals are responsible for the belongings that 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.
The Transportation Security Administration 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.