RICHMOND, Va. – A New Kent County, Virginia, woman was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint yesterday, Nov, 30 when TSA officers detected a .380 caliber handgun among her carry-on items. The handgun was loaded with three bullets, including one in the chamber.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, who responded, confiscated the gun and issued a citation to the woman, a resident of Quinton, Virginia.
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 $12,000.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed and declared to the airline.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
The Transportation Security Administration (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.