RICHMOND, Va. – A man was cited on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint last Thursday, March 2, when TSA officers detected a 9 mm handgun among the man’s carry-on items.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge. The man told TSA officials that he forgot that he was carrying his gun with him in his carry-on bag. It was not loaded.
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. TSA outlines the correct way to travel with a firearm on its website.
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. A typical TSA citation for a first offense is $3,000.
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.