RICHMOND – A Chesterfield County, Virginia, man was arrested at Richmond International Airport on Friday, Dec. 15, after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag. It marked the 16th firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport checkpoints so far this year—far surpassing the 10 that were caught in 2016.
A TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor detected the .38 caliber handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag. The handgun was loaded with six bullets. The man told officials that he forgot that he was carrying his loaded gun.
|Richmond International Airport||Number of Firearms TSA Stopped at Checkpoints|
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. See the complete list of penalties.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be 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 their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.