Man arrested at Richmond International Airport after TSA detects loaded gun in his carry-on bag

Local Press Release
Monday, December 21, 2020
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport on Dec. 19. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers detected a .40 caliber handgun loaded with 11 bullets among a Henrico County, Virginia, man’s belongings as they entered the security checkpoint X-ray machine at Richmond International Airport on Saturday, Dec. 19.

TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and arrested the man, a resident of Glen Allen, Virginia.  

“To date, TSA has stopped 50 percent more handguns this year than last year at Richmond, and when you consider that the passenger volume is significantly lower due to the pandemic, it is an extremely disappointing trend,” said Chuck Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Richmond International Airport.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport checkpoints from 2016 to 2020

Guns caught by year






(as of 12-20-20)

Richmond International Airport






Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.