Local woman becomes first traveler to get caught with a gun at Richmond International Airport in 2021

Local Press Release
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport on Jan. 3. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Richmond International Airport caught a Richmond, Virginia, woman with a loaded handgun at the security checkpoint on Sunday, Jan.  3, becoming the first traveler to get caught with a firearm at the checkpoint in 2021.

TSA officers stopped the woman with a .38 caliber handgun loaded with five bullets among the items in her carry-on bag as it went through the security checkpoint X-ray machine at the airport.

TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and arrested the woman.

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 2021

Guns caught by year








(As of 1/4/21

Richmond International Airport








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.