RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Richmond International Airport caught a Richmond, Virginia, man with a loaded handgun in his back pocket at the security checkpoint on Monday, Jan. 25, becoming the second traveler to get caught with a firearm at the airport this month.
TSA officers caught the man with a .380 caliber in the rear pocket of the man’s pants as he came through the checkpoint scanner. The handgun loaded with seven bullets including one in the chamber.
TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons charge.
“Carrying around a loaded gun in your pocket with a bullet in the chamber is no joke. It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said Chuck Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Richmond International Airport. “Now this individual faces a stiff Federal financial civil penalty.”
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.
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.