King William County man caught with loaded gun at Richmond International Airport

Local Press Release
Thursday, March 11, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers among a passenger’s carry-on items at Richmond International Airport early this morning. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Richmond International Airport caught a King William County, Virginia, man with a .22 caliber handgun loaded with 11 bullets among his carry-on items at the security checkpoint this morning, Thursday, March 11.   

TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons charge. The man told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him.

“It’s inexcusable to bring a loaded gun to a checkpoint. You will be caught. The police will be notified and you could be subject to criminal charges,” said Chuck Burke, TSA Federal Security Director for the airport. “Additionally, I can assure you that this individual now faces stiff Federal financial civil penalties that can cost him thousands of dollars.”

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a handgun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on 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.








Richmond International Airport







*Significantly fewer passengers due to the pandemic.

Nationwide, TSA officers detected 3,257 firearms on passengers or their carry-on bags at checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 due to the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019. In 2020, TSA caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers as compared to about five firearms per million passengers in 2019.  Of the guns caught by TSA in 2020, about 83 percent were loaded.