TSA prevents man from carrying loaded gun onto Richmond flight

Local Press Release
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a traveler’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport on Oct. 3. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. –A Newport News, Va., resident was cited by the police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport caught him with a handgun in his carry-on bag on Monday, Oct. 3. The .40 caliber handgun was loaded with four bullets including one in the chamber.

TSA officers stopped the man when his carry-on bag triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. Upon spotting the weapon, TSA alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun, and cited the man on weapons violations.

“Our TSA officers are good at their jobs and I appreciate the work that they do every day, remaining focused on our mission by keeping dangerous items off the aircraft,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder to other gun owners to check their carry-on bags to ensure that they do not have a firearm or any ammunition among their carry-on items when they travel by air.”

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. This applies to travelers regardless of their concealed gun carry permit status.  A concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane.  Members of TSA PreCheck® who travel with a gun in carry-on baggage will lose that privilege.  The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport checkpoints from 2015 to 2022

Guns caught by year









(As of 10/4/22)

RIC Airport









Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to make sure that they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2021. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.