TSA prevents woman from carrying handgun onto Richmond flight

Local Press Release
Monday, November 21, 2022
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a traveler’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport on Nov. 18. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. –A Fredericksburg, Va., woman was cited by the police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport caught her with a handgun in her carry-on bag on Friday, Nov. 18. The .380 caliber handgun was not loaded.

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

“Friday kicked off the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel season, which is the busiest travel period of the year,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Our officers are always vigilant in their mission to keep the traveling public safe and this busy holiday timeframe is no exception. It is important for gun owners to recognize that they are forbidden from carrying a firearm onto a flightin their carryon regardless of their concealed gun carry permit status.”

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. This penalty applies to travelers regardless of their concealed gun carry permit status. 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.

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport checkpoints from 2015 to 2022

Guns caught by year









(As of 11/20/22)

RIC Airport









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.

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.