TSA officers intercept two guns this past weekend at Richmond International Airport

More firearms caught so far in 2024 than during all of 2023 at Richmond
Local Press Release
Monday, June 10, 2024
TSA officers intercepted this firearm at the Richmond International Airport security checkpoint on June 9. (TSA photo)

RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers intercepted two firearms at the Richmond International Airport checkpoints this past weekend, bringing the total number caught at Richmond so far this year to 18, which exceeds the number caught during all of 2024 at the airport.

“It is disappointing to continue to see travelers bringing their firearms to our checkpoints instead of properly packing them for a flight,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s federal security director for the airport. “Bringing a gun to a checkpoint is careless and puts everyone at risk for a possible accident. We have ways for travelers to properly transport a firearm for a flight. All we ask is that they be packed in the safest manner possible. That means firearms should be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided case. That case then needs to be taken to the airline check-in counter where the traveler needs to declare that they want to fly with it. The airline will make sure it is safely transported in the belly of the aircraft where nobody has access to it during a flight.”

On Saturday, June 8, TSA officers stopped a Florida man with a 9 mm handgun loaded with 10 bullets. On Sunday, June 9, TSA officers detected a 9mm firearm along with 16 accessible bullets in two gun magazines belonging to a Rockville, Va., man. Both individuals were cited by police, who confiscated the weapons. Police confiscate firearms, not TSA officials. In addition, the men each face a stiff financial civil penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA security checkpoint. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

“It’s still early June and we have another 6 ½ months to go in the year and already we have surpassed the firearm count from 2023. There’s just no excuse for bringing a gun to a checkpoint,” Burke said. “Our officers are good at their jobs and they remain vigilant in their mission.”

Firearms caught by TSA officers at Richmond International Airport checkpoints, 2018 to 2024









As of 6/924

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoints








Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

TSA officers intercepted this firearm at the Richmond International Airport security checkpoint on June 8. (TSA photo)
TSA officers intercepted this firearm at the Richmond International Airport security checkpoint on June 8. (TSA photo)

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.

Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because 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 gun 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 a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).