RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers stopped the same number of firearms at the Richmond International Airport checkpoints in 2015 as they have during the previous two years.
In 2015, TSA officers detected seven firearms in carry-on bags at Richmond—the same number they caught in both 2014 and 2013. TSA officers also detected two improperly packed and undeclared firearms in checked baggage. TSA screened nearly 2 million passengers at Richmond International Airport in 2015.
Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA. Travelers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms properly packed in their checked baggage only, if they follow a few simple guidelines.
“Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are never permitted in carry-on bags, but they can be transported safely in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline,” says TSA Federal Security Director Chuck Burke. “We never like to see firearms brought to the checkpoints. The TSA officers at Richmond are top-notch and well trained in identifying firearms and other dangerous and prohibited items. We’d much rather that travelers pack their guns the proper way for safe airline travel in check baggage.”
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA advises travelers to familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure to ensure that they have the proper gun permits for the states that they are traveling to and from. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition so travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies prior to arriving at the airport.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the hard-side case, next to the firearm. Even if the box of ammunition is not full, the bullets must be in their original case. Then the case with the firearm should be brought to the airline check-in counter and the airline representative informed that the passenger wants to travel with the gun. Firearms are transported inside checked baggage and are placed in the belly of the aircraft.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted here.
Nationwide, TSA screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.