RICHMOND, Va. -- A Richmond man was cited on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint late this afternoon, May 16, when TSA officers detected a handgun in one of the man’s carry-on bags.
TSA officers detected the firearm, a .380 caliber handgun, in the man’s carry-on bag as he entered the checkpoint. The gun was not loaded.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and cited the man. The checkpoint was temporarily closed during the incident. People who bring weapons to the checkpoint delay the passengers in line behind them.
This incident serves as a reminder that passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $11,000.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact the airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
The Transportation Security Administration 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.