RICHMOND, Va. - A Gloucester Point, Virginia, man was cited on state weapons charges after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint this morning, July 18, when TSA officers detected a 9 mm handgun with 15 bullets, including one in the chamber, tucked inside his backpack.
The traveler, a Gloucester County, Virginia, resident, told TSA officials that he had the gun in his carry-on bag because he had taken the backpack on a motorcycle trip and forgot that he had it with him.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and cited the man.
This incident serves as a reminder that individuals are responsible for the belongings that they bring to a security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to people is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Individuals 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 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.