RICHMOND, Va. – A Chesterfield County, Virginia, woman was cited on state weapons charges after she was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoint on Friday, January 20, when TSA officers detected a .40 caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber of the gun.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond International Airport Police, which responded, confiscated the gun and cited the woman, a resident of Chester, Virginia.
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. TSA’s website outlines the correct way to travel with a firearm.
Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $12,000. A typical TSA citation for a first offense is $3,000.
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.