RICHMOND, Va. – A Goochland County, Va., resident was arrested at Richmond International Airport on Wednesday, July 19, after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag.
A TSA officer detected the 9 mm caliber handgun inside the man’s carry-on bag as it entered the security checkpoint X-ray machine. The handgun was loaded with 12 bullets.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Richmond Airport Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on state weapons charges.
The man, a resident of Manakin Sabot, Va., told officials that he forgot that he had his loaded gun in his backpack.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. TSA details how to transport firearms and ammunition on TSA.gov. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.
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.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.