RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers working at Richmond International Airport Monday, Nov. 6, stopped two men who were carrying handguns in their carry-on bags at the airport’s checkpoints. Both men were cited by the airport police.
A Blacksburg, Virginia, man was caught with a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic gun loaded with 15 bullets and a Florida, resident was caught with an unloaded .38 caliber handgun and an additional 11 bullets in his carry-on bag. The two incidents are not believed to be related.
In each instance, a TSA officer detected the guns inside carry-on bags as the men’s belongings entered a security checkpoint X-ray machine.
TSA immediately contacted the Richmond Airport Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearms and cited the men on state weapons charges.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. 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. A typical first offense is $3,000.
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.