RICHMOND, Va. – A Hanover County, Virginia, man was arrested at Richmond International Airport yesterday (Dec. 19) after a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the traveler’s carry-on bag. It marked the 17th firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport checkpoints so far this year—and the second handgun that showed up at the airport checkpoint within the last week.
A TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor detected the .38 caliber handgun inside the Mechanicsville, Virginia, resident’s carry-on bag on Tuesday. The handgun was loaded with five bullets. Airport police were notified, confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.
TSA officers at Richmond also detected a firearm at the checkpoint four days earlier, on Dec. 15.
Richmond International Airport (RIC)
Number of Firearms TSA Stopped at Checkpoints
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted tsa.gov.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. 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.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm online at tsa.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.