RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — TSA detected a handgun in a Providence Forge, Va. woman’s carry-on bag as it went through a Richmond International Airport checkpoint x-ray machine.

According to a TSA press release, she was transporting a .380 Ruger LCP, which was unloaded. TSA reported the incident on Monday, April 4.

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This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport on April 4 (Photo courtesy of TSA).

After spotting the firearm, TSA alerted airport police who responded to the checkpoint. Police confiscated the weapon and gave the woman a citation for a weapons violation.

This is the fifth firearm found by TSA at Richmond International this year. The number of guns caught by checkpoints at the airport has steadily risen, with only 6 being found in 2015 and 20 in 2021.

Officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport checkpoints nationwide in 2021, with 86 percent of those weapons being loaded.

TSA noted, in its press release about this incident, that it also has the right to issue civil penalties against those found with firearms at airport checkpoints. These rules apply to those with concealed carry permits as well. A complete list of civil penalties can be found here.

Firearms are only permitted on planes when properly stored in checked baggage and declared at the airline ticket counter. Those firearms must be unloaded, locked in a hard case and stored separately from any ammunition. You can learn how to properly fly with a firearm here.

TSA also pointed out that firearm possession laws vary by state and requirements for traveling with a firearm can vary by ariline, so travelers should do their homework to avoid violating any laws.