HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The number of guns found at Richmond International Airport is at an all-time high after a Virginia man was cited by the police for bringing a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag on Wednesday morning.
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a Hampton man on Wednesday, Dec. 28 when his carry-on bag triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. Officers discovered that the man had brought a .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber, in his bag. TSA officials alerted airport police, who confiscated the handgun and cited the man on weapons violations.
This marks the 24th firearm TSA agents at Richmond International Airport have caught at security checkpoints this year. Earlier this month, Richmond TSA set a new record for the number of firearms stopped at the airport’s security checkpoints in one year when the 22nd and 23rd guns were found in one day.
Previously, 2020 held this record, with 22 guns found that year according to Richmond TSA.
“It is the most firearms that have been brought to our checkpoints in a single year and with just a few days left in the calendar year, I hope it is the last we see for a long time,” Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA Federal Security Director Richmond International Airport, said.
Burke further added that guns are not permitted through a security checkpoint, including for people with a concealed carry permit or anyone enrolled in the TSA PreCheck program. Bringing a gun through a checkpoint despite these rules can be costly.
“The financial penalty for bringing a gun or other weapon to a security checkpoint recently increased to $15,000,” Burke said. “It’s a very expensive mistake to make.”
Airline passengers can travel with unloaded firearms if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. The TSA has more details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality, so travelers should always check the rules ahead of time before traveling with guns.