HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Mecklenburg County woman was arrested by police after TSA officers prevented her from carrying a loaded gun onto a flight at Richmond International Airport on Thursday, June 9.
TSA officers stopped the woman when her carry-on bag triggered an alarm in the security checkpoint X-ray unit. According to the TSA, officers located a 9mm caliber handgun loaded with four bullets.
Upon identifying the weapon, the TSA officers alerted airport police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the handgun and arrested the woman on a weapons violation. In addition to the arrest, she will be facing a significant Federal financial civil penalty.
The woman told officials that she was unaware of the gun among her carry-on items and that it did not belong to her. She said she thought her husband may have placed it in her bag.
This was the second gun TSA officers detected this week and the eighth handgun TSA officers confiscated this year.
The TSA wants to remind travelers that bringing firearms onto a flight is illegal, regardless of concealed carry permits. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at the airline ticket counter. For more information on civil penalties for unauthorized guns and how to correctly travel with them, visit the TSA’s website here.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and passengers should do their homework to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
TSA officers detected 5,972 firearms at airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2021. Eighty-six percent of those guns were loaded.