RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Glen Allen man was cited by police after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented him from bringing a loaded gun onto a flight at Richmond International Airport on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

TSA officers stopped the man at the security checkpoint when his carry-on bag triggered an alarm from the X-ray unit. According to authorities, officers found a 9mm handgun loaded with 15 bullets.

This handgun was detected by TSA officers at a Richmond International Airport security checkpoint on Oct. 11. (TSA photo)

Upon identifying the weapon, the TSA officers alerted Richmond Airport Police who confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons violation. In addition to the citation, the man is facing a federal financial civil penalty of up to $15,000.

“There is absolutely no excuse for bringing a gun to one of our checkpoints,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “You certainly can’t carry a firearm onto your flight, so don’t bring one to our checkpoint and expect to bring it on board. This was a good catch on the part of our TSA team here in Richmond. Our officers are good at their jobs and are very vigilant when it comes to helping ensure that no illegal or prohibited items are carried onto a flight.”

Firearms caught by TSA officers at Richmond International Airport checkpoints, 2018 to 2023

Year201820192020202120222023 As of 10/11/23
Guns caught at Richmond International Airport (RIC) checkpoints  14  14  19  21  24  13
(Courtesy of the TSA)

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 firearms 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 make sure that 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 6,542 firearms at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide in 2022. Of those guns, 88% were loaded.