Williamsburg man issued summons after TSA catches him with loaded handgun inside carry-on bag at RIC


Courtesy – Richmond International Airport TSA

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) – A Williamsburg man was issued a summons by police at Richmond International Airport after a TSA agent found a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag over the weekend.

According to a TSA spokesperson, the incident happened on Saturday, Feb. 1, when a TSA agent spotted a .380 caliber handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber, inside the man’s carry-on bag.

Officials say the man was also in possession of a magazine loaded with eight more bullets.

After spotting the handgun, TSA officials notified airport police who confiscated the handgun and detained the man for questioning before arresting him on a weapons charge.

Officials say that although passengers are permitted to travel with firearms, they have to be in checked baggage, properly packaged, and declared at the airline check-in counter. Firearms must also be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, and locked separately from ammunition.

Flyers travelling with firearms should know that possession laws differ by state and locality.

Below is a graph showing how many guns are caught at the RIC over the past four years.

Guns caught at Richmond International Airport from 2016 to 2020

Guns caught by year20162017201820192020 (as of 2-2-20)
Richmond International Airport101814143

Guns caught by year20162017201820192020 (as of 2-2-20)
Richmond International Airport101814143

Last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country with an average of about 12 firearms per day. In 2019, 14 firearms were caught at the Richmond International Airport alone.

Officials saw an increase of 5% nationally in firearm discoveries compared to 2018 with a total of 4,239 detected. They say 87% of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

This recent incident counts as the third firearm caught at RIC just this year.

Officials are reminding everyone that flyers who bring firearms to a security checkpoint are subjected to possible criminal charges. Even travelers with concealed gun permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes in their carry-on bags.

Anyone found violating this law could face a civil penalty of up to $13,333 with a first offense costing travelers $4,100.

For any information on how to properly travel with your firearm, CLICK HERE.

Travelers also need to contact their airline because they may have additional requirements for travelling with handguns and ammunition.

This was the handgun found by TSA officers in a passenger’s bag at the Richmond International Airport on Saturday, February 1, that resulted in an arrest. (photo provided by TSA)

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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