RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond woman was cited by police on Tuesday at Richmond International Airport after a TSA officer found a loaded handgun in her carry-on-bag.
The 9 mm handgun was loaded with 17 bullets.
A TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitor detected the handgun inside the woman’s carry-on bag as it entered the X-ray machine.
It was the second gun caught at one of the airport’s checkpoints within the last five days. A 9 mm handgun was also detected on February 22 by a different individual.
TSA officials notified the airport police. They then responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited her on weapons charges.
This marks the third firearm that TSA officers have caught at the airport this calendar year. TSA stopped 14 guns at the airport’s checkpoints last year.
4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country in 2018, averaging around 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017.
Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.
Individuals who bring weapons to the checkpoint are subject to federal civil penalties of up to $13,000. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it doesn’t allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane.
A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. For the complete list of penalties, click here.