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TSA Stops Attempt to Smuggle Loaded Gun onto RIC Flight on Busiest Day in Agency History

TSA Stops Attempt to Smuggle Loaded Gun onto RIC Flight on Busiest Day in Agency History

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A North Carolina man was cited and now faces a hefty civil financial penalty after attempting to bring a loaded gun onto a flight at Richmond International Airport.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at RIC discovered the weapon on Sunday, July 7, among the traveler’s carry-on luggage. The incident occurred on the busiest day in TSA’s 22-year history nationwide. The loaded 9mm firearm was found with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

The gun was discovered when the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray machine detected it in the carry-on bag, prompting TSA agents to conduct a more thorough inspection. Richmond Airport Police seized the firearm, confiscated it and cited the man for a weapons charge.

“When our officers detect a firearm at the checkpoint, the screening line stops until law enforcement comes to remove the carry-on bag containing the firearm. We do this because we do not want our officers handling firearms, as this is a potential accident,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s director of federal security for the airport. “As a result, all travelers in the screening line either move to another line or wait for law enforcement to resolve the situation. Either way, it is disruptive to other travelers, and on a busy day at our airport, I can assure you that any delay is not appreciated by other travelers.”

The fine for carrying weapons past security checkpoints can be as high as $15,000, depending on the circumstances.

Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage.

For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm, click here.