RICHMOND, Va. – A man has been cited with state weapons charges after TSA officers discovered a handgun in one of his carry-on bags at Richmond International Airport Sunday, April 24.
Officers found the firearm, a small .22 caliber handgun, as the man passed through an airport checkpoint, according to a TSA spokeswoman. The officer detected the gun through a X-ray machine as it passed along the conveyor belt.
TSA officials said the gun was not loaded, but the gun and ammos was confiscated and RIC police were contacted immediately. They are reminding travelers to check their bags thoroughly before coming into the airport.
“Weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are properly packed,” TSA officials said in a statement. For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm click here.
People caught attempting to bring a weapon to a checkpoint are subject to criminal charges and could face a fine of up to $11,000.
According to a new report from CNN, similar incidents across the county are on the rise.
TSA finds record 73 firearms in carry-on bags last week
The TSA intercepted a record 73 firearms from airline passengers' carry-on bags last week.
And all but five of them were loaded.
That's the most guns the TSA has ever confiscated in a single week, surpassing the previous record of 68, which was set in October 2015.
"Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent...each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested," the TSA said in a blog post Friday.
The TSA said even novelty and replica firearms that look real are prohibited. BB guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, pocket knives, stun guns and batons are also banned.
Passengers can travel legally with a firearm, but it must be unloaded and in a lock box, packed in checked baggage, and pre-approved by the airline.
CNN Wire contributed to this report.