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TSA officials are urging travelers to do this before flying out of Richmond International Airport

This year 16 guns have been reportedly confiscated at RIC; at least 5 incidents happening in May
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 09, 2024

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Security officials at Richmond International Airport are encouraging travelers to check their belongings twice before taking a flight.

That's due to an increase in the number of people getting stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at security checkpoints.

According to TSA, 17 guns were caught and confiscated at Richmond International Airport checkpoints in 2023.

As of June 2, 2024, 16 guns have been reportedly confiscated at RIC, with at least five of those incidents happening in May.

May also marked one of the busiest times in RIC's history, with several days in May making it to the Top 10 Busiest Travel Days recorded.

The majority of the guns confiscated were loaded at the time.

Travelers Darrelle Brown and Will Stith
Darrelle Brown and Will Stith

Travelers Darrelle Brown and Will Stith said they noticed multiple signs coming into RIC explaining that firearms are not allowed in carry-on baggage.

"If I can't bring my big bottle of cologne on the plane, I don't see why you can bring a gun, so that makes sense," Brown said. "In my mind, I'm wondering like, what was the intention? What were you trying to do? Did you forget that you just had it?"

Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson with TSA
TSA Spokesperson Lisa Farbstein

According to Lisa Farbstein, a spokesperson with TSA, that happens to be the most frequent excuse used when guns are confiscated.

"People are telling us they forget they had their firearm with them. You know, if you ask them where their wallet is, they seem to know where that is. If you ask them where their keys are, they seem to know where their keys are, they just don't seem to know where their deadly weapon is," Farbstein said.

You can legally travel with a firearm if it's unloaded, packed in a hard-sided locked case and declared with your airline.

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Bringing a firearm through a security checkpoint could amount to a federal civil penalty, which can cost up to $15,000 in some cases. Any traveler caught traveling with a gun in a carry-on bag could also lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

"If someone wants to travel with their fire, they can, we're fine with that. All we ask is that you pack it properly," Farbstein said.

A concealed permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane.

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

TSA suggests firearm owners look through what is permitted on its website or by contacting their respective airlines.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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