TSA stops seven guns from getting through Richmond Airport security

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond man has been charged with a weapons offense after he allegedly tried to bring a gun through airport security.

Richmond Airport Police arrested 56-year-old David Lewis Dodd back in September. According to Henrico County court records, Dodd pleaded not guilty. His case will now be heard in Circuit Court.

Last year, the number of firearms caught at Richmond International Airport’s security checkpoints more than tripled. TSA expects those numbers to continue to climb.

So far this year, agents in Richmond have stopped seven passengers from taking guns through security checkpoints. Most of those weapons were loaded.

PicMonkey Collage

According to TSA, it’s a growing problem not just here in Richmond, but at airports across the country.

Seven confiscated weapons might not sound like many when you think about the 3.35 million passengers who flew in or out of the Richmond airport last year.

But when you see what TSA recovered, it can be frightening. Agents say one semi-automatic handgun was loaded with 13 rounds including one in the chamber. It was tucked inside a passengers carry-on bag. TSA also confiscated a loaded 22 caliber packed in a bag with 60 additional bullets.

A Chesterfield man caught with a handgun told Airport Police he “forgot the firearm was in his bag.” That lapse in memory cost him time in court and a nearly $200 fine.

So how does the Richmond Airport compare to others across the Commonwealth? Last year, TSA stopped seven guns in Richmond. It confiscated seven at the airport in Norfolk. TSA stopped nine weapons at Washington Dulles and fourteen at Reagan National Airport.

Passengers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $11,000.

You can fly with your firearm, but the way to do it legally is to pack it in your carry-on bag and declare it to the airline.

To learn more about how to pack your gun for air travel, click here.

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