Loaded guns popping up in airports in big numbers

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - New information tonight on that loaded gun that TSA agents found Monday morning at Richmond International.

The 46-year-old man from Virginia Beach, Christopher Shackelford, was about to travel to his destination after he was questioned by airport police, the TSA and a terrorist taskforce. Sources say his destination from Richmond was Dallas Fort Worth. Sources add, he was going to another location after that.

He was issues 2 summons. One for carrying a concealed weapon and another for bringing a concealed weapon at an airport terminal. He is expected in a Henrico Courtroom on November 30th at 9 a.m.

In the meantime, we found out that Shackelford told investigators at the airport that he forgot the loaded gun was in his carry-on bag.

He did not have a concealed weapon permit. But, he told police he previously had one. However, airport police did not verify that claim.

Tonight, we are also finding out that the number of guns shows up in airports is going up. So far this year, already more than 1,100 firearms have been detected in carry-on bags.

"That sound like a huge amount," said traveler Donna Lane.

Hugs- that's something you normally expect to see at airports nationwide.

But what you don't expect to see is a gun - many times loaded. It happened here at RIC. The .45 caliber Ruger gun was loaded, with 14 bullets.

TSA officials says loaded guns are found on a weekly basis! The most common explanation -- people didn't know the gun was in their carry-on, which is what happened in this recent case.

"I'm glad they discovered it and I'm not going to let it deter me from having a good Thanksgiving," added Donna.

You are allowed to bring some weapons in your checked baggage but you need to check with the officials at each airport at make sure you are following the proper procedures.

Weapons are not allowed in carry-on bags. TSA says it continues to improve technology and procedures at its checkpoints.

But get this, "It can happen anywhere. I've known friends that accidentally had a gun and they didn't realize it was in their briefcase until they got to their destination," said Raymond Walters.

Scary stuff, as travelers all year round are putting their faith in these security in blue and people-- not to bring guns, to the airport!

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