BALTIMORE - Transportation Security Administration officers at Hagerstown Regional (HGR) and Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshal (BWI) Airports stopped two men from bringing loaded semi-automatic guns onto airplanes yesterday, August 6.
At BWI, a Baltimore County man was arrested by Maryland Transportation Authority Police after TSA officers caught him with a 9 mm handgun loaded with five rounds as he was passing through the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun inside the traveler’s carry-on bag as it passed along the conveyor belt. The man, a resident of Lutherville, Maryland, was ticketed to fly to Long Island-MacArthur Airport (ISP) in New York.
TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
Also on Thursday, at HGR, a Frederick County, Virginia, man was arrested by Washington County Sheriff’s deputies after TSA officers also caught him with a 9 mm handgun loaded with 10 rounds as he was entering the airport checkpoint. The TSA officer detected the handgun inside the traveler’s carry-on bag as it passed through the checkpoint’s X-ray machine. The man, a resident of Winchester, Virginia, was ticketed to fly to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) in Florida. He told TSA officers that he didn’t realize that the gun was in his carry-on bag.
TSA officers contacted the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
The initial investigation indicates the incidents were unrelated.
Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality so travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and the traveling with firearms page. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition and travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.