BALTIMORE – An Alexandria, Virginia, man was arrested at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshal Airport (BWI) Friday morning, December 4, after Transportation Security Administration officers caught the traveler trying to carry a 9 mm handgun past a security checkpoint.
It marked the 14th gun that TSA officers have detected at BWI checkpoints so far this calendar year, which matches the number of firearms that were caught at the airport’s checkpoints during 2014.
TSA officers detected the handgun, which was unloaded, among the man’s carry-on items as it was passing through the x-ray machine. The man told TSA officers that the bag he brought to the checkpoint belonged to his wife and that he did not realize that a gun was in the bag. He was ticketed to fly to Boston.
TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges and interfering with security procedures. There was no impact to airport operations.
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. 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.
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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
For more information, please visit our traveling with firearms page. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.