BALTIMORE – An Owings Mills, Maryland, man was cited by police at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshal Airport (BWI) Wednesday, Dec. 9 after Transportation Security Administration officers caught the traveler trying to bring a loaded semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun past a security checkpoint.
It marked the 15th gun that TSA officers have detected at BWI checkpoints so far this year, which now surpasses the number of firearms that were caught at the airport’s checkpoints during 2014. Last year TSA officers at BWI detected 14 firearms at checkpoints.
TSA officers detected the handgun, which was loaded with six bullets, among the man’s carry-on items as it was passing through the x-ray machine. The gun was in the man’s shoulder bag. He was ticketed to fly to Indiana.
TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and cited the man for 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 about 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. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.