DULLES, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) prevented a Harrisonburg, Virginia, woman from bringing a loaded .38 caliber handgun onto a flight on Sunday, Jan. 17.
The Shenandoah Valley area resident was stopped at the checkpoint with the firearm, which was loaded with six bullets. She was cited by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police on weapons charges after the TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt inside her carry-on suitcase.
Police confiscated the firearm and cited the woman on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
Sunday’s gun catch at the Dulles checkpoint marked the second gun stopped by TSA officers at the airport within a one week span. The officers detected a 9 mm handgun loaded with seven rounds in the carry-on bag of a Loudoun County man on January 11th.
As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags. 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 permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.