BALTIMORE – A woman was arrested with a loaded handgun at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Monday, making it the third gun that Transportation Security Administration officers have caught within a five-day span at the airport. The incidents are not believed to be related.
TSA officers detected the gun inside the Delaware resident’s large handbag as she entered one of the airport checkpoints. TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and arrested the woman, a resident of Smyrna, Delaware, on state weapons charges. The gun was loaded with six bullets, including one in the chamber. The woman claimed that she had just cleaned out her handbag, but did not notice that the gun was hidden inside when she headed to the airport, thus she claimed that she did not know she was carrying a loaded gun. She was ticketed to fly to Columbus, Ohio.
The previous day, Nov. 13, police arrested a Millsboro, Delaware, man who was carrying a loaded .22 caliber handgun loaded with six rounds when TSA officers stopped him at the BWI Airport checkpoint. The man, ticketed to fly internationally to Toronto, also claimed that he forgot that he was carrying a loaded handgun with him.
Last Thursday, Nov. 10, police arrested a Gwynn Oak, Maryland, man who was carrying a loaded .38 caliber handgun loaded with five bullets when TSA officers caught him with the weapon at one of the airport checkpoints. The man claimed that he did not know that he had a loaded gun in his carry-on bag and also claimed that it did not belong to him. He was ticketed to fly to Las Vegas.
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 $12,000.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.