Virginia woman arrested after TSA caught her with loaded handgun in handbag at BWI Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, June 30, 2017

LINTHICUM, MD – A Virginia woman was arrested at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) yesterday morning, Thursday, June 29, after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers caught her with a loaded gun in her handbag at a security checkpoint.

The woman, a resident of Kilmarnock, Virginia, which borders Lancaster and Norhumberland counties,  was found to have a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with five bullets in her purse. One bullet was in the chamber. She told officials that her son placed the gun in her handbag prior to her flight.

TSA officers detected the gun as the woman entered the TSA checkpoint and placed her carry-on items on the X-ray conveyor belt. TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the woman on weapons charges. 

Yesterday’s gun catch marks the 16th firearm that TSA officers have detected at BWI Airport so far this calendar year. In 2016 a total of 24 firearms were detected at the airport’s checkpoints by TSA officers.


TSA Firearms Caught at BWI



Number of Firearms Caught in 2013

Number of Firearms Caught in 2014

Number of Firearms Caught in 2015

Number of Firearms Caught in 2016

Number of Firearms to date in 2017

Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport












As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $12,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,000.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.