ARLINGTON, Va. – A Fairfax County, Virginia, man had a bad start to his Thanksgiving this morning when a Transportation Security Administration officer at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) spotted a loaded gun in the man’s carry-on bag at one of the airport checkpoints.
The man, a resident of McLean, Virginia, was stopped at the checkpoint with a .32 caliber handgun loaded with eight bullets. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint spotted the handgun as it appeared on the X-ray monitor, shortly after 6 a.m.
TSA officers immediately contacted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police, and when they arrived at the checkpoint, they confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge. There was no impact to airport operations.
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.
The TSA 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.