DULLES, Va. – A Loudoun County, Virginia, man was caught with a loaded handgun at Washington Dulles International Airport Dec. 5 after a Transportation Security Administration officer detected him trying to carry the semi-automatic weapon past a security checkpoint. The .45 caliber handgun was loaded with 13 bullets.
The TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray machine, detected the gun among the Waterford, Virginia, resident’s carry-on items as he was entering the airport checkpoint. TSA officers contacted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and cited the man on weapons charges.
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 $13,000. The first offense is typically a $3,900 citation from TSA.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.