LINTHICUM, Md. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) stopped a Lancaster, Pennsylvania, woman with a loaded handgun at one of the airport’s checkpoints today, Wednesday, June 27, marking the 13th gun caught at the airport so far this year and the third gun caught within the week. A Prince George’s County man was caught with a loaded gun on June 23 and an Anne Arundel County man was caught with his loaded gun on June 21. All three individuals were arrested.
The Pennsylvania woman was found to have her .357 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets in her carry-on luggage when the carry-on bag entered the TSA checkpoint X-ray machine. That’s where the gun was spotted by a TSA officer who was staffing the X-ray monitor.
The woman told TSA officials that her husband was the last to use the suitcase and she claimed that he packed it in the roller bag on his last trip and left it there. She claimed that she did not notice it was in the bag when she packed her belongings in the suitcase.
TSA contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who reported to the checkpoint, confiscated the loaded gun, and arrested the woman on weapons charges this morning. It was the 13th gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport checkpoints so far this year. Last year TSA officers detected 26 firearms at the airport’s checkpoints.
This summer is expected to be one of the busiest in TSA’s history and when someone brings a firearm to a checkpoint, it closes the checkpoint lane until the situation can be resolved, thus forcing the other travelers to shift into another lane and delaying their passage through the checkpoint.
TSA Firearm Catches at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Firearms Caught in 2016
Firearms caught in 2017
Firearms caught in 2018
(as of 6-27-18)
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online. 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.