LINTHICUM, Md. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) stopped an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, man with a loaded handgun at one of the airport’s checkpoints Thursday, July 12th, the 15th gun caught at the airport so far this year. Last year TSA officers detected 26 firearms at the airport’s checkpoints.
The Severn, Maryland, resident was found to have his handgun loaded with six bullets in his 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 man told TSA officials that he forgot that he had packed his gun in the bag.
TSA contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who reported to the checkpoint, confiscated the loaded gun, and arrested the man on weapons charges this morning.
This summer is turning out 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 here. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.