LINTHICUM, Md. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) stopped an Alexandria, Virginia, man with a loaded handgun at one of the airport’s checkpoints Sunday, August 13, marking the 18th gun caught at the airport so far this year. Last year TSA officers detected 26 firearms at the airport’s checkpoints.
The Alexandria resident was found to have his 9 mm handgun loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber. The handgun was detected by a TSA officer in the man’s carry-on luggage when it entered the TSA checkpoint X-ray machine. There were also two magazines with another 12 bullets in the luggage.
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 ammunition, and arrested the man on weapons charges.
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 8-12-18)
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.