LINTHICUM, MD – Transportation Security Administration officers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) stopped a Montgomery County, Maryland, man from bringing a loaded handgun onto an airplane on Monday, December 3.
The man, a resident of Silver Spring, Maryland, was found to have a .40 caliber handgun in his carry-on bag. It was loaded with 11 bullets, including one in the chamber. The handgun was detected by a TSA officer when the man’s carry-on luggage entered the TSA checkpoint X-ray machine.
TSA contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the man on weapons charges.
It marked the 22nd gun caught at one of the airport checkpoints so far this year. Last year TSA officers detected 26 firearms at the airport’s checkpoints.
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 BWI
Firearms Caught in 2016
Firearms caught in 2017
Firearms caught in 2018 to date
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 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.