LINTHICUM, MD – A Texas man was arrested on Wednesday, March 20, at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers caught him with a loaded handgun at the checkpoint at Terminal B. It marked the 10th handgun caught by TSA so far this year, nearly half of the number stopped during all 12 months of 2018 when TSA officers caught 22 firearms at the airport checkpoints.
Wednesdsay’s gun catch, a .380 mm handgun, was loaded with six bullets and included one bullet in the gun’s chamber. A TSA officer spotted the handgun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and arrested the man, a resident of Flower Mound, Texas, on a state weapons charge. The man, who had driven up to Maryland from Texas, told officials that he forgot that the had his loaded gun with him.
Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints in 2018 were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.
TSA Firearm Catches at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
|Firearms caught in 2016||Firearms caught in 2017||Firearms caught in 2018||Firearms caught in 2019 (as of 3-20)|
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed 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 web site. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.