Man cited by police after TSA catches him with loaded gun at Washington Dulles International Airport

Local Press Release
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
TSA officers detected this loaded handgun at one of the checkpoints at Dulles Airport on Nov. 16. (TSA photo)

DULLES, Va. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Washington Dulles International Airport stopped an Arizona man from bringing a handgun loaded with eight bullets and a box with 49 additional bullets onto an airplane on Monday, Nov. 16.

A TSA officer who was staffing the security checkpoint spotted the handgun when it appeared on the checkpoint X-ray monitor. TSA officials immediately alerted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police, who confiscated the handgun and briefly detained the man for questioning before citing him on a weapons charge.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.

Firearms caught at Washington Dulles International Airport checkpoints, 2015 to 2020








(As of 11-16-20)

Number of firearms caught







Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.