TSA caught two guns at Reagan National Airport on Friday, one in the morning and one in the evening

Local Press Release
Monday, July 1, 2024
TSA officers at Reagan National Airport intercepted this loaded firearm and knife at a security checkpoint in the morning of June 28. (TSA photo)

ARLINGTON, Va. – Transportation security Administration officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport caught two firearms at security checkpoints on Friday, June 28—one in the early morning and a second one later in the evening.

In the morning, an Indiana man was caught with a loaded .22 caliber handgun after TSA officers intercepted a loaded firearm and switchblade among the man’s carry-on items. Then later in the same evening an Aldie, Va., man was also cited by police when TSA officers detected a .380 caliber handgun loaded with five bullets.

TSA officers detected this loaded handgun among a traveler’s carry-on items in the evening of Friday, June 28. (TSA photo)
TSA officers detected this loaded handgun among a traveler’s carry-on items in the evening of Friday, June 28. (TSA photo)

In both instances, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police seized the weapons and issued the men citations. Police confiscate firearms, not TSA. The man returned to his airline check-in counter to place his knife inside his checked bag.

“It is extremely disappointing to continue to see travelers bring their firearms to our checkpoints,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director at the airport. “Not only does this disrupt and slow down our operation, it presents a serious risk to the safety of other travelers. Individuals who own firearms need to have a greater awareness of the contents of their carry-on bags before coming to the airport to ensure that they do not have their deadly weapons with them.”

Guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint and the traveler faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.

“Responsible gun owners know where their guns are at all times,” Busch added. “Each of these individuals face a federal financial civil penalty in addition to having to deal with the criminal citations issued by the police.”

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.

TSA firearms caught at TSA checkpoints at Reagan National Airport, 2018 to 2024









(As of 6/30/24)

Guns caught at the Reagan National Airport checkpoints








Bringing a firearm to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).