BALTIMORE - A Harford County, Maryland, man was arrested Saturday, July 11 after Transportation Security Administration officers caught the man trying to carry a .25 caliber pistol past a security checkpoint at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshal Airport (BWI).
TSA officers detected the unloaded handgun tucked into the man’s camera case as he was passing through the airport checkpoint this morning. The man, a resident of Fallston, Maryland, told TSA officers that he forgot that he put his gun into the camera case and into his carry-on bag. The TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun inside the traveler’s carry-on bag as it passed along the conveyor belt.
TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on weapons charges. There was no impact to airport operations.
As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $11,000.
Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the security checkpoint, and TSA’s advice to passengers is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.