BALTIMORE, Md. – A Frederick County, Maryland, man was cited by police at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Wednesday, December 23, after Transportation Security Administration officers caught the traveler trying to bring a .32 caliber handgun past a security checkpoint.
It marked the 16th gun that TSA officers have detected at BWI checkpoints so far this calendar year, two more than the number of firearms that were caught at the airport’s checkpoints during 2014. Last year TSA officers at BWI detected 14 firearms at checkpoints.
TSA officers detected the small handgun, which was unloaded, among the Walkersville, Maryland, resident’s carry-on items as it was passing through the x-ray machine.
TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, which responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and cited the man. 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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its web site here. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.