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TSA stops two loaded handguns in two days at Dulles Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, August 8, 2016

DULLES, Va. –  A Virginia man was caught with a loaded handgun at a Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) checkpoint by Transportation Security Administration officers this morning, following a similar but unrelated incident on Sunday when another man was also stopped with a loaded gun at one of the airport’s checkpoints.

TSA officers at Dulles prevented a man from bringing a loaded .40 caliber gun onto his flight early this morning and they also stopped another man from bringing a loaded  9 mm gun onto an aircraft yesterday. That’s two guns in two days. Both were semi-automatic handguns.  

Preliminary investigations indicate the incidents were not related.

This morning, Aug. 8, TSA officers caught an Augusta County, Virginia,  man’s carry-on bag that contained a .40 mm handgun loaded with 11 bullets including one in the chamber along with two magazines each loaded with 10 rounds. The man is a resident of Fisherville, Virginia.

Yesterday, Aug. 7, a Fairfax County, Virginia, man was stopped by TSA officers when they observed his carry-on bag contained a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun with nine bullets, including one in the chamber. The man is a resident of Fairfax, Virginia.

Both individuals were cited by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police on weapons charges after the TSA officers who were staffing the checkpoint X-ray machines detected each handgun as the men entered the checkpoint and placed their carry-on items on the conveyor belt.  

The checkpoint lanes where the firearms were detected were temporarily closed while police responded to the scene. In each instance, the guns resulted in a shift of passengers into another checkpoint lane. When a passenger brings a firearm to a checkpoint, it delays the travelers who are in line behind the person who brought the firearm.

As a reminder, weapons—including firearms, firearm parts, ammunition and antique or realistic replica firearms—are not permitted in carry-on bags. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA up to $11,000.

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.

TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.