ARLINGTON, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) stopped a Fredericksburg, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded semi-automatic handgun onto a flight on Sunday, October 2. It marks the 15th gun that TSA officers have detected at the airport’s checkpoints so far this calendar year, surpassing the number of firearms stopped at DCA’s checkpoints in 2015 when 14 guns were caught.
The man was stopped at the checkpoint with a loaded 9 mm handgun. Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Police confiscated the firearm and cited the man on a state weapons charge after the TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as it passed along the conveyor belt. The gun was loaded with seven bullets. There was no impact to airport operations.
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 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.