DULLES, Va. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) prevented a Montgomery County, Maryland, man from bringing a loaded .40 caliber handgun onto a flight yesterday (November 30).
The Clarksburg, Maryland, resident was stopped at the checkpoint with the semi-automatic handgun and was cited by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police on weapons charges after the TSA officer who was staffing the checkpoint X-ray machine detected the handgun as the man entered the checkpoint and placed his carry-on items on the conveyor belt. The gun was loaded with 13 bullets, including one in the chamber.
The traveler told officials that he forgot that he was carrying a loaded gun with him.
The checkpoint lane where the firearm was detected was temporarily closed while police responded to the scene, which 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 him.
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.
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 posted on TSA.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. Travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.