LINTHICUM, Md. – A Prince George’s County, Maryland, man was arrested at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) Thursday, July 20 after Transportation Security Administration officers caught him with a loaded gun in his backpack at a security checkpoint.
The man, a resident of Laurel, Maryland, was found to have a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with nine bullets in addition to an extra magazine with nine more bullets. The man told officials that he forgot that he was carrying his loaded gun with him.
TSA officers detected the gun as the man entered the TSA checkpoint and placed his carry-on items on the X-ray 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.
Today’s gun catch marks the 21st firearm that TSA officers have detected at BWI airport so far this year. In 2016, a total of 24 firearms were detected at the airport’s checkpoints by TSA officers.
TSA Firearms Caught at BWI
Number of Firearms Caught in 2013
Number of Firearms Caught in 2014
Number of Firearms Caught in 2015
Number of Firearms Caught in 2016
Number of Firearms to date in 2017
Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. In addition, TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $12,000. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,000.
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.