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TSA catches eighth gun in first eight weeks of the year at BWI Airport

Guns caught at BWI already equal one third of the number of all guns caught in 2018

Local Press Release
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

LINTHICUM, Md. – The number of firearms caught by Transportation Security Administration officers at checkpoints at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) have soared this year. TSA officers caught the eighth gun of the year Sunday, Feb. 17, marking the eighth handgun caught during the first eight weeks of the year. In 2018, TSA officers at BWI caught 22 firearms at the airport checkpoints, and the eight guns caught so far this year are the equivalent of one-third of the total caught last year.

Sunday’s gun catch, a 9 mm handgun loaded with 11 bullets included one bullet in the gun’s chamber. A TSA officer spotted the handgun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the man, a resident of Germantown, Maryland, on a state weapons charge.

Nationwide last year, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day, approximately a 7 percent increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,957 detected in 2017. Eighty-six percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded and nearly 34 percent had a bullet in the chamber.

TSA Firearm Catches at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

Firearms caught in 2016

Firearms caught in 2017

Firearms caught in 2018

Firearms caught in 2019 (As of 2-19-19)

BWI Airport

24

26

22

8

As a reminder, individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement. Even travelers with concealed firearm permits are not allowed to bring guns onto airplanes. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $3,900. The complete list of penalties is posted online.

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.

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