Prince George’s County, Md., man claimed he forgot he had a loaded gun with him
LINTHICUM, Md. – Transportation Security Administration officers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) caught a Prince George’s County, Maryland, man with a 9 mm handgun loaded with eight bullets including one in the chamber at a security checkpoint this morning (Jan. 21). It was the second gun that TSA officers caught so far this year.
A TSA officer spotted the gun in the man’s carry-on bag while it was inside the checkpoint X-ray machine. The Maryland Transportation Authority Police were notified, arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and detained the man, a resident of Fort Washington, Maryland, for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges.
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-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.
(As of 1-21-20)
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.
- 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 their carry-on bags. If the individual is a TSA Pre✓® member, that person could even lose their TSA Pre✓® status. In addition, TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations. A typical first offense for carrying a handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of penalties is posted online.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.