Transportation Security Administration officers detected a record number of firearms at checkpoints nationwide in 2017; however, of the three airports in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan region, only Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) followed the national trend.
Altogether, 3,957 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the nation last year, averaging about 11 firearms per day, approximately a 17 percent increase in firearm discoveries from the total of 3,391 detected in 2016. Eighty-four percent of the guns caught in 2017 were loaded.
TSA officers stopped 26 guns at BWI checkpoints in 2017, an increase from the 24 caught in 2016. It continued a disturbing trend of an increase in the number of firearms travelers have been bringing to the airport during the course of the past several years.
However, the number of firearms caught at the D.C.-area airports dipped. Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) saw a decline in the number of guns brought to checkpoints in 2017, dipping from 24 caught in 2016 to 19 in 2017. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) also experienced a decline in the number of firearms brought to checkpoints in 2017, dropping from 19 caught in 2016 to 13 in 2017.
In total, 58 handguns were stopped at the region’s three airports (BWI, IAD and DCA) in 2017 compared to 67 during the previous year.