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TSA Catches Travelers with Loaded Guns at Reagan National and Baltimore/Washington International Airports

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) detected a 9mm handgun loaded with nine bullets, including one in the chamber, in a carry-on bag of an Alexandria, Virginia, resident on Monday, Dec. 21.

The gun was spotted by a TSA officer in the checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA alerted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.

“In spite of the pandemic,  our officers remain vigilant in their mission to ensure that no prohibited items or weapons are brought onto aircraft in a carry-on bag or checked bag,” said Scott T. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Reagan National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport. “This traveler faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA for bringing his gun to the checkpoint.”

2021 continued much as 2020 for the airport’s TSA officers as they caught a 9mm handgun and a magazine with eight bullets among the items in a carry-on bag of a Georgia man resident on January 1. The gun was spotted by a TSA officer in the checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA again alerted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge.

Meanwhile, TSA officers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport caught a man with a .357 caliber handgun loaded with five bullets at the checkpoint on December 29.

A TSA officer spotted the handgun in the man’s carry-on bag while it was inside the checkpoint X-ray machine. TSA immediately alerted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who arrived at the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and detained the man for questioning before arresting him on weapons charges. He said that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him. He now faces a stiff federal financial penalty.

The man’s ID indicated that he resides in Florida, but he also maintains a local residence in the Baltimore area.

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck® that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.

Read more at TSA

This story was updated on January 4 to include the detection at Baltimore/Washington and the January 1 detection at Reagan.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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