An airline employee was cited by police after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers with a loaded handgun at one of the checkpoints at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Friday, Aug. 11. The 9mm handgun was loaded with 16 bullets, including one in the chamber.
The gun was caught as the man, who was planning to fly to Chicago, entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted the TSA officer to check the carry-on bag, which was opened by police for a closer inspection. Police confiscated the gun and cited the man on state charges.
Guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint and now the man faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.
“Our officers are focused on ensuring that travelers do not bring firearms and other weapons through our security checkpoints,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “I’m grateful that our officers here and nationwide remain vigilant during this busy travel season. Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage and airline employees should certainly be aware of that.”
Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded then packed in a hard-sided locked case, which should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared.