TSA Catches and Arrests A Northern Virginia Man with Gun At BWI Airport

A Fairfax County, Virginia, man was arrested Friday, April 5, at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after Transportation Security Administration officers caught him with a handgun in his carry-on bag.

It marked the 11th handgun caught by TSA so far this year, already half of the number stopped during all 12 months of 2018 when TSA officers caught 22 firearms at the airport checkpoints. If the number of guns that travelers bring to BWI airport checkpoints continues at this pace, it is likely to set a record for guns at the airport checkpoints well before the end of the year. TSA would prefer to see that trend go in the opposite direction with fewer travelers bringing their guns to checkpoints.

Friday’s gun catch, a 9 mm handgun, was not loaded. 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 detained him for questioning prior to arresting the man, a resident of Reston, Virginia, 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 in 2018 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 4-6-19)

BWI Airport





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.

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