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Loaded rifle found in carry-on bag at National Airport, TSA says

The unidentified passenger faces a stiff penalty for carrying the weapon. He could owe up to $15,000 after a recent increase in the maximum fine.

ARLINGTON, Va. — A man reportedly attempted to bring a loaded 9mm rifle onto a flight at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on New Year's Day, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The folding rifle, which was loaded with 20 bullets, was found in the man's carry-on bag as he tried to get through airport security, the TSA said. The man also reportedly had 56 bullets packed with his gun in three gun magazines. 

Officials say the man claimed he has two very similar-looking backpacks and that he accidentally grabbed the wrong one when he left for the airport. The gun was confiscated and the man was cited on a weapons charge. 

“This was no way to start the new year,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Immediately following a record-setting year for firearms at TSA checkpoints, we have this one. Gun enthusiasts with range bags similar to carry-ons need to be especially mindful. If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know where it is, and that it cannot go through an airport security checkpoint."

According to Busch, the unidentified man faces a stiff penalty for carrying a weapon that was recently increased to a maximum fine of $15,000.

Firearms are not allowed through security checkpoints but passengers are permitted to travel with guns in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. The TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website

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