LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, Md. — A Prince George’s County woman was caught with a loaded handgun in her carry-on bag by TSA officers at BWI Airport on Friday.
This marks the 19th gun caught at a BWI checkpoint so far this year. TSA caught 22 guns at BWI security checkpoints in 2018.
The woman was stopped with a .40 caliber handgun, according to TSA officials. The handgun was loaded with 10 bullets, including one in the chamber. The woman told officials that she forgot she had her loaded gun with her.
TSA officials spotter her handgun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, confiscated the firearm and then detained the woman for questioning before citing her weapons charges.
Officials say she ended up catching her flight--minus the gun.
A TSA press release discovered 4,239 firearms in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country last year, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day. 86% of the firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded, and nearly 34% of them had a bullet in the chamber.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage as long as they are properly packaged and declared. TSA's website says guns must be unloaded, enclosed in a hard-sided case, packed separately from ammunition and locked.
Travelers with concealed firearm permits, however, are still not allowed to bring guns to security checkpoints or onto airplanes in their carry-on bags. TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,333 for weapons violations.
Here is a complete list of firearm penalties.