(PartiallyPolitics.com) – On Christmas Eve, a woman traveling through Reagan Washington National Airport was intercepted by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers after they discovered a loaded handgun in her carry-on bag.
The firearm, a 9 mm handgun loaded with six bullets, was detected during the routine security screening at the Arlington, Va., airport, which is situated just outside of Washington, D.C. The TSA reported the incident, noting that the woman is a resident of Bethesda, Md. Her identity has not been disclosed.
John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director at the airport, commented on the incident in a statement. He remarked that bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint is an inappropriate way to start the holiday season. Busch highlighted the distinction between right and wrong, especially during the holiday period, emphasizing that the proper way to transport a firearm is by ensuring it is unloaded, secured in a hard-sided case, and declared at the airline check-in counter.
According to Busch, the woman received a citation from the police and is expected to face a substantial federal civil penalty. TSA noted that such penalties can be as high as $15,000.
TSA also stressed that penalties apply to all travelers, regardless of whether they possess a concealed gun carry permit. Additionally, those enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are caught with a gun at a checkpoint will lose their PreCheck privileges.
This incident at Reagan Washington National Airport is part of a larger trend observed in 2023. Nearly 40 guns have been detected at the airport’s security checkpoints this year, setting a new record. The previous high was 30 guns found in 2021.
TSA reported this incident as part of a nationwide increase in the number of travelers bringing guns to airport checkpoints. In 2022, TSA officers intercepted 6,542 firearms at checkpoints across the country, and over 6,000 handguns have been stopped by the agency in the current year.
Copyright 2023, PartiallyPolitics.com