ARLINGTON, Va. - TSA officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stopped three travelers Friday attempting to bring handguns onto their flights.
This year, DCA has seized a record-breaking number of firearms with these latest incidents bringing the total to 37 – surpassing the previous annual record of 30 set in 2021.
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent screens travelers at a check point inside Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 24, 2018. As the partial U.S. government shutdown enters a third day, la
The first incident Friday involved a Rockville, Maryland man who was found with a 9mm handgun loaded with 16 bullets, accompanied by an extra magazine containing 17 more bullets.
Shortly after, TSA officers stopped a traveler from Georgia carrying an unloaded 9mm handgun with 15 bullets readily accessible.
Later in the evening, a man from Stafford, Virginia, was apprehended with a loaded 9mm handgun carrying 15 bullets.
In each case, the TSA's X-ray screening played a crucial role, alerting officers to the need for a detailed search of the carry-on bags. The firearms were confiscated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police, who also issued weapons charges to the individuals involved.
The travelers now face substantial civil penalties imposed by the TSA, with fines for carrying weapons potentially reaching $15,000.
"It's careless and inexcusable," said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport, expressing his disappointment over the increasing trend of travelers bringing firearms to checkpoints.
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer stands for a photograph at a security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Secu
Busch emphasized the risks associated with such irresponsible actions, especially during the busy holiday season.
He's reminding passengers that the only legal way to travel with firearms is in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded and securely packed in a hard-sided locked case, and declared at the airline check-in counter.