WASHINGTON - TSA officers at Reagan National Airport stopped a woman from carrying a handgun onto a flight Friday morning.
Officials say they found a .380 caliber gun loaded with seven bullets including one in the chamber among the Virginia woman’s carry-on items.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police confiscated the gun, and the woman, 32-year-old Ariel Scott-Green of Fredericksburg, was cited on a weapons charge. She now faces a financial civil penalty from TSA – which can reach a maximum of $15,000.
"She did not provide a statement as to why she had her gun with her. What’s interesting though to note is that without a doubt the most common excuse that we hear is that I forgot I had my gun with me," said TSA representative Lisa Farbstein.
"Bringing a loaded gun to an airport security checkpoint introduces unnecessary risks and delays fellow travelers," said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. "Responsible gun owners know where their guns are at all times and they know not to bring them to an airport security checkpoint. This weekend we are very busy with Super Bowl and Mardi Gras travelers and I have to say I am proud of our TSA officers and their dedication to ensure everyone can travel safely."
Last year, 6,735 firearms were caught at airport security checkpoints nationwide and 93 percent were loaded.