Loaded Gun Intercepted at Airport: Woman Faces Hefty Penalty

On Christmas Eve, a woman from Bethesda, Maryland was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport from bringing her loaded handgun onto a flight. The 9mm gun, which was loaded with six bullets, was found among the woman's carry-on items.


This incident marked the 39th time this year that TSA officers at the airport have detected a gun at the checkpoints, setting a new record for the most guns intercepted in a single year. This follows a national trend of an increasing number of travelers bringing guns to airport checkpoints across the country. The previous record was set in 2021, with 30 firearms intercepted.


The gun was discovered as the woman was going through the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit signaled the TSA to inspect the carry-on bag more closely. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police seized the gun and charged the woman with a weapons violation. Carrying guns through the security checkpoint is prohibited, and the woman now faces a hefty financial penalty from the TSA. The fine for carrying weapons can go up to $15,000.

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John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport, commented on the incident, saying, "Bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint is not an appropriate way to celebrate the holiday season. There's a right and a wrong way to transport your firearm. The right way is to ensure it is unloaded, locked in a hard-sided case, and declared at your airline check-in counter. The wrong way is to bring it to a checkpoint. This traveler was charged by the police and is likely to receive a federal civil penalty amounting to thousands of dollars. Responsible gun owners should always know where their guns are and should never bring them to an airport checkpoint."

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