National Airport is on track for a banner year for gun confiscations.
A Maryland man was the latest to try to take a loaded handgun through the security checkpoint at DCA. With that Tuesday incident, Transportation Security Administration officers have now confiscated 23 guns so far in 2023.
At this rate, DCA would close out the year with 34-35 guns caught at checkpoints, up from 29 last year and 14 in 2019.
“It is disappointing to continue to see travelers carrying their loaded guns to our security checkpoints,” John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director at DCA, said in a statement. “I’m grateful that our officers here and nationwide remain vigilant every single day.”
The full TSA press release is below.
A Bowie, Md., man was cited by police after he was stopped by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers with a loaded handgun at one of the checkpoints at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The 9mm handgun was loaded with 12 bullets and was packed in the man’s carry-on bag next to another gun magazine, also loaded with 12 bullets.
The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted the TSA officer to check the carry-on bag, which was opened by police for a closer inspection. Police confiscated the gun and cited the man on state charges.
Guns are not permitted through the security checkpoint and now the man faces a stiff financial civil penalty from TSA. The penalty for carrying weapons can reach a maximum of $15,000.
“It is disappointing to continue to see travelers carrying their loaded guns to our security checkpoints,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “I’m grateful that our officers here and nationwide remain vigilant every single day. Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage and travelers should certainly be aware of that rule, which has been in place for decades before TSA even existed.”
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and gun owners have a duty to ensure they are not violating any local firearm laws. Additionally, contacting the respective airline could reveal any additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.
Bringing a gun to an airport checkpoint carries a federal civil penalty because TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns and gun parts with them at a checkpoint. Civil penalties for bringing a gun into a checkpoint can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on mitigating circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because a concealed carry permit does not allow a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online. Additionally, if a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges.
Last year, 6,542 firearms were caught at 262 out of 430 airport security checkpoints nationwide. Eighty-eight percent of those guns were loaded. So far this year more than 4,000 handguns have been stopped at security checkpoints by TSA officers.
Unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither? Download the free myTSA app, which has a handy “What can I bring?” feature that allows you to type in the item to find out if it can fly. Or ask on Twitter or Facebook Messenger at @AskTSA. Travelers may send a question by texting “Travel” to AskTSA (275-872).
Passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded then packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.
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The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 77th annual Christmas tree sale!
This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 24th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to 10 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garland, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.
100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.
For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at https://optimistclubofarlingtonva.org/.
Holiday Art Show featuring artists: Peter Fitzgerald, Claire Plante, Alanna Rivera, and Suzy Scollon. At the Barcroft Community House, 800 South Buchanan St., Arlington, VA. Dec. 8 from, 2 PM to 8 PM and Dec. 9 from 10 AM to
2023 Christmas Tree Sales Begin
Saturday, December 2
Get your holiday decorating off to the right start this year! We will be selling 150 Fraser firs, freshly cut and delivered from Sparta, North Carolina.