Officers at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, prevented a man from carrying a loaded handgun onto a flight Wednesday.
Transportation Security Administration officers spotted the .25 caliber handgun among the Lorton man’s carry-on items. It was loaded with six bullets, the TSA said in a statement.
Officers notified Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, who confiscated the weapon and cited the man on a weapons charge.
“Our TSA officers continue to be focused on our mission by detecting firearms and other prohibited items at security checkpoints as well as in checked baggage,” John Busch, the airport’s federal security director, said Thursday.
“We encourage travelers to have a greater awareness of what they are packing for their flight by using the tools that TSA has made available to help determine if an item should be packed in a carry-on bag, checked bag, either or neither.”
TSA is urging passengers to do their homework on weapons guidelines.
Passengers are only permitted to travel with weapons in checked baggage that are properly packaged and declared at airline ticket counters.
Bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint can carry a federal civil penalty that can stretch into the thousands of dollars. Localities and airlines may have their own penalties, too.
This is the 21st weapon confiscated at DCA so far this year. There were 30 confiscated in 2021.
TSA officers discovered 5,972 firearms at security checkpoints nationwide last year. Of the guns caught by TSA in 2021, about 86% were loaded.