Transportation Security Administration officers stopped a Manassas, Virginia, man from bringing a loaded gun onto a flight from Dulles International Airport on Monday.
The man had a 9mm handgun along with a magazine loaded with 15 bullets at the screening checkpoint, according to a TSA news release. The agency alerted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, who confiscated the gun and cited the man.
He faces a federal financial penalty for bringing a gun to a TSA checkpoint. Penalties can stretch into thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because firearms are not allowed on airplanes. They have to properly packaged in checked baggage and declared at the airline ticket counter.
TSA officers at Dulles have caught 19 guns this year, on par with pre-pandemic years.
Nationwide, more than 3,200 firearms were found in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints last year, although the total number of passengers across the country fell by 500 million compared to 2019 because of the pandemic. The result was that twice as many firearms per million passengers screened were detected at checkpoints in 2020 compared to 2019.