A Lynchburg man is facing a stiff financial civil penalty after attempting to bring a loaded gun onto a flight at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Sunday, according to the TSA.
The gun was detected when the man went through a security checkpoint and triggered the X-Ray unit. Transportation Security Administration officers confiscated his carry-on bag and found a 9mm gun loaded with bullets along with a gun magazine loaded with more ammunition.
The man told officers that he tends to store his firearm in his work backpack and said he had intended to work during his trip but forgot that the gun was still in the knapsack.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge. He also faces a civil penalty that could cost him up to $15,000.
This marks the 32nd gun that has been found by TSA officers at an airport security checkpoint so far this year, which is the most guns detected in a single year, according to authorities.
“There is no excuse for bringing a gun to the checkpoint,” said John Busch, TSA’s Federal Security Director for the airport. “Incidents such as this are dangerous and disrupt our screening operations for all travelers. Let me be clear--under no circumstances are travelers permitted to carry a firearm through a security checkpoint. My advice is that prior to taking a trip, empty your carry-on bag completely and then start to pack it so that you know with certainty that there are no illegal or prohibited items inside.”
As a reminder, passengers are only permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage. Firearms must be unloaded and then packed in a hard-sided locked case. For more information on how to properly travel with a firearm, click here.