Transportation Security Administration officials at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stopped a Fredericksburg man from bringing a firearm onto his flight Friday.
The man, who was toting a .25 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets, told agents he had forgotten the gun was in his luggage. Friday’s seizure marks the eighth such confiscation of a firearm by airport authorities in 2023.
Passengers packing heat continues to be a problem for TSA, with a record-breaking 6,425 firearms seized at airport checkpoints in 2022, with 88% of those guns loaded at the time. In response, authorities raised the maximum civil penalty for a gun citation at the airport to $14,950.
At Reagan National Airport specifically, one less gun was seized in 2022, with 29 firearms taken, as compared to 2021, which saw 30 firearms taken. Both numbers, however, more than double the 14 guns confiscated in 2019.
“We take it very seriously when a gun is detected during the security screening process. Traveling with a loaded gun that you don’t even know you are carrying is a public safety concern, considering that the bag could be misplaced or the firearm could accidentally be discharged during a bag search,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Reagan National Airport John Busch in an agency release.
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