- The Washington Times
Thursday, January 26, 2023

Transportation Security Administration officials stopped an Alexandria man Wednesday from boarding a plane with a 9mm handgun loaded with 10 bullets at Reagan National Airport.

It was the third time TSA officers have prevented passengers at the airport from boarding aircraft with firearms in their carry-on luggage. The previous two seizures occurred on Jan. 19 and Sunday, with both handguns also being loaded.

As in the earlier seizures, the unnamed Alexandrian had his firearm confiscated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, and was written up for the violation.

The man could also face fines as high as $14,950 — a new, higher fine implemented after Americans set a new record in 2022 for airport gun seizures at 6,542 firearms.

“It is disappointing to see so many individuals bringing their guns to our security checkpoints. Yesterday’s gun catch marked the sixth firearm that our officers have detected so far this month. I sure hope this is not the new normal here at Reagan National Airport,” said the airport’s TSA Federal Security Director John Busch in an agency release Thursday.

With six guns already seized at the airport in January with less than a week left in the month, passengers could be well on their way to breaking the Reagan National confiscation record.

In 2021, the record was set at 30 guns seized, while 2022 saw 29 guns seized.

“I can assure you we don’t want to break our 2022 record. However, if this keeps up, that’s just what will happen,” Mr. Busch said, referring to the previous two seizures.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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