LINTHICUM, Md. — An unsettling trend continues at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport as Transportation Security Administration agents found their fifth gun in a little more than a month in a passenger’s luggage, marking the 18th such weapon found this year.
Tuesday, a Baltimore man was found with a .25 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets in his luggage as he passed through a TSA security checkpoint, the TSA said. The gun was spotted as the man’s bags passed through an X-ray machine.
The man said he forgot the gun was in his luggage. Maryland Transportation Authority Police were called to the checkpoint to confiscated the gun and detain the man for questioning. He was cited on weapons charges but allowed to catch his flight.
A Florida man was stopped at the airport Monday when TSA agents found a handgun in his bag. On June 10, a Davidson man was found with a gun in his baggage. Prior to that, police found a gun in a Pasadena man’s luggage on May 24, and a gun in a Glen Burnie woman’s luggage on May 22.
The airport is well ahead of its 2018 pace in regards to finding weapons. Last year 22 guns were found on passengers as they passed through checkpoints, a slight decrease from the 26 firearms confiscated in 2017. Nationally, airports saw a 7 percent increase in firearms found in checked baggage in 2018 compared to the prior year, with 4,239 such weapons being confiscated, 34 percent of which had a bullet in the chamber.
Passengers who are caught with weapons at the airport are potentially subject to civil penalties up to $13,333, with a first offense often costing $3,900.