LINTHICUM, Md. — The 20th gun of the year was confiscated at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport Saturday, continuing an alarming pace for the transit center, the Transportation Security Administration said.
TSA agents spotted the 9mm caliber gun in the bag of a Dahlonega, Georgia man as his luggage passed through an X-ray machine. Maryland Transportation Authority Police responded to the checkpoint to confiscate the weapon, detain the man for questioning, and eventually arrest him on weapons charges. The man said he had driven from Georgia to Maryland, but he had decided to fly back. He forgot he had the gun in his bag.
The the airport is currently two guns short of reaching the TSA’s total for firearm confiscation the entirety of 2018, 20. The transportation center is on pace to have more the 35 guns confiscated in 2019, a potential year-over-year increase of more than 60 percent.
Last year 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on baggage at checkpoints nationwide, marking a 7-percent increase from the year prior, and representing a pace of 11.6 guns found per day, the TSA said.
Individuals who bring a gun through a checkpoint may face criminal charges, as well as civil penalties up to $13,333, with first offenses typically costing about $4,000. Travels may only carry guns in airports if they are properly stored in checked luggage and declared. Guns are never allowed in carry-on luggage.