Security screeners at BWI Thurgood Marshall got two surprises at the security checkpoint this week.
The TSA said the man made two mistakes. The first was putting a roller bag through the X-ray machine that contained a semi-automatic handgun with a bag he intended to carry on the plane with him.
The second mistake: putting a pet carrier, with a small dog inside, through the X-ray. Many pet carriers tend to look like duffel bags and TSA officials didn't realize it was a pet carrier until they saw the animal's skeleton on the X-ray image.
TSA reminds passengers firearms are never allowed at checkpoints. As for pets, they should be taken out of the carrier and carried through checkpoints and not sent through X-ray.
When the TSA officers spotted the loaded semi-automatic handgun in a gun case inside the roller bag, they contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on state weapons charges. The 9 mm caliber handgun was packed with two empty magazines. The man also had a small knife. Police left the checkpoint with the man, the gun and the dog.
Travelers who bring firearms to checkpoints are subject to possible criminal charges and civil penalties from the TSA of up to $12,000.