LINTHICUM, Md. — As the rate of guns confiscated from passengers at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport has spiked so far in 2019, the number of rocket launcher tubes has peaked this week as well.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Bomb Squad, as well as Maryland Transportation Authority Police, responded to the airport at about 5:20 a.m. Thursday after the tube for a rocket launcher was found in the American Airlines baggage area.
A U.S. Air Force Sergeant said he brought the piece of military equipment back from service abroad as a souvenir, the Office of the State Fire Marshal said. The rocket launch tube was inert, empty, and inspected by the U.S. military for safety.
Though inert, the tube was considered dangerous because it could contain pressurized gas, and thus was not allowed on the connecting commercial flight taken by the sergeant. The Fire Marshal took possession of the tube until it could be safely returned to the sergeant.
The piece of weaponry was the second such military souvenir discovered in a service members' luggage this week, the State Fire Marshal’s Office said. While military members often bring home moments from their tours of duty, they must remain aware of regulations and restrictions on carrying such items on commercial flights compared to military flights.