HomeTravelVirginia man blames wife after TSA finds ‘troubling’ discovery in carry-on bag at Reagan National
Virginia man blames wife after TSA finds ‘troubling’ discovery in carry-on bag at Reagan National
September 26, 2023
A King George, Virginia man told Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Reagan National Airport that a loaded handgun discovered in his carry-on baggage was put there by his wife, blaming her for the mishap last week.
The man was going through a TSA checkpoint at the Arlington, Virginia airport last Thursday when officers found the gun.
According to a TSA press release, the X-ray unit alerted officers to take a closer look at the man’s carry-on bag, and when opened, the gun was located and confiscated.
TSA said the man blamed his wife, saying she packed his carry-on bag, and he did not know the gun was inside.
As a result, the man was given a citation and faces a civil penalty from TSA which can carry a fine of up to $15,000.
“It is disappointing to continue to see travelers carrying their loaded guns to our security checkpoints,” John Busch, TSA’s federal security director at Reagan National, said. “My advice is that when packing for a flight to start with a completely empty bag, and all travelers must pack their own bag, so that there are no surprises when someone gets to our checkpoint.”
Busch continued, saying when people start with an empty bag, there are no chances that an illegal item makes its way inside the bag, like what happened to the man from King George, Virginia.
“I find it very troubling that this is the sixth firearm TSA has intercepted at Reagan National Airport in just the last three weeks,” he said. “There is no reasonable excuse for not knowing you are carrying an unsecured, loaded firearm in your bag.”
Passengers flying are only allowed to travel with guns in checked bags, and the firearms must be unloaded and packed in a hard-sided locked case.
The TSA said the locked hard case must be checked in with the airline at the check-in counter.
From 2018 to 2023, the TSA has stopped 128 guns from going through the checkpoints at Reagan National.
There were 16 confiscated in 2018, 14 in 2019, 10 in 2020, 30 in 2021, 29 in 2022 and 28 so far in 2023, as of Sept. 21.
Last year, the TSA caught 6,542 firearms at 262 of 430 airport security checkpoints across the US, the TSA said, and 88% of those guns were loaded.
This year, there have already been 4,000 handguns confiscated across the US at TSA checkpoints.