“The wife did it.” This was a traveler’s alibi when Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers found a loaded handgun in his carry-on bag at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
TSA has said that the incident, which occurred on August 29, 2023, involved the discovery of a 9mm handgun loaded with 12 bullets. It was packed in the man’s carry-on bag next to another gun magazine, which was also loaded with 12 bullets.
The gun was caught as the man entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted the TSA officer to check the carry-on bag, which was opened by police for a closer inspection.
According to TSA, the man then blamed his wife, claiming that she had packed his carry-on bag and that he had no idea that the gun was inside.
As a result, the man was given a citation and faces a civil penalty from the 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 for the airport said in a press release.
Busch added: “I’m grateful that our officers here and nationwide remain vigilant every single day. Firearms should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage and travelers should certainly be aware of that rule, which has been in place for decades before TSA even existed.”
TSA permits passengers to travel with firearms in their checked baggage.
The firearms must be unloaded, then packed in a hard-sided locked case. The locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared.