Woman caught with loaded handgun in carry-on bag for Christmas Eve flight at Washington National Airport

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On Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reported that a woman tried to board a flight with a loaded handgun in her carry-on bag on Christmas Eve. The incident occurred at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Arlington County, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

People walk through Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(AP)
People walk through Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)(AP)

The TSA officers detected the 9 mm handgun, which had six rounds of ammunition, during the routine screening of the woman’s luggage at the security checkpoint. The gun was seized and the woman, who is a resident of Bethesda, Maryland, was issued a citation by the airport police for violating the weapons law.

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The TSA did not reveal the woman’s name or any other details in its press release.

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Loaded gun costs Bethesda woman a Merry Little Christmas fine

The woman also faces a hefty fine from the TSA, which can range up to $15,000, depending on the circumstances. John Busch, the TSA’s federal security director for the airport, said in a statement, “This traveler was cited by the police and will likely receive a federal civil penalty of thousands of dollars. Responsible gun owners know where their guns are at all times and they know not to bring them to an airport checkpoint.”

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The TSA also said that this year is likely to break the record for the most number of guns intercepted at the airport security checkpoints across the country. So far, more than 6,000 guns have been discovered by the TSA officers this year. In comparison, the total number of guns caught last year was 6,542.

The TSA issued a reminder to travellers that firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, but they can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed, and declared to the airline. The TSA also advised the travellers to check the local laws of the states and jurisdictions they are flying to and from, as they may have different regulations regarding firearms.

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