- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 22, 2022

A Reston, Virginia man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration staff at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday when he attempted to go through security with a 9mm handgun loaded with seven bullets.

The man, unnamed by authorities, was written a weapons citation by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, who also confiscated the weapon. The man told officers he had forgotten the gun was in his bag.

“If you own a firearm, it is your responsibility to know where it is at all times and know that it cannot go through an airport security checkpoint. This individual’s forgetfulness means that he now faces a stiff financial civil penalty — a penalty for carrying a weapon that was recently increased to a maximum of $15,000,” TSA Federal Security Director for Dulles Scott Johnson said in an agency release.

The financial penalty was increased in an attempt to stop the record-breaking amount of weapons violations at U.S. airports this year. As of Dec. 16, 6,301 handguns had been stopped from going through security, breaking the previous record of 5,972 set in 2021. The TSA projects there will be 6,600 total violations by the end of 2022.

Wednesday’s seizure also continued the record-breaking pace of weapons violations at Dulles; 25 guns have been apprehended thus far in 2022, higher than the previous mark of 19 set in 2019 and 2021.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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