- The Washington Times - Friday, March 10, 2023

For the ninth time in 2023, a forgetful flyer at Reagan National Airport was stopped by security for attempting to bring a gun in his carry-on luggage.

An Alexandria, Virginia man was stopped early Thursday at a checkpoint when a Transportation Security Administration X-ray unit found a firearm in his carry-on bag. Officers found a 9 mm handgun loaded with 15 bullets.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police arrested the unnamed man, and released him on a summons. The man said he had forgotten the gun was in his bag.

Airport gun violations remain an ongoing concern for the TSA.

The maximum civil penalty for a gun offense was raised to $14,950 starting in 2023 after U.S. air travelers broke records for gun seizures in 2022; 6,542 guns were caught at 262 of the nation’s 430 checkpoints.

Numerous airports also saw their gun seizure records broken, although Reagan National was not among them.

After 30 guns were found by Reagan National Airport security in 2021, more than double the 14 guns taken in 2019, and 29 guns were seized in 2022.

The airport saw a surge of gun seizures in January, when six were found and taken by security, including a one-week stretch with three such incidents.

“I can assure you we don’t want to break our 2022 record. However, if this keeps up, that’s just what will happen,” the airport’s TSA Federal Security Director John Busch said at the time.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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