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Pa. Man Arrested At BWI-Marshall Airport With Loaded Handgun

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Security scare at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Authorities arrest a man caught trying to bring a weapon on board a plane to Nashville.

Derek Valcourt has more on what unfolded there Friday morning.

Police say the man was in a security line like everyone else when they discovered a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.

X-ray machines at a BWI checkpoint alerted TSA agents to the semi-automatic handgun inside the carry-on bag Friday morning. Maryland Transportation Authority Police confiscated the loaded weapon and arrested its owner, 35-year-old Mark Kurtz of Littlestown, Pa.

The news was startling to fellow flyers.

“I can’t believe people would be so insensitive, first of all, or clueless to bring something like that into the airport. Like there’s no security and no one is going to check them. That’s ridiculous,” said Lorrie Armfield, flyer.

Concerns about weapons inside airports are especially high after a gunman opened fire at a checkpoint inside Los Angeles International Airport last month, killing TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez and sparking debate over whether checkpoint officers should be armed.

What happened at BWI may be alarming, but it is not uncommon. In fact, the TSA says every day they confiscate seven to eight guns at airports around the country.

WJZ got a close up look at the kinds of weapons TSA agents confiscate every month at the airport, from batons to knives.

“There’s no way something like this belongs on an airplane. Not at all,” said Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokesperson.

Meat cleavers, throwing stars, brass knuckles. You name it, they’ve found it.

“A lot of people just say that they forgot. A lot of people sat that they didn’t realize that these items were prohibited,” Farbstein said.

Not sure if you can bring certain items on a plane? The TSA has its own app and website that will tell you.

As for the man arrested at BWI, he now faces two misdemeanor charges. He told police he did not know the gun was in his bag.

In all, the TSA says they confiscate hundreds of pounds of weapons banned from planes every month.

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