BALTIMORE (WJZ) — TSA agents stopped 26 guns at BWI Airport checkpoints in 2017, an increase from the 24 caught in 2016.
27 handguns were found by TSA agents throughout all Maryland airports in 2017. 26 from BWI and 1 at Sailsbury Regional Airport on the Eastern Shore. No guns were found at the Hagerstown Regional Airport in Washington County.
The increase also reflected in the nationwide report. 3,957 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags across the nation. That is a 17% increase from 2016 when 3,391 guns were found.
84% of the guns caught in 2017 were loaded.
Being caught attempting to get a firearm through airport security is a criminal offense. A person is subject to criminal charges from police as well as civil penalties from TSA. Fines can amount to up to $13,000. A first offense fine is usually around $3,900. Find the complete list of penalties here.
Only certain weapons permits allow an individual to carry a gun onto a plane and they must follow certain guidelines.
The top five airports with the most guns detected were Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 245; Dallas/Fort Worth International with 211; George Bush Intercontinental at Houston with 142; Denver International with 98; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International with 115. These airports were also in the top five for guns at checkpoints for the past four years.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition.