BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Airlines saw a surge in passengers last year, while security saw a surge in guns.
In 2016. Transportation Security Administration officers seized 3,391 guns at security check points. Last year, according to TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein, “3,957 people brought a gun to checkpoints nationwide. It keeps going up year after year after year.”
At BWI-Marshall, a record 26 guns were seized. It doesn’t buy much peace of mind for passengers like Dr. Marcella Wilson, that the the guns are frequently loaded.
“Unbelievable, unbelievable and terribly frightening,” she said.
TSA staged a briefing at BWI Wednesday on the right way to fly with a gun. Weapon and ammunition must be packed in a hard case and secured with a lock. It must then be checked in at the airline’s counter for storage in the plane’s cargo hold.
According to Farbstein, there are two primary excuses for leaving a gun in a carry-on bag.
“The first most common one is ‘I forgot.’ The second most common excuse is ‘my wife packed my bag or my husband packed my bag.’ Neither of those excuses fly,” she said.
But no excuse, including a conceal carry permit, will stop what happens next.
“You will be placed under arrest by a MDTA police officer,” said Lt. Kevin Ayd with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police. “And then you will go through the arrest process, where you will face criminal charges.”
A first offense for bringing a gun to the airport carries a $3,000 fine and a possible jail sentence.