ODENTON, MD — Security stopped a Prince George’s County man with a loaded handgun at Baltimore/Washington International Airport on Thursday, a press release said. A Transportation Security Authority officer spotted the gun as it passed through the X-ray machine in a bag, according to the report.
TSA turned the accused man, Rodale Williams, over to the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, who arrested him on five gun charges. All the charges are misdemeanors, so Williams was set free until his trial. Williams, 28, is from Fort Washington.
A TSA spokesperson said the 9-mm handgun was loaded with 11 bullets. One bullet was already in the chamber, the report added.
“We have no reason to believe he had any intention to commit a terrorist act,” Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokesperson, said in an email.
Concealed carry permits do not allow passengers to travel through airport security with guns. Travelers can fly with a firearm, but only if they follow the correct steps.
To fly with a gun, it must be unloaded, packed in a checked bag and declared at the luggage drop. The owner must pack the gun in a hard-sided, locked suitcase.
“Our TSA officers have remained focused on their mission during this pandemic, and they are very skilled at detecting prohibited items,” said Andrea R. Mishoe, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Maryland. “Nobody should ever bring a firearm to a checkpoint.”
That was the fifth gun caught at BWI in 2020. Those numbers are down from 2019 when TSA caught 27 guns at the airport. BWI has seen fewer travelers this year, however, because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
TSA snagged more than 4,000 guns at airports around the country last year, averaging about 12 per day. A TSA report says 87 percent of those guns were loaded.
Travelers are usually fined $4,100 the first time they bring a gun to a TSA checkpoint.
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