Gun Seizures Continue to Rise at DC-area Airports

WASHINGTON — More guns are going through airport security than ever before — something security agents call a concerning trend that no one can seem to explain.

Gun seizures at D.C. regional airports rose 34 percent from 2015 to 2016.

In most cases, a passenger forgot to remove it from a carry on bag, but once a gun is on federal property, it can mean an arrest and an up to $11,000 in fines, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told The Baltimore Sun.

Firearms seizures at BWI Marshall rose 50 percent in 2016, with 24 firearms detected. There were 24 firearms seized at Dulles International and 19 at Reagan Washington National that year, according to TSA data.

Farbstein doesn’t know why the numbers continue to increase, but expects they’ll keep pace in 2017.

Around the July Fourth holiday this year, TSA data showed 78 firearms were seized nationwide, 62 of them were loaded. Two guns went through regional airports: an unloaded 9 mm handgun on July 6 at DCA and an unloaded 9 mm handgun on July 7 through IAD, according to the TSA Blog.

There are legal ways to transport firearms on commercial planes, by declaring them in checked baggage and complying with local and international laws.

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