TSA officers stopped a Florida man with this handgun inside his carry-on bag at a Reagan National Airport security checkpoint on May 21. (TSA photo)

On Sunday, at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, two individuals were prevented from boarding their flights due to carrying loaded handguns. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers intercepted a man from Florida carrying a loaded .380 caliber handgun and a woman from Arkansas who had a .22 caliber gun loaded with five bullets. These two incidents were separate and unrelated.

According to WUSA9:

Both guns were caught as they entered the security checkpoint. The X-ray unit was alerted to their carry-on bags and the guns were removed by Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police officers. Officers also cited both individuals on weapons charges.

They now face a stiff financial civil penalty, which can reach a maximum of $15,000.

John Busch, TSA’s federal security director at DCA, is warning travelers ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and summer holiday travel season to be careful of illegal items stored in your carry on bags.

“Airports are congested, people are eager to travel and this is no time to be carrying prohibited or illegal items in your carry-on bag,” he said. “Travelers who are gun owners have a significant responsibility to know where their firearms are at all times and know that they should not be in a carry-on bag. I am very concerned that most people who are stopped at TSA checkpoints with a firearm ‘forgot it was in the bag.’ And so loaded and unsecured firearms–with an oblivious owner–were near all the other travelers.”

TSA data shows that 88% of all guns caught at check points are loaded.

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