A Florida man traveling through Reagan National Airport on Wednesday was cited for carrying a loaded gun through a security checkpoint.
Caleb Leonard Jones, 47, of Navarre, Fla., was moving through a checkpoint that serves Terminals B and C when a Transportation Security Administration officer spotted the gun in a carry-on bag as it moved through an X-ray screener.
Authorities said the .380 caliber semiautomatic handgun was loaded with seven bullets; there were an additional 18 bullets in a box.
The gun was confiscated and there was no disruption to airport operations. Officers with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority cited Jones on state weapons charges.
This is the third time this year that TSA officers have caught a traveler with a gun.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms, but they must be placed in checked baggage and airline personnel must be notified. In addition, the weapons must be properly secured in a hard-sided case, locked and packed separately from the ammunition.
Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Individuals who bring firearms to airport security checkpoints are subject to possible criminal charges — even if they have valid gun permits. Having a gun permit does not mean it can be brought on an aircraft.
TSA has the authority to assess civil penalties of up to $13,000 for travelers who bring weapons to airports; a first offense for carrying a gun through a checkpoint typically carries a $3,900 penalty.
More information about how to properly travel with your firearm can be found here.