Watch CBS News

TSA stops a woman from bringing a loaded gun onto a Christmas Eve flight at Reagan National Airport

Transportation Security Administration officers at Virginia's Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport stopped a local woman from bringing a loaded gun onto a plane Christmas Eve, according to a Tuesday news release from the TSA. 

The firearm was detected on an X-ray machine as the woman reached the security checkpoint, whose unit alerted the TSA to take a look inside the traveler's carry-on bag. The gun was then confiscated and the woman was cited on a weapons charge.

"Bringing a gun to an airport security checkpoint was no way to enter the holiday," said John Busch, TSA's federal security director for the airport.

This loaded handgun was caught in a carry-
This loaded handgun was caught in a carry-on bag belonging to a Bethesda, Md., woman on Dec. 24th. TSA

"There's naughty and there's nice at this time of year and the nice way to transport your firearm is to make sure it is unloaded, locked in a hard-sided case and declared at your airline check-in counter. The naughty way is to bring it to a checkpoint."

Busch said that the woman faces a potential civil penalty of thousands of dollars. Fines for carrying weapons can be as much as $15,000.

The firearm marked the 39th confiscated at the airport in 2023 — the most at Reagan National in a single year, beating the airport's previous record of 30 firearms in 2021. 

In October, the TSA released third-quarter data that showed a spike in travelers bringing loaded firearms to U.S. airport security checkpoints, and is expecting 2023 to surpass last year's record of more than 6,500 firearms intercepted.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.