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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > TSA Concerned About Increased Gun Confiscations at Dulles Airport

TSA Concerned About Increased Gun Confiscations at Dulles Airport


The Loudoun Times recently reported on the 150 percent increase in gun confiscations at Washington Dulles International Airport. The confiscations happen when passengers attempt to bring their firearms onto the plane on their person or in their carry-on luggage. The Transportation Security Agency (TSA) has called this trend “disturbing” and has engaged in many educational campaigns to help inform the public on the prohibition of bringing firearms aboard the passenger cabin in an airplane. While passengers with the appropriate gun permits are allowed to carry guns in their checked baggage, they must inform the airline that they have firearms in their bags. It is extremely important to follow these rules because being caught trying to bring a firearm onboard an aircraft can come with both civil penalties and criminal charges.

National Trend

The national data mirrors the trend at Dulles, according to the TSA. They report that people trying to pass through the security checkpoint with firearms has been a growing issue all over the country. In fact, there has been a 302 percent increase since 2005 in the number of guns that could have potentially made it onto planes had TSA not detected the firearm during the security screening process. Peter V. Neffenger, a TSA spokesperson explained that, “The transport of firearms by commercial air in carry-on bags represents a threat to the safety and security of air travelers. Through increased training in detection methods, our officers are becoming more adept at intercepting these prohibited items.”


The increase in people trying to bring guns into the passenger cabin on an airplane is dangerous. But why is there an increase? The TSA does not have concrete data on the reasons, but experts have speculated that it is partially related to the overall increase in the number of weapons that people have. When individuals have more weapons, weapon-related offenses and accidents are more likely. The two most common reasons that people give for having a weapon with them as they try to go through the checkpoint are that they either forgot that they had the weapon with them or someone else packed their bag for them and they did not realize that it was in there. Both reasons do not fly and passengers will still be held responsible for the weapon.

Criminal Charges

Whether you knew you had it or not, trying to bring a gun through an airport security checkpoint is a criminal offense. In Loudoun County it is a misdemeanor. If you are charged with this misdemeanor, it is important that you talk to a knowledgeable attorney about your options.

Contact Our Leesburg, Virginia Weapons Offense Attorneys

If you have been charged with a gun crime at the airport, or anywhere else, you need a knowledgeable attorney on your side to defend you against the charges. Our experienced weapons offense attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP in Leesburg, Virginia, helps clients in Loudoun County, Prince William County, and throughout Northern Virginia and can help you to get the legal assistance that you need.

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