Man arrested at airport was trying to get on plane with loaded gun, TSA says

CNN Wire Service

WASHINGTON — A 60-year-old man attempting to fly from Baltimore to Tampa, Florida, this weekend is facing charges for attempting to board a plane with a loaded gun, the Transportation Security Administration says.

The incident happened Sunday morning at Baltimore/Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport when a TSA officer spotted the weapon in the passenger’s carry-on bag, the TSA said.

Security officials alerted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police after finding the 9 mm Glock 17 loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition and one bullet in the chamber. The Palm Harbor, Florida, man was also allegedly carrying two additional magazines, each loaded with 10 rounds, the TSA said.

Police confiscated the weapon and ammunition and arrested Michael Menlo Smith on two handgun charges.

A TSA official said Smith was ticketed on a Southwest Airlines flight and told authorities he forgot the gun was in his bag.

“If someone owns a gun, they should know where it is at all times — especially if it is loaded and a bullet is in the chamber,” the TSA official said.

Smith did not possess a concealed weapon permit, the official added.

The TSA said there was no impact to airport operations from the incident.

“Weapons are not permitted in carry-on baggage,” the TSA said in a news release. “Some weapons are permitted to be transported in checked baggage, but passengers should check with the airlines and local laws before doing so.”

The TSA said it stopped more than 125,000 prohibited items at airport checkpoints last year, including 1,300 firearms.