TSA officers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport discovered a missile launcher in a man’s checked bag Monday morning.
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The Jacksonville, Texas, resident told officials that he was active military personnel traveling home from Kuwait, according to TSA officials.
During police questioning, the man said he wanted to keep the missile launcher as a souvenir.
Once officials determined the launcher was not a live device, the weapon was confiscated and turned over to the state fire marshal for disposal.
TSA officials told ABC News that the man was permitted to catch his flight, and did not face any further consequences.
TSA press officers used the detection of the missile launcher as a reminder to the public that weapons are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein joked that the man should have “picked up keychain instead.”
.@TSA officers at @BWI_Airport detected this missile launcher in a checked bag early this morning. Man said he was bringing it back from Kuwait as a souvenir. Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead! pic.twitter.com/AQ4VBPtViG
— TSAmedia_LisaF (@TSAmedia_LisaF) July 29, 2019
Also Monday, TSA officials at Pittsburgh International Airport say they discovered a handgun loaded with 14 bullets, including one in the chamber, in a traveler’s carry-on bag.
Police confiscated the firearm and detained the Pennsylvania man for questioning.
In a press release, TSA officials said it was the 23rd gun found by TSA at Pittsburgh International Airport so far this year.
In 2018, a total of 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the U.S., with an average of about 11.6 firearms per day, TSA officials said. Eighty-six percent of the firearms detected last year were loaded and a third of them had a bullet in the chamber, ready to fire.