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BWI employee cited after bringing stun gun to airport

A Baltimore woman who works at a coffee shop in BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport was cited on a state weapons charge Tuesday after she was stopped with a stun gun at an airport security checkpoint, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

Quinnaya Janel Heard, 19, was on her way to work at about 5 a.m. when TSA agents at the checkpoint detected the weapon among her belongings, the TSA and Maryland Transportation Authority Police said Wednesday.

The agents confiscated the stun gun and alerted the MdTA Police, whose officers responded and cited Heard on a state weapons charge.

The incident did not affect airport operations, the TSA said.

Heard could not be reached for comment.

First Sgt. Jonathan Green, a MdTA Police spokesman, said the charge was for bringing a weapon to a restricted airport area, and carries a maximum sentence of 90 days behind bars or a $500 fine.

Stun guns have appeared in passengers' carry-on bags at security checkpoints at BWI in the past, often because of forgetfulness or a misunderstanding of local weapons laws, said Lisa Farbstein, a TSA spokeswoman.

However, such a weapon being found on an airport employee is less common, she said.

"I would think that airport employees would have a high awareness of the weapons laws. In this case, apparently not," Farbstein said. "It is that much more surprising when we see airport employees make these sorts of egregious decisions."

In another case in May, a shop employee at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport was arrested there after being caught with a loaded gun as she attempted to pass through a security checkpoint, the TSA said.

krector@baltsun.com

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