Alarms blared at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport early Friday morning and security screening was paused for about 45 minutes, after a passenger passed through security and on to his gate with a replica firearm, officials say.
Transportation Security Administration officials at the airport’s Checkpoint B sounded the alarm at 4:40 a.m., after the passenger retrieved his bag from the scanner — which had been flagged for additional inspection — before it could be checked, said R. Carter Langston, a spokesman for TSA, in an email. The passenger then proceeded to his gate with the bag, he said.
Officers found the man at his gate, and he was detained for questioning. Ultimately, officials determined the man was a retired law enforcement officer, and he was released, Langston said.
“He was released and missed his flight. He must rebook a flight for another time,” Langston said. “Replica firearms are prohibited items in carry on bags. He will have to travel with that in checked baggage.”
Cpl. Brady McCormick, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, said it was a “training item,” and there was a “miscommunication” about whether the passenger should bring it to the secure side of the airport.