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Anne Arundel County

Alarms sound, security screening paused at BWI for about 45 minutes Friday morning after replica firearm mix-up

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.

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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.”

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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.


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