We all have our forgetful moments when traveling — the misplaced shampoo, the left-behind toothbrush, the unpacked bathing suit. But three people flying out of BWI this past week each had a different issue: Each forgot to mention they had stashed away a loaded handgun.

TSA officers stopped them on Thursday, Sunday and Monday. Only one of them, a man from Gwynn Oak bound for Las Vegas, was from Maryland, while the other two were from Delaware.

The Gwynn Oak man was first. TSA officers found him with a loaded .38 caliber handgun holding five bullets. The man said the gun wasn’t his. Three days later, officers spotted a .22 caliber handgun holding six rounds in the bag of a Millsboro, Del., man headed to Toronto. He told officers he forgot he was carrying the gun. In the third case, TSA officers again found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun in a handbag belonging to a woman from Smyrna, Del. The gun had six bullets, one which was in the chamber. The woman told officers she must have missed the hidden pistol when she was cleaning out her bag.

All three were arrested on state weapons charges. A TSA spokesperson said the agency doesn’t think the cases are related.

Unloaded, properly packed guns are in fact permitted in checked luggage if declared to the airline. However, it’s still very illegal to bring a loaded firearm in a carry-on bag onto a plane. In case you’re in need of a refresher on the rules for bringing guns on flights, TSA has that information here.

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Ethan McLeod

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...