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Major airlines temporarily ban guns in checked baggage for D.C. flights

Starting Saturday through Jan 23, most airlines will prohibit the transport of firearms to Washington in response to violent threats.

Updated: January 15, 2021 - 3:24pm

Delta Air Lines said Thursday it will prohibit the transport of firearms in checked luggage on all flights to the Washington, D.C. area from this weekend through Jan. 23. The move follows similar ones by other major airlines including Alaska, American, Frontier, Southwest and United.

With the concern for violence in the days leading to the Jan. 20 Inauguration Day and thereafter, 20,000 National Guard members will patrol the Capitol area in an effort to keep peace. The major airline companies that have decided to join in on the effort say that they are on 'high alert' with the recent events.

Federal law allows guns and ammunition in checked baggage, as long as the weapon is unloaded and in a hard, locked case. Airline companies do have the authority to ban the transportation of guns, and the recent decision shows the airlines seemingly working together to put a temporary ban in place.

Other measures based on airline companies will also be implemented, like American announcing their temporary halt of alcohol services on flights to and from the Washington area.

Reagan National and Dulles International airports are expected to see more police presence, said Micah Lillard, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Spirit and JetBlue have not released any statements joining in on the temporary gun ban.

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