ARLINGTON, Va. (WJW) – A Virginia man traveling through Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport tried to blame his wife after security found a loaded gun in his bag, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

The man, who was not identified, was stopped on Sept. 21 after TSA officers at the D.C.-area airport detected a .22 caliber pistol during an X-ray of his carry-on.

Upon closer inspection, officers found the gun was loaded with five bullets.

“The man blamed his wife and told officials that she packed his carry-on bag and did not know that he already had his loaded gun inside,” the TSA wrote in a press release issued shortly after the incident.

The traveler claimed his wife packed the carry-on bag, according to the TSA. (Transportation Security Administration)

Law enforcement officials confiscated the weapon, and the traveler was cited.

The TSA, meanwhile, is hoping the incident will remind other travelers to be more conscious about what goes into their luggage.

“My advice is that when packing for a flight, to start with a completely empty bag, and all travelers must pack their own bag so that there are no surprises when someone gets to our checkpoint,” said John Busch, the TSA’s federal security director for the airport.

“There is no reasonable excuse for not knowing you are carrying an unsecured, loaded firearm in your bag,” Busch added. “It presents a danger to everyone around you. I urge all responsible gun owners to maintain awareness of where their firearms are stored.”

The man now faces a substantial fine of up to $15,000 for bringing the prohibited item through security. A representative for the TSA was not immediately available to confirm whether he was allowed to continue with his journey after the incident.

Passengers traveling through U.S. airports are allowed to transport guns only in checked baggage. The firearms must be unloaded and placed inside a hard-sided locked case, which must be declared at the check-in counter.