ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) – A small handgun was confiscated from the security checkpoint at McGhee-Tyson Airport early Monday morning.
TSA agents detected a .22 caliber handgun in a passenger’s carry-on bag around 8:30 a.m. TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
“Even with lower than normal passenger numbers, we continue to find firearms at a very high rate at security checkpoints,” said Steve Wood, TSA Federal Security Director for Tennessee. “Passengers must remember they’re responsible for the contents of bags and our advice is they thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport.”
This is the fifth firearm detected by TSA officers at TYS security checkpoints this year. A total of seven were found there in 2020.
Firearms may be transported in checked baggage if they are declared to the airline, stored in a proper carrying case and unloaded. All firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.