ALCOA, Tenn. (WATE) — The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm in a passenger’s carry-on bag at a McGhee Tyson Airport checkpoint Monday.
Around 6:30 a.m. the Springfield .40 caliber handgun with a loaded magazine was detected. TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
The handgun is the sixth firearm detected by TSA officers at TYS security checkpoints this year. A total of 26 were found there last year.
“Even with much lower than normal passenger numbers, we continue to find firearms at a very high rate at security checkpoints,” Steve Wood, TSA Federal Security Director for Tennessee, said. “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.”
Firearms can be transported on planes provided they are declared to the airline, put in checked baggage, and secured 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.
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