CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration officers prevented three travelers from bringing loaded handguns onboard planes at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) checkpoints yesterday. The three incidents are not believed to be related.
The first incident occurred just after 6:30 a.m. at Checkpoint D, the second at Checkpoint B just after 10 a.m. and the third at 9 p.m. at Checkpoint C.
TSA officers detected the guns and ammunition as the travelers were passing through the airport checkpoints. The TSA officers who were staffing the checkpoints' X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the travelers' carry-on bags. TSA officers immediately contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which responded to the checkpoints. The passengers were questioned and arrested on a local charge of carrying a firearm on airport property.
To date, TSA officers have detected 12 firearms at CLT checkpoints this year. TSA found 53 firearms at CLT last year.
There is a right way to travel with a firearm and a wrong way. The wrong way is to bring it to a checkpoint. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the firearm must be taken to the airline check-in counter.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm on tsa.gov. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition so travelers should contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.
TSA screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.