ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a passenger from bringing a loaded handgun on board a plane at a Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) checkpoint.
The incident occurred this morning just after 6 a.m. The passenger was stopped by TSA officers with a loaded .40 caliber handgun.
The TSA officer detected the firearm as the passenger’s carry-on bag passed along the conveyor belt in the checkpoint X-ray machine. The officer immediately contacted local law enforcement, which responded to the checkpoint. The passenger was questioned and local law enforcement took possession of the firearm.
To date, TSA officers have detected 10 firearms at AVL checkpoints this year. TSA found five firearms at AVL 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.
The Transportation Security Administration 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.