ALCOA, Tenn. - The Transportation Security Administration discovered a firearm at the McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) checkpoint today.
At approximately 9:30 a.m., an unloaded .38 caliber pistol was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the firearm and cited the passenger on a state charge.
While firearms may be transported in checked baggage (provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded), they are prohibited in carry-on bags.
TSA would like to remind passengers that it is important for them to thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport.
Safety is the first concern of TSA, and having these items in bags that are traveling with you on the aircraft is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA regional spokesperson. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
This is the 16th firearm discovered at the security checkpoint by TSA officers at TYS in 2017, matching the total found at TYS last year.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms.