BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) checkpoint this morning.
At approximately 5 a.m., a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
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 the 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 13th firearm discovered by TSA officers at the BHM security checkpoint in 2018. A total of 50 were found last year.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.