CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a South Carolina man from bringing a loaded handgun onboard a plane at a Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) checkpoint.
The incident occurred this morning at Checkpoint C. The man was stopped by TSA officers with a loaded Smith and Wesson M&P 9 mm handgun.
TSA officer Scharron Zygowicz detected the firearm as the man’s carry-on bag passed along the conveyor belt in the checkpoint X-ray machine. Zygowicz immediately contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which responded to the checkpoint. The passenger was questioned and cited on a local charge of carrying a weapon on airport property.
To date, TSA officers have detected 36 firearms at CLT checkpoints this year. TSA found 68 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’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. 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.