TSA discovers loaded firearm at Memphis International Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at a Memphis International Airport (MEM) checkpoint this morning. 

At approximately 6 a.m., a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun with a loaded magazine was detected 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.

Security 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 Kevin McCarthy, Assistant Federal Security Director at MEM. “Our advice is to thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport.”

This is the 25th firearm detected by TSA officers at MEM security checkpoints in 2020. A total of 46 were detected there last year.

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/civil-enforcement

For more information about TSA prohibited items, please follow these links: