TSA discovers loaded firearm at Memphis International Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Friday, September 18, 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 9mm 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.

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. 

“Even with much lower than normal passenger numbers, we continue to find firearms at a very high rate at security checkpoints,” said Kevin McCarthy, TSA Assistant Federal Security Director for MEM. “Passengers must remember they’re responsible for the contents of bags and our advice is they thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport.”

This is the 36th 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: