TSA discovers loaded firearms at all major Tennessee airports in one week

Local Press Release
Monday, September 21, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the span of a week (September 13-20), the Transportation Security Administration discovered eight loaded firearms at security checkpoints in Tennessee, including at least one in every major airport in the state.

Nashville International Airport (BNA)

  • 9/14/2020; loaded Sig Sauer .380 caliber
  • 9/17/2020; loaded Sig Sauer .380 caliber
  • 9/17/2020; loaded North American Arms Derringer .22 caliber
  • 9/18/2020; loaded Ruger 9mm

Memphis International Airport (MEM)

  • 9/18/2020; loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm

McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS)

  • 9/20/2020; loaded Smith & Wesson .40 caliber

Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA)

  • 9/18/2020; loaded Glock .380 caliber

Tri-Cities Airport (TRI)

  • 9/17/2020; loaded Ruger 9mm

In each instance, TSA officers notified local enforcement partners, who removed the firearms and passengers from the checkpoint area.

Firearms are prohibited in carry-on baggage.They may be transported in checked baggage, provided they are declared to the airline, locked in a proper carrying case and unloaded.

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 Steve Wood, TSA Federal Security Director for Tennessee. “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.”

TSA officers have detected 106 firearms at Tennessee airports year to date in 2020. A total of 139 were detected across the state 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: