BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. - The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at a Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI) checkpoint today.
At approximately 6:30 a.m. this morning, a loaded .22 caliber 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 TSA. Having prohibited items in a carry-on bag 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 sixth firearm discovered at the security checkpoint by TSA officers at TRI in 2015. A total of four were found at TRI in calendar year 2014.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms.