NASHVILLE – With the discovery of a loaded firearm at a Nashville International Airport (BNA) checkpoint Sunday morning, the Transportation Security Administration matched the number of firearms discovered at the airport in calendar year 2014.
At approximately 9 a.m. CDT yesterday, a loaded Kel-Tec P-3AT handgun was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag. TSA immediately alerted airport police, which took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
The firearm was the 48th discovered at the security checkpoint by TSA officers at BNA in 2015, matching the total found at BNA in calendar year 2014.
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 TSA’s first concern, 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 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.”
The number of firearms at checkpoints is on the rise nationwide. Last year, a record 2,212 firearms were discovered at U.S. airport checkpoints. TSA officers nationwide have found more than 1,900 already in 2015, including a record-breaking 67 in one week in early September.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA. For more information about traveling with firearms, please see our prohibited items list and traveling with firearms page.