BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at a Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM) checkpoint today.
At approximately 5 a.m., a loaded Smith and Wesson .380 caliber pistol 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.
Security 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 cause harm on an aircraft.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell. “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 31st firearm discovered at security checkpoints by TSA officers at BHM in 2017. A total of 45 were found there in 2016.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.