MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A passenger was escorted out of the Memphis International Airport after a loaded gun was found at a security check-point Thursday.
Officials said they found the loaded firearm around 5:30 a.m. The loaded DB 9mm handgun was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
TSA alerted airport police who took possession of the bag.
Fifteen firearms have been found at Memphis International so far this year, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). That’s the same number of firearms found by TSA agents at Nashville International, which has about four times as many passengers.
Nine handguns handguns have been found at MEM so far in February.
The TSA told the Investigators that 46 firearms were found at the airport last year and this year is set to surpass last year’s number.
TSA agents also find an average of 400 pounds of prohibited items at Memphis International each month, including weapons, oversized liquids and explosives.
Firearms can be transmitted in checked baggage if they are unloaded, in a proper carrying case, and declared to by the airline. However, they are prohibited in carry-on bags.
“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.”
Passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint could get civil penalties from TSA and possibly face criminal charges.
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