A loaded Glock 27 handgun was discovered by the Transportation Security Administration in the carry-on luggage of a passenger flying out of Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport early Saturday morning.
The Glock 27, along with 10 rounds – one of which was chambered – is the fifth weapon to be discovered in carry-on luggage at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport this calendar year, authorities said.
Airport police were alerted, took possession of the bag and issued a citation to the passenger.
A TSA official said, "Individuals who bring firearms to security checkpoints are referred to law enforcement and are subject to criminal penalties. TSA has the ability to impose a civil penalty. Fines can range from $250 up to $11,000 for a single civil penalty for firearms brought to a security checkpoint. TSA has intercepted firearms and other dangerous weapons at security checkpoints nationwide, with an average of 30 firearms per week in 2012. As of September of this year, TSA has detected 1,343 firearms at checkpoints across the nation.
"TSA screens approximately 1.8 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while Advanced Technology (AT) X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage. TSA takes the discovery of prohibited items seriously and urges all passengers to check the contents of their bags before leaving home to ensure they are not bringing any prohibited items to the airport — including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition. Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline."