The Transportation Security Administration discovered a firearm at a security checkpoint at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport on Monday.
At approximately 7:15 a.m. Monday, an unloaded 9mm Ruger was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
Airport police were alerted and responded to the incident.
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 officials reminded 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. Officials said, "Safety is the first concern of the TSA, 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 carry a prohibited item onto an aircraft."
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA spokesman. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
TSA officers at CHA have discovered five firearms in passenger carry-on bags in 2014. A total of six firearms were found at CHA checkpoints in 2013.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.
For more information about the TSA prohibited items, follow this link: http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.