CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport checkpoint Thursday morning.
According to officials, a loaded Kel-Tec .22 caliber handgun 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.
This is the second time this has happened this week. On Monday, TSA officers found a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm in a passenger’s carry-on bag.
Firearms may be transported in checked baggage, but they are prohibited in carry-on bags.
Mark Howell, the TSA Regional Spokesperson, says having these items in carry-on bags 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,” Howell said. “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 seventh firearm discovered by TSA officers at the CHA security checkpoint in 2018. A total of 14 were found there last year.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.