Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Nashville International Airport (BNA) discovered a loaded firearm in a passenger’s carry-on bag at a security checkpoint on the morning of October 3. The same firearm was detected again less than 30 minutes later at the same checkpoint.
At approximately 11:30 a.m., a loaded Glock 9mm handgun was found 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.
Following the interaction with local police, the passenger returned to the security checkpoint to complete screening. Officers found the same firearm, which was now unloaded, during screening of the passenger’s property. Airport police were again notified, interviewed the passenger and ensured the passenger did not have the firearm before he was screened a third time for his flight.
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.
Security is the first concern of the TSA, and traveling with a firearm in a carry-on bag is dangerous to other travelers and can be easily mistaken as an intentional attempt to bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft.
“Passengers must remember they’re responsible for the contents of bags and our advice is they thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport,” said Steve Wood, TSA Federal Security Director for Tennessee.
TSA officers at BNA security have detected 157 firearms at checkpoints in 2022. A total of 163 were detected there last year.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.