Loaded firearm discovered at Memphis International Airport checkpoint, TSA says

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The TSA discovered a loaded firearm at a Memphis International Airport checkpoint Tuesday morning. 

At approximately 6 a.m., a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun with a loaded magazine was detected in a passenger’s carry-on bag, according to a release from the Transportation Security Administration.

It was the 25th firearm detected by TSA officers at MEM security checkpoints in 2020. A total of 46 were found last year.

The TSA alerted airport police, who took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

According to the TSA, 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 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 bring a prohibited item onto an aircraft. 

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Kevin McCarthy, Assistant Federal Security Director at MEM. “Our advice is to thoroughly inspect all personal belongings to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items before coming to the airport.”