Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Loaded pistol found in carry-on bag at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (KBHM) for 31st time this year

Another loaded gun was found early Tuesday inside a passenger's carry-on bag at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

TSA Regional spokesman Mark Howell said the Smith and Wesson .380-caliber pistol was discovered about 5 a.m. TSA immediately alerted police at the airport, who took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area. It wasn't immediately known whether any arrests were made.

The discovery was the 31st time a gun was found at security checkpoints by TSA officers in Birmingham so far this year. Last year, a total of 45 firearms were found at the checkpoint.

Howell said TSA wants to remind 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. While guns may be transported in checked baggage - they must be declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded - they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

Safety is the first concern of TSA, he said, having guns 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," 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."

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.

Story and comments ➤ http://www.al.com

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