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TSA discovers loaded firearm at TYS checkpoint

ALCOA, Tenn. – The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at the McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS) checkpoint this morning. 

At approximately 9:30 a.m., a loaded Ruger .380 caliber firearm was detected 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.

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 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.

This is the 16th firearm detected by TSA officers at the TYS security checkpoint in 2022. A total of 21 were detected there last year.

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

For more information about TSA prohibited items, please follow these links:


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