Gun Seized at the Chattanooga Airport

Early Monday morning TSA at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport discovered a loaded firearm at the security checkpoint.

The gun was found in the person’s carry-on bag.

This marks the 4th firearm found this year at the Chattanooga Airport.

TSA said they notified law enforcement immediately after the weapon was discovered.

They also said most of the time when weapons are found at the check point, there is usually never any intent to do any harm.

Transportation Security Administration Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell discovered a loaded Glock .45 caliber handgun in a passengers carry-on bag.

“The first thing we’re going to do is hit an alarm and the first thing that happens is the local law enforcement will respond to it and they’ll remove the firearm and the person outside of the checkpoint area.”

The Chattanooga airport has several signs informing passengers before they walk through the check point about prohibited items.

“About 80% of the cases, the firearms are loaded so for everyone’s safety they take them out of the checkpoint before they make a determination that they’re going to cite or arrest”, said Howell.

TSA said there is civil penalty that can go up to $7500 for bringing a firearm through an airport checkpoint.

There were a total of 10 firearms seized in 2015.

However there were thousands of guns seized across the country.

“In 2014 we had a total of 2212 guns nationwide. That number went up to over 2600 last year  in 2015,” said Howell.

Airport passenger Liga Richelson said  they still feel safe despite those numbers.

“I’m glad that the Chattanooga Airport was able to resolve the problem before the passenger went all the way to the gate. I feel super comfortable at airports so I’m really glad that we have really good security.”

“The TSA doesn’t want to infringe on anyone’s right to carry a firearm when they travel we just want them  to do it in a safe way. And the safe way is having it inaccessible during the flight.”

News 12 reached out to airport police about whether or not an arrest or citation was given to the person who had that firearm in their carry-on bag.

They declined to comment.

For a full list of the TSA rules click here.

Categories: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Local News