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A 9 mm Ruger, was detected around 5:30 a.m. in a passenger's carry-on bag by Transportation Security Administration officials at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.

Airport officials say a loaded handgun was found at a security checkpoint early Wednesday morning.

The weapon, a 9 mm Ruger, was detected around 5:30 a.m. in a passenger's carry-on bag by Transportation Security Administration officials at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport, according to a TSA news release.

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

It's the third time this year a firearm has been found at the airport, the release states. Nine were found last year.

TSA said firearms can be transported as checked luggage but must be declared to the airline and unloaded. Guns are never permitted in carry-on luggage.

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