The Transportation Security Administration found loaded firearms at security checkpoints in every major airport in Tennessee in a one-week period, a news release states.
On April 20 a loaded Ruger .380 was found at Memphis International Airport, and the same day a loaded Smith & Wesson .380 was found at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport. On the following Monday, a North American Arms .22 caliber revolver was found at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, a Taurus .45 caliber revolver was found at Tri-Cities Regional Airport, and a loaded Beretta .25 caliber pistol was found at Nashville International Airport.
Also, two firearms (a loaded Glock 33 and a Smith & Wesson .38 Special) were found in a passenger's carry-on bag at Nashville International Airport on Tuesday, the news release said.
In each incident, TSA personnel immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the bags.
Firearms may be transported in checked baggage if they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded, but they are prohibited in carry-on bags.
"Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint," said Mark J. Howell, TSA regional spokesman. "Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items."
Through March 31, TSA officers have found 555 firearms at checkpoints across the U.S. A total of 2,213 were discovered in 2014.