A loaded firearm was found Thursday morning at the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport.
At about 6 a.m., the loaded .22-caliber handgun was discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag, according to a news release from the Transportation Security Administration.
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, the release states.
TSA officials said it's important for passengers to thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport.
"Security is the primary 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" the release states."
Mark Howell, TSA regional spokesman said passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint.
"Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items," he said.
This is the seventh firearm discovered by TSA officers at the airport security checkpoint in 2018. A total of 14 were found there last year.
Just last month, TSA officials hosted a news conference at the airport to remind people about the proper ways to travel with a firearm.
Air travel firearm, ammunition tips
Traveling with firearms
* Declare each firearm when checking baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply.
* Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only.
* Only the passenger should retain the key or combination to the lock.
* Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins, are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage. Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only.
* Rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.
Traveling with ammunition
* Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but may be transported in checked baggage.
* Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.
* Small arms ammunition, including ammunition not exceeding .75 caliber and shotgun shells of any gauge, may be carried in the same hard-sided case as the firearm.
Source: Transportation Security Administration