A loaded gun was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Augusta Regional Airport today.
The Transportation Security Administration discovered the .22-caliber revolver at a checkpoint about 10 a.m., according to an agency news release. TSA officers alerted the Richmond County Marshal’s Office, which took possession of the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
The passenger produced a valid Georgia weapons carry permit and was not charged, according to the Marshal’s Office.
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. The agency recommended that passengers thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
This is the fourth firearm discovered at security checkpoints by TSA officers at Augusta Regional in 2017. A total of seven were found there in 2016.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint may face civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,856 per violation per person and can result in higher penalties for repeated violations.
For more information about the TSA prohibited items visit http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm, or http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition.