BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that a loaded gun was found in a passenger's bag at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
The Luger 9 millimeter pistol was discovered in a carry-on bag around 5:45 a.m. on Thursday.
TSA called police, who took the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.
TSA says 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.
"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 first firearm discovered at a security checkpoint by TSA officers at the Birmingham Airport this year.
A total of 24 were found at the Birmingham Airport in 2015, up from 18 in 2014.
In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA.