TAMPA ó Transportation Security Administration screeners discovered three loaded pistols in two different carry-on bags at Tampa International Airport Monday morning, authorities said.
About 5 a.m., the TSA found a loaded Smith & Wesson .40-caliber and a loaded Sig Sauer .40-caliber in a passengerís bag.
Later, at 7:30 a.m., screeners found a loaded Glock .380-caliber handgun in a second passengerís carry-on bag.
Both times, TSA security called airport police who took possession of the bags and escorted the passengers out of the checkpoint area.
"Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint," TSA spokesman Mark Howell said in announcing the finds. "Look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items."
The discoveries come almost exactly a year after the day in 2017 when screeners found four loaded guns at TSA checkpoints.
Firearms can be transported in checked baggage, but only if they are declared to the airline, stored in a proper carrying case and unloaded. They are prohibited in carry-on bags, and passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties and potential criminal charges.
Last year, TSA officers found 97 handguns at security checkpoints.
So far this year, they have found 24 guns.
Contact Richard Danielson at [email protected] or (813) 226-3403. Follow @Danielson_Times