MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Security officers at Tennessee's five largest airports found 162 guns in carry-on luggage in 2020, a decrease of only 19 incidents from the year before despite a significant drop-off of airline passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
Nashville International Airport, McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville and Tri-Cities Airport in Blountville saw decreases in the number of guns found in carry-on baggage, while Memphis International Airport and Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport saw increases, the Transportation Security Administration said in a news release.
TSA screened nearly 5.7 million departing travelers at the five commercial airports, about 44% of the total screened in 2019, the federal agency said.
Travelers face criminal and civil penalties for bringing firearms to a security checkpoint. Guns can be transported on a commercial aircraft only if they are unloaded, packed in a locked, hard-sided case and placed in checked baggage, the TSA said.