Loaded Firearm Found in Carry-on Bag at Reno Airport

Photo provided by the TSA of the .38 caliber Smith & Wesson firearm and five rounds detected in the carry-on bag of a male passenger ticketed for travel to Phoenix on July 2, 2013.
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RENO, Nev. – The Transportation Security Administration found a loaded firearm in a carry-on bag at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport Tuesday.

The .38 caliber Smith & Wesson firearm was loaded with five rounds and put in a bag belonging to a ticketed passenger who was traveling to Phoenix.

The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Police Department cited the passenger on a state charge.

This is the second firearm TSA has discovered this year in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Reno’s airport.

Nationwide, since January 1, 2013, approximately 860 handguns have been found during routine screening of carry-ons at airports across the country, according to TSA.

TSA wants to remind all travelers that firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. These items can be transported in checked baggage provided the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.

Firearms in checked baggage must be unloaded and stored in a locked, hard-sided container. TSA urges passengers to contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms.

In addition to facing local or state criminal charges, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $7,500 for bringing a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint. Each penalty is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

TSA reminds passengers to be aware of the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint. TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage or not at all.