Local Safety Alert: Growing Number of Firearms Discoveries at Memphis Airport

Local News

     The Summer travel season is winding down.
     From May to September, traffic is busy at Memphis International.
     With more passengers, for the Fong family, the name of the game: stick to the basics. 
     That means pack light. arrive early to avoid delays. 


“I tend to not travel with jewelry anymore,” said Evid Fong, departing Memphis International. “I try to take shoes I can easily take off.” 

     During this time of year, infrequent travelers unfamiliar with airport ins and outs meet their first roadblock at the security checkpoint.


“I think, first of all, people need to be prepared to travel,” said Kevin McCarthy, the Assistant Federal Security Director for TSA at the airport.

    TSA officials believe airport security, including what you can and cannot bring starts at home.
    However, people forget.
     
     Nearly five thousand pounds of potential hazards were collected since October, but it’s the number of firearms discovered that’s most troubling.   
     Twenty-seven firearm discoveries at Memphis International so far this year.
     Number 27 happened days after our interview with McCarthy.


“I forgot is the most common response, or I didn’t know it was there,” said McCarthy.

     It’s not every day someone brings a gun to the checkpoint here, but we found out it’s happening more often. We’re already tied for the number of firearm discoveries for all of last year, and it’s likely to exceed the number found at checkpoints three of the last four years. 
     Bottom line: travel smart.

“Doing a once-over in the bag before going to the airport, and make sure they are all packed and no weapons or prohibited items in them,” said McCarthy.
     
     Unloaded firearms in a proper carrying case may be in a checked baggage, but you must declare it with your airline.

     To reclaim lost or abandoned property like computer equipment, smartphones and other items call TSA at 901-348-5400.
     If an item is lost in a common area, call 901-922-8298.
     If an item is lost on an airline, call the air carrier directly. 

TSA Travel websites: 
Traveling with Guns:
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/transporting-firearms-and-ammunition
Traveling Tips
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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