Nashville, TN - Recent data released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sheds light on the number of firearms discovered in carry-on luggage at Tennessee airports during the first half of 2023. While the overall trend shows a slight decline in firearm seizures compared to the previous year, there are notable variations among specific airports in the state.
According to TSA's report, a total of 157 firearms were found in passengers' carry-on luggage across Tennessee's airports in the first half of 2023. This number reflects a slight decrease from the 160 firearms discovered during the same period in the previous year.
Among the airports in Tennessee, BNA (Nashville International Airport) and Tri-Cities were exceptions to the statewide decline. Nashville's BNA airport experienced an increase in the number of firearms found, with 101 firearms discovered in 2023 compared to 92 in 2022.
On the other hand, Tri-Cities also witnessed an increase in firearm seizures, while Memphis, Chattanooga, and McGhee Tyson airports reported notable decreases in the number of firearms discovered.
All recovered firearms were detected during routine carry-on screening at airport security checkpoints. Upon spotting a firearm, the TSA immediately notifies airport law enforcement, who then take appropriate action by removing the firearm from the luggage and contacting the owner.
Travelers found with firearms in their carry-on luggage may face criminal citations and civil penalties on a case-by-case basis. It's essential to note that even travelers with concealed carry permits are not permitted to carry firearms in their carry-on luggage.
For travelers seeking to ensure compliance with TSA regulations, it is advisable to visit the TSA website's "What Can I Bring?" page for comprehensive information on items permitted and prohibited in luggage.
As TSA continues to enhance security measures, it remains vital for travelers to be aware of firearms regulations and safety guidelines when flying. While the overall trend shows a decline in firearm seizures, the variations among Tennessee airports indicate the importance of responsible firearm ownership and adherence to airport security protocols. Travelers can play a significant role in ensuring the safety of air travel by staying informed and following TSA guidelines.