Loaded gun at Charleston airport in bag discovered by TSA

The Transportation Security Administration discovered two loaded guns in separate incidents at Charleston International Airport's security checkpoint Monday. TSA/Provided

The Transportation Security Administration found two loaded firearms in separate incidents Monday at the Charleston International Airport security checkpoint.

Around 7 a.m., agents discovered a loaded Bersa .380-caliber handgun in a passenger’s carry-on bag.

At 1 p.m., a loaded Glock 9 mm handgun was found in a different passenger’s belongings.

In both instances TSA immediately alerted local law enforcement who took possession of the bags and escorted the passengers out of the checkpoint area.

While firearms may be transported in checked baggage — if they are declared to the airline, are in a proper carrying case and are unloaded — they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA regional spokesman. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

So far this year TSA officers have found seven firearms at the security checkpoint in Charleston's airport. In 2017, 11 total were found.

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA of up to $13,066 per violation per person.

For more information about items prohibited by the TSA, go to www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.