NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has intercepted more than 5,000 guns so far this year.
The agency said 94% of them were loaded at the time, and Nashville isn’t immune.
Getting to the airport is only half the battle. While most of the attention is on the passengers, TSA agents keep a close eye on the bags they are bringing through the security checkpoint.
“Typically they don’t even know it’s in the bag. They don’t remember that it’s in their bag. They say, ‘It’s my husband’s,’ or, ‘It’s my wife’s,’ or, ‘I didn’t completely check my bag when I was going through,’ and typically they forget it’s even in their property,” explained Darius Pearson, a TSA supervisor at Nashville International Airport.
Pearson is talking about firearms, which are mostly found at security.
“Definitely in their carry-ons, most of the time in their backpacks…sometimes they’re in suitcases,” he said.
They see them so often that in fact, when News 2 asked if it ever comes as a surprise, Pearson responded with a laugh, saying, “At this point, no. We get a lot of firearms, but we are great at detecting them.”
News 2 had a chance to see photos of all the guns TSA agents have stopped at BNA. Nationwide, the agency has intercepted more than 5,000 firearms at airport security checkpoints, even stating the current rate is on track to surpass last year.
At BNA, there have been 147 guns found so far, 14 of them in September.
“Place the firearm in here, magazine in here, hard case always. We will close it up, lock it. This will go in here, and make sure that it is locked on both sides,” Pearson encouraged passengers. “They are going to check your bag. Place it in your bag, and put it under the plane.”