NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Gun after gun, day after day, detected by Transportation Security Administration agents at Nashville International Airport.
“It is a serious concern,” explained Federal Security Director, Stephen Wood.
So far this year, 87 weapons have been discovered at BNA which is just shy of the 94 discovered in all of 2020 and the 96 detected in 2019.
“In the next two weeks,” Wood warned, “we’ll surpass last year’s [number] based on the rate we’re seeing.”
TSA agents at the security checkpoint detected 25 guns in July alone. The most ever for any month at BNA. And, most were loaded Wood says.
“Over 80% of the firearms we see at the checkpoint are loaded. Many of those have rounds chambered.”
Wood contributes the rise in weapons to two factors — more inexperienced travels taking to the skies and new laws.
“With the change in the law to be an open carry, constitution carry, type state, more people probably have the firearm with them when they travel and forget that it’s in their bag.”
While the mistake is often unintentional, it still worries this Nashvillian.
“But that one time it might happen when somebody gets on with it and causes a problem,” said Claudine Stuart.
Which is front of mind for the TSA agents who screened roughly 720,000 BNA travelers in July.
“I commend them, and I hope they find them all,” Stuart continued.
Offenders face a penalty of up to $10,000. There is a way to legally travel with a firearm from BNA.
First, declare you have a weapon. It must be unloaded and stored in a locked hard-sided case in your checked luggage. And, be sure to check the gun laws at your final destination.