MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Transportation Security Administration discovered a loaded firearm at the Myrtle Beach International Airport checkpoint Tuesday evening.
According to TSA Regional Spokesperson Mark Howell, a loaded Smith & Wesson .380 caliber pistol was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag. TSA immediately alerted airport police, who took possession of the bag and arrested the passenger on state charges.
The passenger was charged with one count of carrying a concealable weapon into restricted places and was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 3:04 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The man was scheduled to fly Spirit Airlines to Atlantic City when the gun was discovered. He told police that his car was being worked on and because it had to be kept at the body shop, he took the loaded gun out of the car, placed it in his bag and forgot about it, according to the Horry County Police incident report.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” Howell. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
While firearms may be transported in checked baggage, provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded, they are prohibited in carry-on bags, explains Howell.
This is the first firearm discovered at the security checkpoint by TSA officers at MYR this year. A total of four were found at MYR in 2015, up from three in 2014, confirms Howell.
On February 29, all charges against the man were dropped, according to court documents from Horry County 15th Judicial Circuit Public Index.