The Transportation Security Administration says it prevented two men from boarding planes in Charlotte while carrying loaded guns on Thursday morning.
Investigators believe the two arrests at Charlotte Douglas International Airport checkpoints were not related, as far as a coordinated attempt to breach security.
The first incident occurred just after 6 a.m. at Checkpoint D and the second at Checkpoint A just after 6:30 a.m.
TSA officers detected the guns and ammunition as the men were passing through the airport checkpoints. The names of the men arrested were not released.
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Officers staffing the checkpoint’s X-ray machines detected the firearms as they passed along the conveyor belt inside the men’s carry-on bags. TSA officers immediately contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, which responded to the checkpoints. The passengers were questioned and arrested on a local charge of carrying a firearm on airport property.
To date, TSA officers have detected nine firearms at CLT checkpoints this year. TSA found 53 firearms at Charlotte Douglas last year.
Investigators did not release the identities of the men or an explanation of why they were trying to board planes with the guns.
Bringing guns to an airport checkpoint is illegal. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed in a hard-side case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Then the firearm must be taken to the airline check-in counter.
The Transportation Security Administration screens approximately 2 million passengers and their luggage every day for prohibited items, including weapons and explosives. To do this, TSA uses imaging technology to safely screen passengers for any items which may be concealed under clothing, while X-ray units screen all carry-on baggage.