The number of firearms found at security checkpoints at Nashville International Airport in 2016 has officially surpassed the number discovered in 2015.
Those with the Transportation Security Administration said they’ve discovered 60 firearms at BNA security checkpoints as of Thursday.
That number surpassed the total of 59 for 2015.
Officials confirmed an unloaded Ruger LCP .380 firearm and ammunition were found in a carry-on bag around 9 a.m. Thursday.
Authorities said airport police were alerted, the bag was taken into possession, and the passenger was charged.
Reports stated this increase in firearms wasn’t specific to Nashville, as the national total has also gone up.
Through September 2016, 2,462 guns have been found nationwide.
A total of 2,653 firearms were found at checkpoints in the nation in 2015, which was up from 2,212 in 2014.
"You have more people travelling than ever before and more people nationwide carrying firearms. So more guns, and more travelers equals more guns at airports," said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. "We're really trying to put an exclamation point on checking your bags before you come to the airport, that's really going to save yourself some hassle, potential criminal action."
Firearms can be placed in checked baggage as long as they are declared to the airline and placed, unloaded, in a proper carrying case.
“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Howell. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”
Authorities said besides potential criminal charges, those who have firearms at the security checkpoint also face civil penalties from the TSA.