- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Federal transportation officials say authorities found a loaded gun in a passenger’s carry-on bag at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

TSA spokesman Mark Howell said in a release that a Beretta .25-caliber handgun was found in the passenger’s bag at a security checkpoint Monday afternoon.

Howell says TSA immediately called police, confiscated the bag and escorted the traveler out of the checkpoint area.

Transportation officials say the gun is the 12th firearm to be found at a security checkpoint at the city’s airport this year. Howell says 18 were found at the airport in 2014.

Officials say firearms may be transported in checked bags but must be declared to the airline, stowed in a carrying case and unloaded.

Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags and violators could face criminal charges.

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