- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ATLANTA (AP) - TSA officers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport intercepted 91 firearms in carry-on bags in the first half of 2016.

Regional spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration Mark J. Howell said in a news release Tuesday that a total of 144 firearms were discovered at security checkpoints in 2015.

Howell says nationwide through June 2016, TSA officers discovered 1,546 firearms in carry-on bags at security checkpoints compared to 2,653 firearms in carry-on bags in 2015.

Howell warns that travelers who bring firearms through checkpoints may be subject to criminal charges as well as civil penalties from the TSA.

He says weapons_including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition_are prohibited in carry-on bags. Those items must unloaded and properly packed in checked bags. Also, the transporting airline must be alerted to the firearm.

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