- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - Transportation Security Administration officials say a loaded firearm has been found at the checkpoint at an airport in Alabama.

TSA regional spokesman Mark Howell told local news media Wednesday that officials discovered a loaded Ruger .22 caliber handgun in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Huntsville International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. Howell says this is the fourth firearm TSA officers have found at airport’s checkpoint this year.

Howell says officials took the handgun and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

Airport spokeswoman Jana Kuner says the passenger was not arrested and was able to fly.

Passengers who bring unauthorized firearms to an airport checkpoint face a civil penalty of up to $7,500 from TSA. It’s not illegal to fly with a firearm, but it must be placed in a proper carrying case and unloaded.

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