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2 guns, ammo found in carry-on luggage at Sea-Tac in 24 hours

Transportation Security Admin. photo shows firearms confiscated from carry-on luggage at U.S. airports in an average week.

SEATTLE - Two guns and dozens of rounds of ammunition were found in passengers' carry-on luggage in less than 24 hours during the earliest days of the new year at Sea-Tac Airport, the Transportation Security Administration reports.

TSA agents discovered the weapons Sunday and Monday during routine screening of carry-on baggage, said agency spokeswoman Lorie Dankers.

A TSA officer found the first firearm - an unloaded .380 caliber Bersa Thunder pistol - around 8:15 a.m. Sunday in the bag of a passenger ticketed for travel to Portland, Ore. In addition to the gun, the passenger also had 50 rounds of ammunition and two empty magazines in his carry-on bag.

The second gun - a .380 caliber Taurus TCP semi-automatic pistol loaded with six rounds of ammunition - was discovered Monday around 6 a.m. It was found in the carry-on of a passenger traveling to Nashville, Tenn.

In both instances, when the TSA officer saw the image of the firearm on the X-ray screen, Port of Seattle police were notified and responded to the security checkpoint. Both passengers were arrested and later released after being cited, Dankers said.

The two guns are the first firearms of 2018 discovered at Sea-Tac Airport. In 2017, TSA officers at Sea-Tac Airport discovered 78 guns in carry-on baggage.

Dankers said firearms, ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas of firearms are always prohibited in carry-on baggage. However, these items can be transported in checked baggage if the traveler declares them to the airline during the ticket counter check-in process.

Passengers who bring a dangerous weapon to an airport security checkpoint face local or state criminal charges. In addition, TSA reserves the right to levy a civil penalty of up to $9,800 for bringing a dangerous weapon like a firearm to the checkpoint.

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