CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Transportation Security Administration officers working at Charlotte Douglas International Airport stopped two North Carolina men with loaded handguns at the airport Tuesday.
According to TSA officials, officers have found a record number of guns at the airport in 2017. Tuesday's finds make the 59th and 60th guns found by TSA officers.
In 2016, officers found 54 guns at the Charlotte airport. There were 42 guns found in 2015, according to TSA records.
According to the TSA, a Charlotte man was stopped Tuesday morning with a loaded .45 caliber gun in the man's shoulder bag. There were five bullets in the gun. Tuesday afternoon, a Rockwell man was found with a loaded 9 mm in his attache - there were six bullets inside the weapon.
TSA officials say they don't believe the incidents were related.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers confiscated the guns, detained the men for questioning and cited each individual on a state weapons charge. Both men claimed that they forgot that they were carrying loaded guns with them, according to the TSA.
"If someone owns a firearm, they should know where it is at all times," said TSA's North Carolina Federal Security Director Kevin Frederick. "The TSA officers here at Charlotte are good at their jobs, as evidenced by these gun catches. However, we would rather that people pack their guns properly for travel or leave them home."
Individuals who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.