Officials: Airport security found loaded gun in man's carry-on bag

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A man is accused of trying to take a loaded gun onto a plane at Charlotte-Douglas airport, according to officials.

Transportation Security Administration officers found a gun in a passenger's carry-on bag when the passenger was going through security. Officials said there were bullets in the gun.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrested Bakari Blunt, 18, of Charleston, S.C., and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon, which is a misdemeanor.

"I'm not sure why anyone would think that's OK," said Chad Leeper of Dallas.

"It's concerning they're actually finding it," said Anongsack Panemaleython of Alaska.

TSA officials said it is the 16th firearm found at security checkpoints at the Charlotte airport in 2012. Fifteen were found in 2011.

TSA officials said the number of guns found is on track nationwide to exceed last year's total of 1,320.

Three guns were found in carry-on bags Monday in Atlanta, according to TSA officials.

The TSA said it found three guns in separate bags in a two-hour period.

"That would definitely concern me. I fly quite a bit," Leeper said.

Travelers said it's not fun to go through security -- but especially now -- they're glad it's there.

"It does make me feel safe to fly knowing they are catching these people before they get that far to fly. I just hope they are doing something about it," said Sharon Chaaban of Troutman.

The man in this most recent case is due in court Jan. 18. The TSA said, besides criminal charges, those who bring firearms to the checkpoint often also face civil penalties from the TSA.