Loaded gun found in luggage at MYR

Source: TSA
Source: TSA
Byron Preston David (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Byron Preston David (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - There are several things the Transportation Security Administration forbids travelers to carry in their luggage, including knives, large bottles of liquids, and other sharp objects.

And you definitely cannot walk through the security check point with a loaded firearm. But that's what security officers encountered at Myrtle Beach International Airport on Thursday.

According to TSA spokesman Jon Allen, a security officer discovered a loaded .22 caliber revolver in a carry-on bag just after 8 a.m. Thursday morning.

The passenger that gun belonged to, 30-year-old Byron Preston David of Conway, was arrested by Horry County Police and charged with a weapons law violation for carrying a gun in restricted places.

During a bond hearing Thursday, David was given a $1,000 personal recognizance bond.

David was attempting to board a plane, Allen details, but after the discovery, he and his bag were referred to law enforcement.

In addition to criminal charges, Allen says David will be fined a civil charge by the TSA, and that amount could be as high as $7,500.

Several MYR travelers said they were shocked to hear someone would try to carry a loaded gun onto an airplane.

"We do have the right to bear arms, but as they say in the day and age that we live in, people should be a lot more aware of what they're carrying and they should know where their gun is at all times," Cynthia Brown said.

"It's still wrong whether it's an accident or it isn't, and it's a good thing they caught him," Robert Rowe said.

"He's an idiot for even having it in his luggage," Heather Deel said.

Allen further explains that in 2012, there were three firearms discovered in the luggage of passengers traveling through the airport in Myrtle Beach. The gun found on Jan. 17 is the first for 2013.

Though firearms are listed as prohibited items to be included in your carry-on luggage, Allen says the TSA continues to see an increased number of firearms at checkpoints in airports nationwide, with 1543 found in 2012 alone.

The TSA continues to remind passengers of the importance of knowing what's in your bag, insisting that all situations could be avoided. Allen continues that people can travel with firearms in their checked bags, but that comes with some requirements. Under no circumstances can someone travel with a firearm that they would have access to while on board a flight.

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