Passenger arrested at Myrtle Beach Airport after loaded gun found in bag

Passenger arrested at Myrtle Beach Airport after loaded gun found in bag
Jeffrey Forte. Source: JRLDC
Jeffrey Forte. Source: JRLDC

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A loaded handgun was found in a passenger's carry-on bag at the Myrtle Beach International Airport Tuesday night; that passenger was arrested on state charges, according to a news release from the TSA.

At about 7:30 p.m., the Smith & Wesson  .380 caliber pistol was discovered in the passenger's bag at the security checkpoint, the release states. TSA immediately alerted police, who took possession of the bag and arrested the passenger.

The passenger was identified as 46-year-old Jeffrey Joseph Forte of Charleston. He was arrested on a weapons possession charge and booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to jail records. He was given a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Forte told police at the airport that he removed the gun from his car while it was being worked on at the shop, placed it in his bad, and forgotten about it, according to the Myrtle Beach Police report.

While firearms are permitted to be carried in checked baggage, they must be declared with the airline, in a proper carrying case, and unloaded, according to TSA. Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.

"Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint," said Mark Howell, TSA Regional Spokesperson. "Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items."

Tuesday's pistol was the first firearm discovered by TSA at the Myrtle Beach Airport in 2016. Last year, four guns were found at MYR, three more than in 2014, according to TSA.

Passengers who bring firearms to an airport checkpoint face potential criminal charges as well as civil penalties from the TSA.

For more information about the TSA prohibited items, please follow these links:

Copyright 2016 WMBF News. All rights reserved.