TSA finds loaded gun in purse at MYR

Published: Aug. 28, 2012 at 4:17 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM EDT
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Photo of the gun found at the security checkpoint. (Source: TSA)
Photo of the gun found at the security checkpoint. (Source: TSA)
Deborah Ann Serra (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Deborah Ann Serra (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Boarding pass, driver's license, your cell phone – all things you don't want to leave out of your carryon baggage. One thing you should never carry up to the security checkpoint, a loaded firearm.

That's exactly what the Transportation Security Authority found in someone's bag at the Myrtle Beach International Airport's security checkpoint at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday morning.

TSA spokesman Jon Allen comments that security officers found the loaded .38 caliber revolver containing five live rounds in a woman's purse as she was passing through the screening area to drop off a child departing on an outgoing flight.

TSA originally reported the woman was picking someone up from the airport.

Once airport police were alerted, the woman was arrested.

"Before you get to the security checkpoint, look through any bags that you're carrying to make sure there are no prohibited items inside," explains Jon Allen.

The incident report from Horry County Police states the suspect, identified as 50-year-old Deborah Ann Serra of North Myrtle Beach, has a Concealed Weapons Permit; however, a sign posted on the terminal door reads "No Firearms Allowed."

Serra has been charged with carrying or displaying firearms in public buildings or adjacent areas. She was released from custody Tuesday afternoon on a $5,000 bond.

J. Reuben Long Detention Center's website also lists a previous charge for Serra on July 5 for the malicious injury to animals, personal property, value over $1000 but less than $5000.

So far in 2012, TSA has discovered two firearms at the MYR checkpoint and 821 at airports nationwide.

Think that the oddest thing found in a bag at Myrtle Beach International? Earlier this year officers confiscated fireworks and even martial arts items from traveler's bags.

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Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.