Woman arrested at Bob Hope Airport for having loaded gun in carry-on bag

A woman was arrested at Bob Hope Airport on Tuesday after a routine security check turned up a loaded handgun in her carry-on bag, authorities said.

The woman, who was described as in her 40s, was passing through security at about 9 a.m. on her way to board a Southwest Airlines flight, said Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez.

A TSA officer who was working the X-ray machine discovered the gun, Melendez added.

Officers opened the bag and founded a Smith and Wesson .357 Magnum with five rounds in it, he said. The woman, who was not immediately identified, was arrested for possession of a concealed weapon and transported to the Glendale City Jail, which is temporarily servicing Burbank arrests.

Airline passengers regularly travel with firearms for a variety of reasons, including hunting trips and sport shooting, Melendez said, but they must follow proper protocol. If a passenger has a need to carry a gun it must be in checked baggage.

"It needs to be unloaded, it needs to be in a proper case and it needs to be declared to the airline," Melendez said.

Security officers frequently intercept guns at the airport, he added.

"It happens regularly," Melendez said. "It happens at least two times every day in our nation's airports. More often than not, the passenger says they forgot it was there."

For the week starting July 18, the TSA reported finding 17 firearms at airport security checkpoints.