Former Bucs player accused of bringing gun to TIA checkpoint

- Airport police arrested former Buccaneer's wide receiver Louis Murphy Jr. Wednesday morning for allegedly carrying a loaded gun through a security checkpoint at Tampa International.

Screeners found the gun when Murphy's bag went through a screening machine at the checkpoint.

Murphy was charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, a felony.

Local and state laws vary on bringing guns and other weapons to an airport, but they are never permitted through security, according to the Transportation Safety Administration.

The TSA says more Americans are carrying guns, which is leading to record numbers of guns being discovered at airport checkpoints. Consequences range from a civil citation to possible criminal charges.

Mark Howell, a spokesman for the TSA, says Murphy was one of 26 people to carry a gun to a security checkpoint at TIA so far this year. That number was 78 in 2016.

Nationwide, the TSA stopped 3,391 guns at checkpoints in 2016, up from 2,650 in 2015.

"We're asking everybody to really do a quick five minute check before they even come to the airport to make sure they don't have those type of items in their bag and it's really gonna save them potential criminal action and a civil penalty for bringing those things into the checkpoint," said Howell.

Howell said most people who bring guns to a checkpoint say they forgot they had the gun or they didn't now rules prevented them from traveling with it on their body or in a carry-on bag.

Guns are allowed in checked baggage if passengers store them unloaded in a locked hard case and declare them with the airline. More information on how to properly check a gun can be found online at TSA.gov.

FOX 13 was unable to reach Murphy to ask about the charges against him. He was released Wednesday morning from the Hillsborough County Jail.
 

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