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Woman carrying gun arrested at Burbank airport

July 26, 2011 |  4:22 pm

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 about 9 a.m. on her way to board a Southwest Airlines flight, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez told the Burbank Leader.

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

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 on suspicion of possessing 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 by packing it 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.

Melendez said it is not uncommon to find a weapon during security checks.

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


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-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Photo: Passengers in line at the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Jan. 21, 2010.

Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times