Christopher Scott Osborne
BLOUNTVILLE — A Kingsport man arrested for including a loaded gun in his carry-on luggage at Tri-Cities Regional Airport says the incident was an honest accident, adding that he’s a frequent traveler in and out of multiple airports.
“The firearm was in a backpack and it was accidentally left there,” Christopher Scott Osborne, 40, told the Times-News. “I forgot it was there.”
A press release from the Transportation Security Administration says the discovery was made Tuesday morning at a security checkpoint. Osborne was later booked into the Sullivan County jail in Blountville by airport police.
A Springfield Armory XP-9 9mm was found inside Osborne’s carry-on luggage, according to the TSA, and loaded with 10 rounds. None were chambered.
The TSA also noted in a press release that the same weapon was discovered in Osborne’s carry-on luggage in February 2009 at TCRA. In both that incident and Tuesday’s, he was flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Following that incident, which Osborne says was also an accident, he was not arrested, but was fined $6,000. The fine was later reduced to $3,000 when he declined to contest the penalty, he said.
On Tuesday morning, Osborne was released from the Sullivan County jail on his own recognizance and will later appear in court for unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon. The charge is a misdemeanor.
The TSA says additional civil penalties can be imposed, ranging from $250 up to $11,000.
Firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags. The TSA reports guns must be unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.
Over the course of 2013, the TSA intercepted an average of 35 firearms per week at security checkpoints.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Osborne had been arrested twice at TCRA. In the 2009 incident he was only detained.
An individual is in custody after allegedly attempting to carry a loaded firearm onto a flight at Tri-Cities Regional Airport – marking the suspect's second arrest for the offense in less than five years.
The Transportation Security Administration says the discovery was made Tuesday morning. A Springfield Armory XP-9 9mm was reportedly in the individual's carry-on luggage. It was loaded with 10 rounds, none chambered.
According to the TSA, the same weapon was discovered in the same suspect's carry-on luggage in February 2009 at TCRA. In both that incident and Tuesday's, the individual was flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The TSA has not named the suspect or charges but says local law enforcement made the arrest. Check back with Times-News.net for details as they develop.