COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- A loaded handgun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Port Columbus Tuesday morning.

The Transportation Security Administration found the Smith and Wesson .38 loaded with five rounds of ammunition around 5:30 a.m. TSA says they immediately alerted airport police.

While firearms may be transported in checked baggage, provided they are declared to the airline, in a proper carrying case and unloaded, they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

“Passengers are responsible for the contents of bags they bring to the checkpoint,” said Mark Howell, TSA spokesman. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

This is the ninth firearm discovered at a security checkpoint by TSA officers at Port Columbus this year. A total of ten firearms were discovered last year.

(Photo courtesy TSA)