Transportation Security Administration agents found a loaded 9mm handgun in a passenger's carry-on bag at McGhee Tyson Airport on Wednesday morning, a news release from the agency said.

The gun was a Smith & Wesson 9mm, the release said. 

Agents found the gun at the security checkpoint at about 7:15 a.m., at which point the TSA immediately alerted airport police and the passenger and their bag was taken out of the checkpoint area.

"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," the release said. "TSA would like to remind passengers that it is important for them to thoroughly search their bags for any potential dangerous weapons or prohibited items before departing for the airport."