It's just a gun. To many it's like leaving home with a cellphone or wallet.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that a loaded gun was found in a passenger's bag at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.

The Luger 9 millimeter pistol was discovered in a carry-on bag around 5:45 a.m. on Thursday.  TSA called police, who took the bag and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

TSA says 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 Regional Spokesperson. “Our advice is to look through bags thoroughly before coming to the airport to make sure there are no illegal or prohibited items.”

I don't know the specifics of this particular case - but I've read many news articles over the past year or two where the person with the gun was completely unaware of the specifics of airline travel, or frankly - forgot it was even in their purse or bag.  In this particular news article it doesn't say the person was charged with anything this time, but geeze... there is just no need to completely freak out. Chill.

Even calling the police seems to be overkill considering more than likely they completely forgot it was even in their bag or they may not travel by air often (or hardly at all...  or never) and didn't know the rules.  For many, carrying their handgun is like carrying a wallet or a purse.  It's just there and they don't think about it. 

Calling the police, making them miss their flight, imposing TSA fines...  what about just letting them know "Sorry, that's not allowed - we are afraid you cannot fly until you have someone come get it from you to take home or you want to discard it with the other objects not allowed to be taken on flights".