Denver police received a call about 6:45 a.m. Sunday asking them to respond to the baggage scanning area in the main terminal of DIA.
Transportation Security Administration agents found an undeclared, loaded pistol during a routine screening of checked baggage, administration officials said.
Following normal protocol, the TSA agents contacted local police.
Denver police were not familiar with that particular kind of gun, so they used a device called a clear barrel, said Lt. Matt Murray, a spokesman for the Denver Police Department.
The device is lined with cement. Officers can shoot a gun into it to remove bullets if they aren’t familiar with the gun, Murray said.
No one was injured.
Murray said Denver police presented a criminal case to both the Denver District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and both declined to press charges.
TSA regulations allow passengers to carry guns in checked luggage if they declare their guns with the airline, unload them and place them in locked, hard-sided containers. Guns are not permitted in carry-on bags.
“Most passengers do understand the rules of carrying on firearms, but our officers do, in fact, intercept several guns a day at U.S. airports,” said Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman.
TSA regulations say that people who violate the gun regulations could face criminal charges or up to $10,000 in fines per violation.
Airlines may have their own, additional rules for checking guns