NFL free agent who last played for Buccaneers, Gators arrested at TIA

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver was arrested at Tampa International Airport Wednesday morning for carrying a concealed firearm.

Louis Murphy, 29, of Odessa, made headlines after a knee injury sidelined him for the 2016 season, but now the NFL free agent allegedly brought a loaded Glock with 11 rounds to the airport.  TSA screeners found the gun in his carry-on.

The reported incident played out at Concourse C around 9 a.m. Wednesday morning.  Officials said Murphy doesn’t have a concealed weapons permit and was taken to jail where he’s now out on $2,000 bond.

News Channel 8 went to Murphy’s home in Odessa to get his side of the story.  No one came to the gate, but his next-door neighbors had plenty to say.

“Hey, Louis is a great guy,” said Phil Lopez.  “You couldn’t find a better neighbor or a better guy.  He’s straight up, man. I don’t see any reason he would knowingly, you know, take a firearm to the airport.”

Travelers we spoke with aren’t buying that.

When we relayed the news to Konnie Parish who had just flown in, she replied, “Great. Great. I’m glad they confiscated it.”

“He shouldn’t have had it,” Dave Williams, another traveler, told News Channel 8. “That’s all.”

Mark Howell, the TSA spokesperson for the Tampa Bay area, said more and more passengers are surrendering their weapons every year.

“Well, we’re finding firearms on a daily basis,” Howell said, adding that as many as ten weapons a day across the country are discovered. That adds up to 3,000 last year alone.

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