CLEVELAND – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a loaded handgun from making its way onboard an airplane at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) Monday.
The incident occurred around 10:20 a.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted Cleveland Police. The traveler, who stated he forgot the gun was in his bag, was escorted away from the checkpoint and arrested. Police seized the weapon, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition.
“Travelers need to know the contents of their carry-on items, and forgetting about a loaded weapon in your bag is no excuse,” said Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Donald Barker. “Passengers are allowed to travel with their firearms and ammunition as long as they follow the proper procedures.”
TSA issues civil penalties to travelers who bring guns to a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100. The complete list of civil penalties is on the TSA website. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck®, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck privileges for a period of time.
This is the second firearm detected at CLE this year. A total of 26 firearms were detected at CLE security checkpoints in 2019, and 18 last year.
Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are unloaded, packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should check for firearm laws in the jurisdictions they are flying to and from.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.