TSA intercepts gun at John Glenn Columbus International Airport

Local Press Release
Wednesday, February 17, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at John Glenn Columbus International Airport

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a loaded handgun from making its way onboard an airplane at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) Monday.

The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted Columbus Regional Airport Authority Police. The traveler stated she forgot the firearm was inside her bag. Officers responded to the checkpoint, cited the traveler, and confiscated her weapon, loaded with six rounds of ammunition.

“Guns are not allowed to be carried onto planes,” said Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Donald Barker. “That’s no secret as this prohibition has been enforced for decades. Our officers are excellent at stopping weapons and other prohibited items from being carried onto airplanes. I encourage others who want to transport their guns do so in checked baggage following the guidelines that can be found on the TSA website.”

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 fourth firearm detected at CMH this year. A total of 29 firearms were detected at CMH security checkpoints in 2019, and 24 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.