TSA intercepts gun at John Glenn Columbus International Airport

Local Press Release
Wednesday, August 4, 2021
This handgun was detected by TSA officers in a passenger’s carry-on bag at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) on Aug. 4. (TSA photo)

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped a firearm from making its way onboard an airplane at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) Wednesday.

The incident occurred around 4:50 a.m., and TSA officials immediately alerted Columbus Regional Airport Authority Police. The firearm was loaded, with one round in the chamber. Officers responded to the checkpoint, cited the traveler, and confiscated the weapon. The passenger has a valid Ohio concealed carry permit and stated he thought he had cleared his bag and didn’t realize his firearm was still in there.

“TSA has a message for travelers: Take note of the contents of your carry-on luggage prior to coming to the airport to ensure that you do not bring firearms or others prohibited items to the security checkpoint,” Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Donald Barker said. “Despite a steady increase in the number of travelers being screened each day, TSA is focused on its security mission and will remain vigilant to ensure that any type of security threat does not make it into the sterile area of the airport or onto an aircraft.”

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 14th 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.