CLEVELAND – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented a loaded handgun from making its way onboard an airplane at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) Tuesday.
The incident occurred around noon, and TSA officials immediately alerted Cleveland Police. The traveler, who has a valid Ohio concealed carry permit, stated he forgot the gun was in his bag. Police seized the weapon, loaded with five rounds of ammunition.
“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 ninth 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.