TSA stops 2 guns at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Local Press Release
Monday, June 10, 2024

CLEVELAND – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers prevented two handguns from being carried onboard airplanes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) in separate incidents over the weekend.

In the first incident on Friday, June 7, at around 4:15 p.m., TSA officials detected a firearm inside a passenger’s carry-on bag during the routine X-ray screening. When Cleveland Police were notified, the officer seized the weapon, which was unloaded.

On Sunday, June 9, another firearm was caught. At approximately 6:40 p.m., a passenger presented himself for screening, and a Transportation Security Officer identified a firearm in the passenger’s carry-on bag. Cleveland Police again responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the firearm, which was loaded.

Both passengers said they forgot or didn’t realize the firearms were in their bags.

“As summer travel picks up and we continue to see elevated passenger volumes, incidents like this one can have a serious effect on our operations,” Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Don Barker said. “Bringing a firearm to a security checkpoint not only slows down the individuals in that lane, but it slows everyone in line behind them down and is a security and safety concern. Guns should never be brought to the security checkpoint in carry-on luggage.”

These are the 14th and 15th firearms detected at CLE this year. A total of 38 firearms were detected at CLE security checkpoints last year.

Nationally, more than 1,500 firearms were stopped at airport checkpoints in the first quarter of 2024.

The penalty for bringing a firearm to the checkpoint can reach as high as $14,950, depending on the circumstances. TSA determines the penalty amount for a violation based on the circumstances in each case. TSA will continue to revoke TSA PreCheck® eligibility for at least five years for passengers caught with a firearm in their possession.

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.