CLEVELAND (WJW) – Cleveland police seized two handguns at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport this week.
Around noon on Tuesday, a TSA officer spotted a handgun during the routine X-ray screening of carry-on bags and alerted Cleveland police.
The traveler, who has a valid Ohio concealed carry permit, told officers that he forgot the gun was in his bag. Police confiscated the gun, which was loaded with five rounds of ammunition.
On Thursday around 6 a.m., officers were alerted when another handgun was found during TSA screening. This traveler, who also has a valid Ohio concealed carry permit, said she forgot the gun was in her bag.
The loaded firearm was seized by police.
“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 other 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.”
The TSA has now detected 10 firearms during screenings at the Hopkins Airport so far this year. A total of 26 firearms were detected at security checkpoints in 2019, and 18 last year.
A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100.
TSA officials remind passengers that they can 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.
TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.