10/03/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/03/2023 14:51
COLUMBUS -Transportation Security Administration officers at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) discovered a loaded firearm in a passenger's carry-on bag Tuesday morning, bringing the total detected at the airport to 41 this year.
The previous annual record was 40 firearms, set last year.
In addition to the firearm stopped Tuesday around 8:30 a.m., officers detected firearms in other incidents on Friday, Sept. 29; Thursday, Sept. 28; and Monday, Sept. 25. All four of the firearms were loaded. In all cases, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority police were alerted, responded to the checkpoint, and confiscated the weapon.
"It's troubling that we've set an all-time record for firearms stopped at the checkpoint with three months still left in the year," Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Don Barker said. "In addition to the serious safety risk these incidents pose, they also slow down the screening process for all passengers when we're forced to temporarily close down a lane. I urge passengers to think twice before they leave the house about what they're bringing in their carry-on bags."
TSA recently announced that during the first three quarters of 2023, officers intercepted 5,072 firearms at airport security checkpoints, and at the current rate, the agency will surpass last year's record 6,542 firearms prevented from getting onboard aircraft.
The penalty amount for a firearm violation, which TSA determines based on the circumstances in each case, can reach as high as $14,950. 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.