CLEVELAND — Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers stopped two handguns from being carried on-board airplanes at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in the past five days, according to a Monday press release.
In the first incident on Sept. 16, TSA officials detected a firearm inside a passenger’s carry-on bag during the routine X-ray screening, according to the release. When Cleveland police were notified, an officer seized the gun, a 9mm Glock loaded with nine rounds in the magazine.
The passenger, who has a concealed carry permit, said she was switching purses and forgot the firearm was in her bag, TSA said.
Another firearm was caught Monday at around 5:50 a.m. A TSA PreCheck passenger presented himself for screening, and an officer identified a firearm in the passenger’s carry-on bag, TSA said.
Cleveland police responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun. The firearm, a Cobra CB 38, was unloaded and had an external safety that was engaged.
The passenger also had a concealed carry permit and said he forgot the gun was in his bag, TSA said.
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, according to TSA.
If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck, that individual will lose their pre-check privileges for a period of time.
“It’s extremely disappointing that passengers continue to bring firearms to the airport checkpoint,” Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Donald Barker said. “Even when it’s done unintentionally, this is unsafe and can seriously slow or shut down security screening until the police resolve the incident.”
According to the press release, these are the 16th and 17th firearms detected at Cleveland Hopkins this year. A total of 26 firearms were detected at Cleveland security checkpoints in 2019, with 18 in 2020.
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