John Glenn Columbus International Airport TSA officers found a loaded handgun in a passenger’s bag at a security checkpoint Sunday afternoon.
The loaded Ruger LCP .380 handgun was detected by a transportation security officer when the passenger’s bag passed along a conveyor belt through the checkpoint X-ray machine, said TSA spokesman Mike England. Columbus Regional Airport Authority police were then contacted.
England said that while firearms are in no shape or form allowed on planes as carry-on items, they can still be brought while traveling.
“If you check it, you put it in a hard-sided case, you make sure it’s unloaded and you declare it to the airline and to TSA,” England said.
The consequences of bringing a firearm to a checkpoint, England says, can be assessed as civil penalties by the TSA and can take form of fines up to $13,000 per occurrence.
This incident is the 11th time this year that a firearm has been detected at CMH checkpoints, not yet reaching last year’s total of 15 firearms.
“Certainly we’re on pace to surpass last year’s total if this trend continues,” England says.