CLEVELAND (WJW) – The Transportation Security Administration is stopping more handguns at airport security checkpoints and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is no different.

According to the TSA, they stopped 43 handguns at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport in 2021, which was up from the 26 in 2019.

“While our passenger volumes have not yet fully returned to pre-pandemic levels, we are seeing even higher numbers of firearms, most of them loaded,” Ohio TSA Federal Security Director Don Barker said. “Passengers are strictly prohibited from bringing firearms onboard planes, and our TSA officers are laser-focused on security and preventing weapons from getting through our checkpoints.”

Across the country, TSA officers stopped 5,972 firearms at airport checkpoints in 2021. The previous record of 4,432 firearms was set in 2019. Of those guns, the TSA said 86% were loaded.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which caught 507 guns last year, reported the most in the country.

Here’s a breakdown of firearms caught by TSA officers at Ohio airports in recent years.

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)4319262318
John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH)3324292614
Akron-Canton Airport (CAK)44345
Dayton International Airport (DAY)41797
Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK)51112

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.