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After Spike In Guns Found At Columbus Airport, City Council May Raise Penalties

John Glenn International Airport

Columbus City Council is considering increasing penalties for people who bring guns into airport security lines. John Glenn International Airport reported an 81% uptick in guns found over the last five years.

Kristen Easterday, spokeswoman for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, says that Columbus Council hopes to deter people from bringing firearms into the airport's security checkpoints.

“They see it as a safety issue and through the potential code change, it could elevate that matter for our passengers to reconsider and rethink what they’re going to bring through the checkpoint,” she says.

In the meantime, the airport is going to increase signage and announcements for passengers.

“Usually, somebody will see five different signs before they go through the checkpoint that remind them, ‘Do not take a firearm or deadly weapon through the security checkpoint,’” she says.

Airport officials aren’t sure why there’s been such a dramatic uptick in firearms in carry-on luggage.

The TSA allows people to travel with firearms and ammunition, but only in checked baggage. Guns must be unloaded and secured before the flight, and passengers must declare each firearm when they check bags.

Clare Roth was former All Things Considered Host for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU in February of 2017. After attending the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she returned to her native Iowa as a producer for Iowa Public Radio.