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Record number of guns detected at MSP airport

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers discovered a record 58 handguns at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport checkpoints last year.

Nationally, TSA officers stopped 6,542 firearms at checkpoints in 2022, surpassing a record number detected the previous year. Of all the guns, 88% were loaded.

Despite the increase, MSP passengers still brought guns to the airport at a rate below the national average, TSA said. Security officers screened more than 11.4 million departing passengers and crew at MSP in 2022.

TSA officers at MSP discovered firearms in carry-on luggage at a rate of 5.1 firearms per million passengers screened. That calculates to a rate of one firearm discovery for every 197,238 travelers screened, TSA said.

The top airport for gun detection was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with some 448 guns discovered.

"Bringing a firearm to the checkpoint is an expensive, dangerous mistake that far too many people are making," said Marty Robinson, TSA federal security director for Minnesota.

The penalty for bringing weapons to the airport can reach nearly $15,000, and TSA PreCheck privileges are revoked for at least five years. TSA says passengers may travel with unloaded firearms in checked baggage if they are packed separately from ammunition in a locked hardback case and declared at the airline check-in counter.


Ramsey County

Grand opening for new ski area

East metro leaders will host the official grand opening of the winter recreation area at Battle Creek Regional Park on Feb. 4.

It's the first east metro winter recreation area with machine-made snow. It includes 4 kilometers of lighted cross-country ski trails, two sledding hills and dedicated snowshoeing and hiking trails.

A ceremonial program and ribbon cutting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 4 at the ski area adjacent to Battle Creek Recreation Center, 75 S. Winthrop St. The facility opened quietly last November and parks staff say an estimated 20,000 people have already visited the ski area.

A prototype of a plaque dedicated to Minnesota cross-country skier and Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins will be unveiled at the grand opening, and staff will demonstrate the snowmaking equipment.

The area has gotten more than $6.6 million in upgrades,including the snowmaking, widened trails and equipment rentals.

The project was paid for with state bonding and funding from Ramsey County, the Clean Water Fund, the Legacy Amendment and the Metropolitan Council.



Special council election underway

Early voting is underway in Robbinsdale's First Ward, where Raymond Blackledge and Regan Murphy are vying to fill a vacant City Council seat.

The seat has been open since May, when former Council Member Tyler Kline resigned. He was placed on three years' probation after pleading guilty to driving while drunk and fleeing police last January.

Blackledge and Murphy advanced to the special election, set for Feb. 14, by winning a primary held in conjunction with the November general election. But voters in the northwest quadrant of the city can cast ballots ahead of time at Robbinsdale City Hall, 4100 Lakeview Av. N.

Murphy served two terms as mayor, from 2013 through 2020. Blackledge currently serves on the city's Park, Recreation and Forestry Commission.

The winning candidate will serve through Jan. 1, 2024.