TSA discovers loaded firearm at Des Moines International Airport

Local Press Release
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm at the security screening checkpoint at Des Moines International Airport (DSM) on Monday, Aug. 29. 

Transportation Security Officers found a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson, loaded with five rounds, in a passenger’s carry-on bag during checkpoint screening early Monday morning. Per standard procedure, TSA alerted law enforcement. The Des Moines Police Department responded, took possession of the weapon and cited the passenger on a local charge. The passenger was cleared to continue to a flight.  

“This is a good opportunity to remind passengers that bringing a firearm to a security checkpoint will result in a referral to law enforcement and a civil penalty from TSA,” said TSA Iowa Federal Security Director David Dailey.

Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas, also cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint. Firearms, as well as these items, are allowed in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container. 

This is the second firearm discovered at the DSM checkpoint in 2016. Nationwide, TSA officers have found more than 2,100 firearms at airport security checkpoints so far this year. Last year, a record 2,653 firearms were discovered at U.S. airport security checkpoints, up about 20 percent from 2014.

In addition to potential criminal charges, passengers who bring firearms to a checkpoint face civil penalties from TSA. For more information about TSA prohibited items, please check the prohibited items list and traveling with firearms.