DES MOINES, Iowa — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm early this morning at the security screening checkpoint at Des Moines International Airport (DSM). This is the seventh firearm found at DSM so far this calendar year. This surpasses the total number—six—found at the DSM checkpoint in all of 2017.
The firearm, a 9mm Springfield XD9, loaded with 16 rounds, was discovered by TSA officers during X-ray screening of a passenger’s carry-on bag at the checkpoint. 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 then allowed to continue.
TSA has the authority to level a civil penalty of up to $13,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to an airport security checkpoint. 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.
TSA found a record-breaking 3,957 firearms at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2017, a 17 percent increase over 2016.