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 10th firearm discovered at the DSM checkpoint so far this calendar year, compared to six for all of 2017.
The firearm, a Glock 43 loaded with six rounds, was discovered by TSA transportation security officers during X-ray screening of a passenger’s carry-on bag at the checkpoint. TSA notified a Des Moines Police Department officer, who took possession of the weapon and cited the passenger on a local charge. The passenger rebooked on a later flight.
“Already this year, we’ve discovered more firearms at the DSM checkpoint than all of last year,” said Nic Menke, TSA Iowa assistant federal security director for screening. “Passengers who wish to travel with firearms can only place them in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided case. We also urge all passengers to contact their airline before coming to the airport to learn about any additional requirements for checking a firearm.”
Law enforcement determines if a passenger will be subject to criminal charges. Travelers who bring a firearm to the checkpoint also are subject to a civil penalty from TSA. The average civil penalty for bringing a loaded firearm to an airport security checkpoint is $3,900. Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas also cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint.
TSA found a record-breaking 3,957 firearms at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2017, a 17 percent increase over 2016.