Local man caught with long-barreled handgun at Eastern Iowa Airport checkpoint

Local Press Release
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
TSA officers at Eastern Iowa Airport detected this 9mm gun in a local man’s carry-on bag at the airport checkpoint on Monday, June 15. (TSA photo)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A Cedar Rapids, Iowa, man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Monday, June 15, when they detected a semi-automatic 9 mm handgun with a folding 16-inch barrel in his carry-on bag. It was not loaded, however the man also had a magazine with 25 bullets in it along with his gun.

TSA officials notified the local police, who responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the gun.

When an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until the police resolve the incident. Guns at checkpoints can delay travelers from getting to their gates.

“Our TSA officers remain vigilant even though there is also a large focus on the pandemic,” said John Bright, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Iowa. “There is a right way and a wrong way to travel with a firearm. The wrong way is to bring it to the passenger screening checkpoint. The right way is to make sure it is unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case and locked. Then it should be taken to the airline check-in counter so that it can be declared to the airline to make sure it gets transported as checked baggage on the plane, never the cabin of the plane.”

Guns caught by TSA at the Eastern Iowa Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2020







(Updated 6-15-20)

Guns caught







TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. This applies to travelers with or without concealed gun carry permits because even though an individual may have a concealed carry permit, it does not allow for a firearm to be carried onto an airplane. The complete list of civil penalties is posted online.

Nationwide last year, 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging about 12.1 firearms per day, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018. Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website. Travelers should also contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition.