Dallas County man caught with loaded gun at Des Moines International Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, June 26, 2020
This loaded handgun was detected by TSA officers in a man’s carry-on bag on June 25, at Des Moines International Airport. (Photo courtesy of TSA)

DES MOINES, Iowa – A Dallas County, Iowa,  man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers when they spotted a .380 caliber handgun loaded with seven bullets including one in the chamber in his carry-on bag at Des Moines International Airport on Thursday, June 25th. 

When the TSA officer spotted the gun in the checkpoint X-ray machine, the Des Moines Police were contacted, responded to the checkpoint and confiscated the firearm from the traveler, a resident of Waukee, Iowa.  

“The proper way to travel with a firearm is to make sure it is unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case with a lock on it,” explained John Bright, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Iowa. “Then the traveler needs to take the case to their airline check-in counter and declare that they want to fly with it. The airline will make sure it is stored in the belly of the plane so that nobody has access to it during the flight. It’s a fairly simple process.”

Guns caught by TSA at the Des Moines International Airport checkpoint 2016 to 2020







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.