Man caught with loaded handgun at Eastern Iowa Airport checkpoint

Man said he did not know he had his gun with him
Local Press Release
Wednesday, July 1, 2020
TSA officers at Eastern Iowa Airport detected this handgun in a man’s carry-on backpack at the airport checkpoint on June 30. (TSA photo)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – An Illinois man was stopped by Transportation Security Administration officers at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Tuesday, June 30, when they detected a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets in his backpack.  

TSA officials notified the local police, who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the gun and detained the man for questioning prior to issuing him a citation. The man told officials that he did not know that he had his loaded gun with him. It was the second gun that TSA officers detected at the airport checkpoint within a two-week period.

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.

“It is imperative that passengers are aware of the contents of both their carry-on baggage as well as their checked baggage prior to traveling to prevent this type of security incident,” said John Bright, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Iowa.

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







(Updated 6-30-20)

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.