Man caught with loaded handgun at Eppley Airfield

Local Press Release
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
TSA officers at Eppley Airfield detected this handgun in a traveler’s carry-on bag on Sept. 8. (TSA photo)

OMAHA, Neb. – A North Carolina man was stopped by the Transportation Security Administration with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets at the Eppley Airfield checkpoint on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The gun was accompanied by a magazine with six additional bullets.

TSA officers caught the handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. Omaha Airport Authority Police were contacted, confiscated the gun and briefly detained the man for questioning before allowing him to catch his flight.     

 “Despite the ongoing pandemic, our TSA officers remain laser focused on ensuring a secure flight for passengers and crew members while at the same time mitigating health risks,” said Michael Fowler, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Nebraska. “Guns at checkpoints are never a good thing, and with the current situation it’s even more serious. There are enough risks at a checkpoint and bringing a loaded gun is an accident waiting to happen. It is dangerous to our officers and other travelers.” 

TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who have guns with them at a checkpoint. A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances. 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. If a traveler with a gun is a member of TSA PreCheck™, that individual will lose their TSA PreCheck™ privileges.

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.

TSA Firearms Caught at the Eppley Airfield checkpoint, 2015 to 2020








(As of 9/8/20)

Guns caught







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.

Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared at their airline ticket counter. Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

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.