Man caught with loaded handgun at Eppley Airfield

Local Press Release
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
TSA officers at Eppley Airfield detected this handgun in a traveler’s carry-on bag on Nov. 17. (TSA photo)

OMAHA, Neb. – A South Dakota man was stopped by the Transportation Security Administration with a .380 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets at the Eppley Airfield checkpoint on Tuesday, Nov. 17.  

TSA officers caught the handgun as it entered the checkpoint X-ray machine. Omaha Airport Authority Police were alerted and confiscated the gun. The man claimed that he forgot that he had his loaded gun with him. He now faces a stiff Federal financial civil penalty.

“Claiming that you forgot that you had a loaded gun with you is no excuse,” said Michael Fowler, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Nebraska. “If you own a firearm, you should know where it is at all times.”    

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 11-17-20)

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.