DES MOINES, Iowa — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm today at the security screening checkpoint at Des Moines International Airport (DSM).
TSA Transportation Security Officers found a Diamondback .380, loaded with seven rounds, in a passenger’s carry-on bag during checkpoint screening Wednesday, June 14. Per standard procedure, TSA alerted law enforcement. The Des Moines Police Department responded, took possession of the weapon, cited the passenger on a local charge. The passenger was later allowed to continue.
“This is the second firearm we’ve found at the checkpoint this year,” said TSA Iowa Federal Security Director David Dailey. “Last year, we only found three for the entire year.” Bringing a firearm to a security checkpoint will result in a referral to law enforcement and a civil penalty from TSA. Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas, also cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint. Firearms, as well as these items, are allowed in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container.
Nationwide, TSA officers have found more than 1,560 firearms at airport security checkpoints so far this year. In 2016, TSA officers found 3,391 firearms in carry-on bags at airport security checkpoints in, a 28 percent increase over 2015.
TSA has the authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000 against a passenger who brings a firearm to the checkpoint. The average penalty for a loaded firearm is $3,000. The average for an unloaded firearm is $1,500. Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement.
TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. You may also visit the what can I bring page to search for items that are allowed or not allowed.