DES MOINES, Iowa — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm Wednesday morning, Nov. 28, at Des Moines International Airport (DSM). This was the 11th firearm intercepted at the DSM checkpoint so far this calendar year, compared to a total of six in 2017.
The firearm, a Smith & Wesson loaded with five rounds, was discovered by TSA officers during X-ray screening of a passenger’s carry-on bag at the checkpoint. TSA notified a Des Moines Police Department officer, who took possession of the weapon and cited the passenger on a local charge. The passenger rebooked on a later flight.
Passengers cannot bring a firearm to a TSA security checkpoint. Passengers who wish to travel with firearms can only place them in checked bags, if declared to the airline and properly packed, unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case. Ammunition, firearm parts and realistic replicas also cannot be carried through any TSA security checkpoint.
TSA also urges all passengers to contact their airline before coming to the airport to learn about any additional requirements for traveling with a firearm in a checked bag.
Law enforcement determines if a passenger will be subject to criminal charges. Travelers who bring a firearm to the checkpoint also are subject to a civil penalty of up to $13,300 from TSA.
TSA found a record-breaking 3,957 firearms at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2017, a 17 percent increase over 2016.