CEDAR RAPIDS — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) discovered a loaded firearm this morning, March 29, at the Eastern Iowa Airport (CID). This was the second firearm intercepted at the CID checkpoint so far this calendar year, compared to a total of three in 2018.
The firearm, 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 an Eastern Iowa Public Safety Officer, who took possession of the weapon and cited the passenger on a local charge. The passenger was later allowed to continue.
“Last year, we found three firearms at Eastern Iowa, and already this year, we’ve found two,” said TSA Federal Security Director John Bright. “So this is a good opportunity to remind passengers that they 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 4,239 firearms, an average of 11.6 per day, at airport security checkpoints around the country in 2018 – a 7 percent increase over 2017.