Public Safety

TSA finds loaded firearm in screening Eastern Iowa Airport passenger

A passenger takes off his jacket before going through security on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
A passenger takes off his jacket before going through security on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Security officials took possession of a loaded firearm from an Eastern Iowa Airport passenger Wednesday morning.

The Transportation Security Administration found the Glock 43, loaded with six rounds, during an x-ray security screening, the agency said in a news release.

Authorities interviewed the passenger and confiscated the gun — the fourth found at the airport’s checkpoint so far this year, up from three in 2018.

Any determination about a criminal charge is up to law enforcement. Department records indicate Cedar Rapids police had not filed any firearm charges as of early Wednesday afternoon.

The TSA also could assess a civil penalty of up to $13,333 per violation, with one factor considered including whether the firearm was loaded, the agency said.

Passengers found unlawfully traveling with firearms will lose their Trusted Traveler status and PreCheck expedited screening benefits for a time.

Federal law requires firearms, ammunition and realistic replicas to be packed in checked luggage, with firearms declared to the airline at the ticket counter and packed in a locked, hard-sided container.

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Nationwide, the TSA found 4,239 firearms, or an average 11.6 per day, at airport security checkpoints in 2018 — a 7 percent increase from 2017.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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