Crime & Courts

TSA agents find loaded gun at Wichita airport checkpoint during X-ray screening

TSA shows how to take guns with you when you fly

You don't have to leave your firearms at home when you travel. Transportation Security Administration regional spokesman Mark Howell on Monday demonstrated at KCI the proper way to bring firearms on board an airline.
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You don't have to leave your firearms at home when you travel. Transportation Security Administration regional spokesman Mark Howell on Monday demonstrated at KCI the proper way to bring firearms on board an airline.

Airport police took a gun from a passenger after security agents found the loaded pistol during screening at a checkpoint on Monday.

Transportation Security Administration officials said the 9 mm Ruger was loaded with five bullets when it was detected during X-ray screening at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, also known as ICT. Airport police interviewed the passenger and took possession of the weapon.

Carrie Harmon, a TSA spokesperson, said the gun was the third firearm discovered at the Wichita airport this year.

The number of guns found at airport security checkpoints last year was record-breaking, Harmon said in a news release. The TSA found 4,239 guns, or almost 12 per day, at checkpoints around the country in 2018. That was a 7 percent increase from 2017.

Four guns were found at ICT in 2017. But in the first seven months of 2018, that number rose to 12. In July, the TSA found a loaded .22 caliber revolver at the Wichita checkpoint.

In September, TSA agents at ICT found grenades in two different bags on the same day. One was in a carry-on, and the other in a checked bag. Both were found to be inert.

In Monday’s case, Harmon said criminal charges are determined by local law enforcement. But the TSA can also assess a civil penalty of up to $13,333 per violation.

“Firearms can only be transported in a checked bag, if declared to the airline at the ticket counter and properly packed in a locked, hard-sided container,” Harmon said. “Firearm parts, ammunition, and realistic replicas also are not allowed through security checkpoints, but can travel in checked bags.”

Surrendered guns, knives and other weapons were on display at KCI by the Transportation Security Adminstration on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, as they reminded travelers about banned items. An explosives detection dog was also demonstrated. (Video by

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