We Are Iowa recently reported statistics from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) saying more guns were brought through airport security checkpoints in Iowa over the last year.

The TSA says the overall numbers across America were up, as 4,432 firearms were found in carry-on bags or on passengers without permits at security checkpoints in 2019. That's a 5 percent increase from 2018 and the highest it's been in 18 years.

Here in Iowa, they looked at three major airports:

  • The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID): went from 3 in 2018 to 5 in 2019.
  • Fort Dodge Airport: From 0 in 2018 to 1 in 2019.
  • Des Moines International Airport: 12 discoveries of firearms were reported at checkpoints in both 2018 and 2019.

As for the overall highest numbers nationwide, the Top 5 were:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta with 323
  • Dallas-Fort Worth with 217
  • Denver International at 140
  • George Bush Intercontinental in Houston had 138
  • Sky Harbor in Phoenix with 132 un-permitted firearms

In a bit of a surprise, MSP Airport in Minneapolis saw a relatively low number at 40.

TSA administrators find the number of un-permitted and improperly carried firearms into airports troubling. Administrator David Pekoske says the proper procedure is to start by making sure the gun is unloaded, then pack it in a hard-side case, take it to the airline check-in counter to be declared and checked. Learn more here.