Passengers were praising TSA officers at the Quad City International Airport on Monday.
That’s after airport security discovered a gun in a carry-on bag Sunday evening.
The firearm belonged to 37-year-old Derick Burton, who was headed to Atlanta before being stopped at security checkpoint.
TSA officers found an unloaded 9mm handgun in his luggage. Burton was changed with a Class A misdemeanor for unlawful use of a weapon. On Monday, airport officials say the incident was “minor” and there’s no further threat to the public.
TSA officers took immediate action upon discovering the firearm, calling local law enforcement. Airport officials are reminding passengers that they are solely responsible for anything they bring in their bags to the airport checkpoint.
With multiple incidents making recent headlines regarding airline and flight safety, Local 4 News checked in with passengers passing through the Quad City International airport to see how they feel about flying lately.
Most of the passengers said they still feel safe flying, saying safety issues are still rare when it comes to flying.
” I’m really just happy they did their job, but I’m never really concerned about that,” said passenger Mike Brown, who is visiting from New York.
“Nope I don’t ever feel unsafe,” said passenger Garry Land of Clinton.
Land says he wishes he could carry his licensed firearm because he’s concerned for his safety once he gets to his destination. But he says he knows the rules, and says traveling with a firearm, even through proper procedure, isn’t worth the hassle.
“I have concerns when I get to my destination that I can’t protect myself, I’m 73 now,” said Land. “The rules say you can’t carry on an airplane.”
Aimee Kirchner is visiting the Quad Cities with her family from San Antonio. She says she is confident airport security can be trusted to keep them safe.
“I feel like we have great policemen and they are here doing the job they’re supposed to be doing and they’re here to support us and protect us and they’ll do their job,” said Kirchner.
Burton was taken to the Rock Island County jail. Anyone who brings a firearm to security checkpoints could face criminal penalties from local law enforcement, as well as civil penalties from TSA. Civil penalties can range in fines up to $9,800 for a single violation.
Airport officials say this is the first firearm found at Quad City International Airport this year.
TSA discovered 3,957 firearms at checkpoints across the United States in 2017. They discovered nearly 3,400 firearms in 2016.