Republican congressional candidate Van Orden cited for bringing loaded gun in carry-on luggage

Van Orden's campaign says the incident was purely accidental

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (WKBT) – 3rd District Republican congressional candidate Derrick Van Orden received a citation for a loaded weapon found in carry-on luggage in August of 2021, according to an affidavit from the City of Cedar Rapids.

According to court documents, TSA at the Eastern Iowa Airport discovered a Sig Sauer 9mm handgun with one round chambered and a full magazine. Van Orden told TSA that he had forgotten the weapon was in his bag.

Van Orden’s campaign released a statement concerning the security restrictions citation – to which he pleaded guilty and paid a fine – saying that it was an accident.

“Derrick Van Orden is a decorated Navy SEAL veteran with 5 deployments to combat zones who is an expert with firearms and firearm safety,” the statement read. “Derrick was traveling with his family and this situation was purely accidental. He fully cooperated and apologized to TSA for adding to the stress of their job, thanked them for the work they do keeping us safe, and it has been fully adjudicated.”

News of Van Orden’s citation comes on the heels of similar incidents from freshman House Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who was stopped in April after TSA found a loaded gun in his carry-on bag.

Van Orden is running his second campaign for a seat in the US House of Representatives currently held by Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, who is not seeking reelection. Van Orden lost to kind in 2020 by just over 10,000 votes.

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