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Kauaʻi police deputy chief stopped at Līhuʻe Airport with loaded gun

Kauai Police Department

A Kaua’i Police Department deputy chief and former Nevada state senator was caught with a loaded firearm in his carry-on luggage at Līhuʻe Airport last week.

Kaua’i Deputy Chief Stan Olsen was traveling to Las Vegas on April 8 when a Transportation Security Administration officer discovered his department-issued firearm in his backpack during a routine x-ray screening of carry-on items.

The backpack is normally the one Olsen brings to work and has a "safe-keeping pocket that holds his firearm," the department said in a statement Tuesday.

"Deputy Chief Olsen failed to remove the firearm prior to checking in at the Līhuʿe Airport," the department said.

No citation or arrest was made, and Olsen was cleared to travel to Nevada. The firearm was released back to Kaua’i police.

TSA is investigating the incident. The recommended civil penalty for this violation can be from $2,500 to $10,000, according to the TSA.

According to TSA Spokesperson Lorie Dankers, when TSA first saw the image of the firearm, law enforcement was notified, which, at the Līhuʻe Airport is the contracted Allied Services.

An internal KPD investigation is also ongoing to determine if departmental policies were violated.

Olsen joined KPD in August 2021 after 35 years in law enforcement in Las Vegas. He was appointed to the deputy chief position by KPD Police Chief Todd Raybuck, who also served on the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department force. Before joining KPD, Olsen had also been a Nevada state senator and was the chairman of the Nevada Taxi Authority.

Olsen’s gun was the first firearm flagged by TSA agents at Līhuʻe Airport this year. To date, TSA has discovered more than 1,500 firearms in carry-on luggage nationwide.

Since 2018, there have only been three instances of firearms discovered by TSA at the Līhuʻe Airport, according to Dankers.

Unloaded firearms locked in a hard-sided case and placed as checked baggage may be transported on a commercial aircraft.

Sabrina Bodon was Hawaiʻi Public Radio's government reporter.
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