Lots of Guns Are Getting Past Airport Security and Onto Planes
Potentially hundreds of loaded handguns could be making it aboard commercial flights every day, rattling the nerves of many frequent flyers, as once again they have reason to question the safety of airline travel.
Earlier last week, Transportation Security Administration baggage screeners unknowingly permitted the vice president of the New Orleans Hornets, Joshua Richardson, to board a flight to Newark, New Jersey, with a loaded .38 caliber pistol in his carry-on baggage. It was not until Richardson attempted to board a flight back to New Orleans that officials were made aware of the mistake.
In another incident last week, a firefighter who forgot about the gun in her purse was allowed to pass through TSA officers and board a plane. After realizing her mistake, the firefighter made the gun known to authorities.
According to Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.), these mistakes made by the TSA represent a true threat to airline security. "Unfortunately the reports I get, it's not just this one weapon, it's hundreds of items every day," Mica said. "It can't be tolerated."
However, the TSA believes they are doing an admirable job, considering their daily workload. "TSA screens nearly two million people every day, including their carry-on and checked luggage," said a spokesperson for the agency. "An average four firearms are intercepted every day at airport checkpoints. This year alone, travelers have attempted to carry nearly 1,100 weapons through security and into the sterile area, attempts thwarted by TSA Officers."
The agency adds that a full investigation into the two incidents that happened last week is being conducted.