A Delta Air Lines passenger carried a loaded gun by accident via airport safety in Atlanta earlier this month and took it on a flight to Japan, officers with the Transportation Security Administration mentioned.
The passenger later found the firearm and alerted the authorities, who met the airplane when it landed on Jan. three in Tokyo, officers mentioned. The gun was taken via a T.S.A. checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta on Jan. 2, the 11th day of the partial federal authorities shutdown, as issues had been rising that safety brokers, who’re working with out pay, may not present up.
But a T.S.A. spokesman, Michael Bilello, insisted on Monday that the shutdown was not to blame for the safety breach and that the gun was undetected as a result of “standard procedures were not followed.” About 5 p.c of T.S.A. staff nationwide didn’t report to work on the day of the flight, Wednesday, Jan. 2, which was the equivalent charge of unscheduled absences on Wednesday, Jan. three, 2018, Mr. Bilello mentioned.
He mentioned the company didn’t launch staffing charges for particular person airports and wouldn’t specify what “standard procedures” weren’t noticed. There are 51,000 airport safety brokers nationwide.
“There was not a staffing issue as some are speculating or alluding to,” Mr. Bilello mentioned in an e mail on Monday. “T.S.A. will hold those responsible appropriately accountable.”
The id of the Delta passenger has not been launched publicly, and a Delta spokesman on Monday referred questions to the T.S.A.
The T.S.A. said that 7.6 percent of employees had unscheduled absences on Monday morning, more than double the rate from the year before. The Atlanta airport was one of two airports in the country to implement “contingency plans” on Monday because of absences and other issues.
Across the United States, thousands of guns are confiscated on average every year at airport security or in checked luggage. In 2017, for instance, 3,957 firearms were recovered in carry-on bags at American airports and 84 percent of them were loaded, the T.S.A. said.
More than 290 weapons had been discovered in 2018 through the beginning of November in Atlanta, the busiest airport in the country, according to the Justice Department. That number was an 18-point increase from the total recovered in all of 2017, when the Atlanta airport led the country with the most firearms discovered at 245, the department said.
Travelers with guns without a firearm license will be arrested, the T.S.A. said, while anyone discovered with a gun can also face a fine of up to $13,000 per violation. Mr. Bilello said the Delta passenger had been “fully cooperative with authorities.”
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.