Some, and trust us we know it is just some, TSA employees have been cutting loose by allegedly responding to the shutdown by calling in sick, playing music over the intercoms, walking off the job, or in this case letting a gun fly across the pond all the way to Tokyo. At some point the TSA agents missed the firearm that the passenger had forgotten was in their carry on luggage. The passenger did disclose the firearm and was greeted by Japanese law enforcement without any altercations.
— Michael Bilello (@TSA_Bilello) January 14, 2019
Fox5 reports that a traveler carrying a firearm boarded a flight from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and flew to Tokyo Narita International Airport on January 3, according to a statement from the Transportation Security Administration.
“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the morning of January 3,” the release states.
Delta Airlines also issued a statement to CNN, saying that “upon the customer’s disclosure, the airline reported the incident to the TSA.”
The security breach came two weeks into the government shutdown, during which TSA agents have been required to work but have not received paychecks. CNN first reported on January 4 — a day after the breach — that hundreds of TSA agents from at least four major airports had called in sick.
However, the TSA dismissed suggestions the government shutdown contributed to the security lapse and said a normal amount of staffers were working that day.
“The perception that this might have occurred as a result of the partial government shutdown would be false,” TSA said. “The national unscheduled absence rate of TSA staff on Thursday, January 3, 2019, was 4.8% compared to 6.3% last year, Thursday, January 4, 2018. So in fact, the national call out rate was higher a year ago than this year on that date.”
The TSA noted that it will “hold those responsible appropriately accountable.”
TSA screeners have struggled to detect weapons even in the absence of a shutdown. In 2015…
Opposite Day at the airport.
Posted by I Love TSA on Friday, January 11, 2019
Japan Today says that the woman informed the flight crew that she had mistakenly brought the handgun even though she went through the security check point. The flight crew secured the weapon and the woman returned to the United states the same day she arrived in Japan.