Passenger Carries Gun Onto Plane, But TSA Says Mistake Unrelated to Shutdown

The TSA said that "standard procedures were not followed."

TSA gun
A recent Delta passenger was able to get a gun through security and onto a flight.
Getty Images

A passenger was able to carry a gun through a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening area in Atlanta and managed to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Tokyo with the firearm. The  Jan. 3 breakdown in security was revealed in a statement released on Sunday.

But the TSA refuses to link the huge breach in security to the current government shutdown, Time reported, as employees are still on duty — many of them calling out sick — without receiving pay.

“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm,” the agency said in a statement.

“The perception that this might have occurred as a result of the partial government shutdown would be false,” the statement went on. “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.”

Delta said that it disclosed the fact that a gun was on board to the TSA as soon as the passenger revealed the firearm to the airline. The TSA said the unidentified passenger was “met by Japanese authorities upon landing” and that the agency would “hold those responsible appropriately accountable.”

On Sunday, as the federal government shutdown entered its fourth week, the TSA’s unscheduled absence rate was 7.7%, compared to 3.2% on the same date in 2018.

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