Atlanta Passenger Got Through TSA, Boarded Plane with Loaded Gun

Atlanta Passenger Got Through TSA, Boarded Plane with Loaded Gun

A woman was allowed on a plane headed to Japan with a pistol and ammunition earlier this month.

The Transportation Security Administration has confirmed a passenger carried a gun through a security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport onto a Delta flight to Tokyo, Japan. 

The passenger was able to board Delta Flight DL295 in Atlanta with the firearm that made it all the way to Tokyo Narita International Airport. 

"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, 2019," a press release stated.

The passenger, a woman in her 30s, realized she had brought a pistol and ammunition with her on the plane and turned the items over to the crew members. When the plane touched down in Japan, the woman was denied entry and returned to the U.S.   

Although partial government shutdown had started over a week before the incident occurred, the TSA said the incident was not related to the shutdown and that normal number of workers were on duty that day.

Geoff Tudor, a Tokyo-based analyst for Japan Aviation Management Research, was quoted as saying: "The Japanese authorities are highly sensitive towards weapons and they are very security-conscious, so the suspension of security arrangements in the U.S. is a matter of great concern here."

"It is well known that a lot of Americans carry guns and that many have special dispensations for a weapon, so it seems likely that she was just absent-minded about the weapon when she boarded the aircraft," Tudor said. "There must have been laxity in the processes at the airport, although there should be a number of points where something like this should have been detected and prevented from getting aboard the aircraft."

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.


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