Oops: TSA Misses Loaded Gun at LAX

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A man could face charges after a loaded gun was found in his checked baggage at Los Angeles Airport. Another problem in this story; the crack TSA staff in two cities failed to detect the weapon. 

The Los Angeles Times reports that the gun was only discovered after it fell out of a duffle bag as workers were loading the bag onto the plane on Sunday. Police pulled the man, whose name was not released, off of the Portland-bound flight and questioned him. He was released and grabbed a later flight. However, the Los Angeles city attorney is still considering whether to file charges against him.

TSA rules state that in order to travel with a gun, it must be in checked baggage, unloaded, locked in a box and declared to airline workers at check-in. The man failed all of that except for the checked baggage part. He pointed out that he was able to travel from Portland to L.A. three days earlier with the gun in the exact same way. 

TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the bag was screened for explosives and nothing was found. She said that agents screen for guns on carry-on luggage, but it does not bother to try to detect weapons in checked luggage since passengers do not have access to them.

"It's the airline and passenger's responsibility to ensure that firearms are transported correctly,"  she said.

But Marshall McClain, the president of the union that represents Los Angeles Airport Police, said the TSA should screen luggage more thoroughly.

"Local law enforcement needs to know that TSA is doing their part," McClain said.