October 25, 2011
By Melanie Eversley
“Nice going TSA. No wonder why nobody likes to fly. Keep up the great work.” — Chris KTRN
Despite all the extra airport security measures installed since the 2001 terror attacks, federal security officials at Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX, missed a loaded gun inside a checked bag on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times and other news organizations are reporting.
The .38-caliber handgun fell out of a duffel bag as a luggage ramp crew was loading it onto an Alaska Airlines flight to Portland, Ore., the Times reports.
The gun was turned over to police and police temporarily detained the gun owner, who took a later flight to Portland.
Guns are allowed to be in locked containers in checked bags but not loaded, according to the Times.
The Transportation Security Administration screens for firearms in carry-on bags, but it is not its responsibility to do so with checked luggage, TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers tells the news organization.
But the head of a union representing police officers assigned to LAX says the federal agency should do more.
“Local law enforcement needs to know that TSA is doing their part,” union representative Marshall McClain tells the Times.