PHOTO: A long security line at an Atlanta airport. (photo via Flickr/Josh Hallett)
The Transportation Security Administration has fired an employee who allegedly missed a loaded handgun in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday.
According to The Associated Press, the Atlanta Police Department said that passenger Katrina Jackson of Hoover, Alabama was digging through her purse for her passport when she discovered a .38-caliber handgun was still in the bag.
Jackson self-reported the gun to police, who confiscated her gun and bag, then arrested her on charges of unlawful possession of a handgun. Jackson told police that she had a permit to carry the gun in Alabama but didn't have it on her.
TSA officials revealed that the security officer who missed the gun during the screening process was still a probationary employee but had been fired following the incident. A TSA screener’s probationary period lasts two years.
“There’s one thing if you’re missing something suspicious,” security expert Brent Brown told WSB-TV. “This was a handgun, so this is a big deal that this got through the TSA screening process.”
“We don’t know who else might have gotten through,” Brown continued. “This one person fortunately turned around and reported herself, but how many of these types of things get through all the time?”
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Earlier this year, the TSA announced that the agency had seized nearly 3,400 firearms from carry-on bags at security checkpoints in airports across the U.S. during 2016, a 28 percent jump from 2015.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the way with 198 firearms seized last year.