Port Columbus Screeners Find Handgun Concealed In Luggage


UPDATED: Wednesday February 6, 2013 7:08 PM

Advanced imaging technology is helping Port Columbus officials find contraband items in luggage.

Just last week, TSA screeners found a handgun concealed in a man’s luggage.

The technology is how agents found an unloaded .38 caliber handgun, along with a knife, in the lining of a man’s luggage.

TSA agents said that the owner said he forgot about the items.

“In almost all cases, it’s a person who carries a gun as part of their concealed carry permit, or it’s part of their job, and they just didn’t think about it,” TSA Security Director Don Barker said.

Across the country, screeners have seized thousands of guns at airport security checkpoints.

Bob Edds said that he knows what it is like to be flagged by a TSA screener at a security checkpoint.

“I went through twice, and they said, ‘There’s something here,’” Edds said. “They eventually checked the wallet, and here it is. What was it? A razor blade.”

TSA screeners at Port Columbus are finding more than razor blades in people’s luggage, thanks to advanced imaging technology.

In 2012, nine guns were found by TSA screeners at Port Columbus.

Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston and Fort Lauderdale collectively have seized 323 guns.
 
Guns are not the only things people try to sneak past security.

Agents found an inert mortar round at an airport in El Paso, Texas. A watch resembling an improvised explosive device was found in Oakland. A gun stuffed in toys was found in Providence.

TSA credits daily training for catching those items and others.

“TSA employees, I would tell you, are probably the most tested employees on the planet,” Barker said.

Edds said he remained confident that the TSA would not let dangerous items get on his flight no matter how they are concealed.

“Are they going to catch everything? Probably not?” Edds said. “I’m pretty confident in the job that needs to be done.”

TSA officials said that if you are traveling with a weapon, it needs to be in a checked back, unloaded and preferably in a hard case.

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