ATLANTA (Gray News) – A person inadvertently got a gun through airport security in Atlanta and flew with it all the way to Tokyo earlier this month, the Transportation Security Administration acknowledged on Monday.
The gun went through a checkpoint on Jan. 2 in the carry-on of a passenger who had forgotten it was in there, The New York Times reported.
The passenger then flew with the gun from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, to Tokyo. Delta Air Lines told CNN the passenger disclosed the security breach voluntarily, and then Delta reported it to TSA.
The partial government shutdown has left TSA employees working without pay, and many have been calling in sick. According to The Times, five percent of all TSA workers nationwide didn’t report to work the day the passenger got a gun through security.
An agency statement to CNN denied that the shutdown contributed to the breach.
“The perception that this might have occurred as a result of the partial government shutdown would be false,” it said.
It said the national callout rate on the day after the incident was 4.8 percent, actually down from a year prior.
The number of absences has continued to increase, with 7.6 percent of employees not reporting on Monday.
“Most importantly, security standards remain uncompromised at our nation’s airports,” Michael Bilello, an agency official, tweeted.
He later said Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, as well as Washington-Dulles International Airport, were “exercising their contingency plans to uphold aviation security standards.” Atlanta’s was due to “anticipated high-volume” traffic, he said.
Passengers in Atlanta have reported waiting more than hour in security lines.
“#ATL is experiencing longer than usual wait times during peak travel,” the airport tweeted on Monday. “Please plan ahead and give yourself 3 hours to clear security.”
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