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TSA Fails to Spot Loaded Gun at Orlando Security Checkpoint, Woman Flies To New Jersey With Weapon

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Sep 28, 2012 02:56 PM EDT

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TSA scanner
The TSA knows a lot more about passengers than they probably should. According to a New York Times article, the Transportation Security Administration has access to several huge federal and private databases that it uses to keep track of people traveling via U.S. airports.(Photo : Reuters)

The TSA isn't known for having the best reputation and a recent incident provides further evidence. TSA airport screeners at the Orlando International Airport didn't notice a loaded gun in a woman's carry-on bag. They woman was able to board her flight with the weapon and fly all the way to New Jersey.

The only reason officials found out about the gun was because the woman reported it when her flight landed at Newark Airport. The 37-year-old Florida woman realized that she was carrying her .380 caliber Ruger in her bag when she was already on United Flight 15, according to the New York Post.

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The woman was in possession of the gun as she is a firefighter who is licensed to carry it. She didn't realize she had it on her when she got past security and boarded the flight which left Florida at 8:19 a.m. She noticed the weapon on the flight but didn't tell anyone on the plane.

When the plane landed in New Jersey at 10:24 a.m., she immediately went up to a Port Authoirty police officer to let them know about it.

"She was visibly upset. She said she had a license to carry it and just forgot it," Della Fave told the Post. "The [Port Authority] officer took possession of the handgun and made it safe."

The police got in touch with the Essex County prosecutor but the woman was not charged with anything or arrested because she reported the incident herself.

The Transportation Security Administration was made aware of the issue.

"TSA is aware of this situation and is reviewing the circumstances," said Lisa Farbstein, a spokeswoman for the agency told the Post.

This isn't even the first time that a weapon made it past TSA security.

According to the Post, a New York woman was able to get a switchblade past security at LaGuardia Airport in April. She made it to the boarding gate before cops were able to stop her. In a similar incident a month earlier, another woman walked through TSA security at JFK Airport with a dagger in her carry-on. The TSA didn't notify police for ten minutes.

It is extremely rare for a gun to make it past security, but it isn't rare for passengers to be carrying them in their luggage. The TSA reported that they find four or five guns packed in checked luggage each day.

According to the Post, the TSA confiscated 821 guns, rifles and pistols from carry-ons at 160 different airports just within the first seven months of 2012.

As the incident just occurred, the TSA is investigating it to try to determine how the woman's gun was able to get past security.

In June, JFK airport was evacuated after a TSA agent failed to realize that a metal detector was unplugged and didn't screen hundreds of passengers.


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