Airport security officials at Los Angeles International Airport failed to detect a loaded handgun that was contained in a traveler's checked bag Sunday, according to several law enforcement sources.
An airport ramp crew discovered the loaded .38-caliber handgun Sunday after it tumbled from an unzipped compartment in a duffel bag they were loading onto Alaska Airlines Flight 563, according to the sources. The aircraft was leaving the terminal at LAX at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, bound for Portland, Ore.
Workers called Los Angeles Airport Police to report the discovery. The owner of the gun was questioned at the LAPD's Pacific station and released and allowed to board a later flight to Portland. The gun was turned over to Los Angeles police, the source said.
The law enforcement sources declined to speak for attribution on the case, saying they were not authorized to speak for their departments.
A TSA spokeswoman said she was unfamiliar with the incident, but was seeking details and would comment later in the day.
TSA spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the TSA had screened the bag for explosives and there were none.
"It's the airline and passenger's responsibility to ensure that firearms are transported correctly," she said. Dankers noted that since the firearm was in a checked bag, the passenger would not have had access to it on the flight].
According to the law enforcement sources, the traveler had not given the airline required notification that he was traveling with a gun in his checked bag on the trip from Los Angeles to Portland.
The traveler told authorities that he had flown out of Portland with the same bag, with the gun inside, three days earlier. It was not immediately clear whether he had notified the airline about the gun when he flew out of Portland.
Marshall McClain, president of the union representing Los Angeles Airport Police, said the incident showed that the Transportation Safety Administration had not focused on its core mission, to thoroughly screen passengers, while expending too much effort on duties that police perform.
"TSA must do their primary mission and do it well," McClain said. "Local law enforcement needs to know that TSA is doing their part and not continuously trying to duplicate the law enforcement side of the airport screening program while their primary mission suffers."
About the Canadian Tactical Training Academy
Security forces play a very important role in emergency management as well as in the daily operations of any airport and/or airline. A safety department’s ability to successfully deal with a crisis situation depend directly upon the preparedness of its officers. In this day and age, the field of airport and airline security is considered to be a specialization for which officers must combine both proper training and pertinent experience. Although some officers represent private entities, generally this is a service carried out under the supervision of a government entity. This training offers the participant the opportunity of acquiring the fundamental notions and necessary instruction from experts in the fields of Airport and Airline Protection, having operated both locally and internationally.
The Canadian Tactical Training Academy (CTTA) is an organization devoted to the training of law enforcement, security, investigation, protection officers, and all those who dedicate themselves to maintaining peace.
CTTA Training Programs include but are not limited to:
Airport Security Operations:
- ICAO and IATA security standards
- Perimeter protection and access control
- Protecting public areas (parking, ticket counters, restaurant, shops, restrooms, etc.)
- Protecting restricted areas (lounges, restaurants, duty-free shops, restrooms, etc.)
- Vehicle and pedestrian patrols, (public and restricted areas)
Airline Security Operations:
- ICAO and IATA security standards
- Passenger profiling
- Passenger and employee screening
- Dealing with unruly passengers
- Cargo, courier and mail security
Training courses can be customized according to specific needs.
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