“The passenger carried the firearm through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Narita, Japan, on Jan. 2, the Transportation Security Administration said in a statement that acknowledged security procedures weren’t followed,” the Post reports.
The man declared the gun when he landed in Japan, and Delta reported the incident back to the TSA. “The TSA said its security checkpoint was fully staffed and unaffected by the partial government shutdown that has prompted some security staff to call in sick to protest working without pay,” the Post adds.
An investigation is now underway to find the agent who failed to follow the proper procedures and he or she will be held “appropriately accountable,” the agency says in a statement to the same media outlet.
While this incident is making news, it’s not entirely unheard of for passengers to be able to get guns past security checkpoints. In 2015, a Georgia man got a gun past the TSA at the same airport in Atlanta, flying with it to Chicago. Upon landing, he “realized” what he’d done and mailed the gun back home, so as to avoid flying with it again.
Figures released by the TSA and cited by the Post show that, in May last year, 30 firearms were confiscated from the Atlanta airport, mostly in carry-ons. In just one week in December, 78 firearms were confiscated at airports worldwide.
Most owners claim not to have realized they had the gun in their bag.