Man Accidentally Brings Loaded Gun on Flight, Which Apparently Happens Often

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Photo: New Yorker

Houston businessman Farid Seif didn't intend to bring a gun on a flight out of Houston, but he did just that after he forget he'd packed it and TSA screeners at Bush Intercontinental Airport failed to catch it. The loaded .40 caliber pistol that Saif carries for protection was safely tucked away inside a carry-on computer bag, where it stayed throughout the flight. He reported the incident as soon as he landed and said, "There's nothing else in [the bag] How can you miss it? You cannot miss it." Lest you think this is an isolated incident, it's actually brought to light how common this type of thing is. In fact, it's apparently possible that the majority of weapons pass through TSA screeners. Although ABC News says "how often it occurs is a closely guarded government secret," they found out:

A person briefed on the latest tests tells ABC News the failure rate approaches 70 percent at some major airports. Two weeks ago, TSA's new director said every test gun, bomb part or knife got past screeners at some airports.

If that's really the case, the TSA needs a more efficient and more effective screening process, so cue outrage. But, as for the screeners themselves, who are accidentally allowing weapons to pass on by, even aviation security expert Jim Conway says: Face it, just like you are at work sometimes (but not us today, no certainly not us today), airport security screeners are hung-over, tired, and all too susceptible to basic human error. "Screeners have a demanding job," he explained. "Staring for hours at monitors looking for prohibited items, they fatigue. I mean, these folks are doing the best job they can." So we need to get some masterful, professional screeners hired at airports (a measure likely more effective than nude scanners and pat-downs) or we're stuck with the types of twentysomething employees who are apparently less than perfect, to put it gently.

Man boards plane at IAH with loaded gun in carry-on [ABC via Gizmodo]