Passenger gets gun past Atlanta airport screeners, flies with it to Tokyo

TSA finds record number of guns this year

A passenger managed to slip a gun past screeners at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and fly with it all the way to Tokyo, federal officials confirmed to CBS News. He alerted Delta Air Lines workers when the plane got to its destination,  the carrier confirmed.

The story was first reported by WSB-TV in Atlanta.

The Transportation Security Administration told CBS News, "TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on January 2. TSA will hold those responsible appropriately accountable."

The was no word whether that includes the passenger being arrested.

Delta said, "The flight in question was DL295 (Atlanta to Tokyo Narita International Airport) on Jan. 2. Upon the customer's disclosure, airline officials alerted TSA."

The incident doesn't appear to have been related to the partial shutdown of the federal government.

The percentage of screeners calling in sick nationwide was the same on Wednesday, January 2, 2019 -- 5 percent -- as it was on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, when there was no shutdown.

TSA screeners spotted more than 4,000 firearms in carry-on bags in 2018 – nearly 300 in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport alone.   

A CBS News review of the police documents reveals at least three incidents in 2017 where it appears the gun was missed by TSA screeners at one airport and only discovered on the person's trip home.

"It happens because the technology doesn't get everything all the time....either there's a technology issue, there's a procedural issue, or there's a training issue," TSA Administrator David Pekoske said. "I'm troubled by that, too. I think that everybody in TSA is troubled by it and mistakes happen...And I can't give you an answer as to how often it happens. But when it does happen, we do everything we can to figure out why it happened."