Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

October 2021
S M T W T F S
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for October 14th, 2021

TSA Seizes Record Number of Guns at Airport Checkpoints This Year

By Steve Neavling

The TSA seized a record number of guns at airport security checkpoints this year, with three months left in 2021 and fewer passengers traveling due to COVID-19. 

In the first nine months of this year, TSA officers stopped 4,495 passengers who tried to carry firearms through checkpoints, setting a 20-year record. The previous record was 4,432 in 2019. 

A decade ago, 1,320 guns were seized. 

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”

It’s not entirely clear why more travelers are bringing guns to airports. 

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport led the nation in gun seizures at 391 this year, followed by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with 232 and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston with 168, the agency said.

Eric Velez-Villar Named Assistant Director of Office of Private Sector at FBI Headquarters

Special Agent Eric Velez-Villar

By Steve Neavling

Retired Special Agent Eric Velez-Villar has been named assistant director of the Office of Private Sector at FBI headquarters. 

The Office of Private Sector operates under the FBI Intelligence Branch and is tasked with strengthening partnerships between the bureau and the private sector.

Before becoming a special agent in 1992, Velez-Villar began his FBI career as a computer scientist in the San Juan Field Office in Puerto Rico. As a special agent, he investigated organized crime and drug cases in the McAllen Resident Agency of the San Antonio Field Office in Texas. 

In 1997, he transferred to the San Juan office and investigated public corruption cases and violent crimes.

In 2000, Velez-Villar became a supervisory special agent in the Drug Section of the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI headquarters. He was detailed to the DEA for two years.

In 2002, he transferred to the Santa Ana Resident Agency of the Los Angeles Field Office, where he investigated organized crime. He was later reassigned to supervise the Orange County Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). 

In 2004, Velez-Villar was promoted to assistant special agent in charge of the Los Angeles counterterrorism program, where he oversaw three regional JTTFs. In 2006, Velez-Villar was promoted to deputy director of the Terrorist Screening Center before returning to Los Angeles as special agent in charge of the office’s Intelligence Division in 2007. 

In 2009, he was named deputy assistant director in the Directorate of Intelligence at FBI headquarters, in charge of the Intelligence Operations Branch.

In 2012, he became assistant director of the Directorate of Intelligence and was promoted to executive assistant director of the Intelligence Branch in 2014. 

After retiring in 2016, Velez-Villar worked as vice president for security at the Walt Disney Company and established a security consulting firm.

Velez-Villar received a bachelor’s degree from the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico and an MBA from the University of Southern California.