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Tag: airport security

Fox News Columnist: TSA Should Stop Discriminating Against Gun Owners

airport-people-walkingBy Diane Black
Fox News

If you have followed the news headlines lately, you know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) – the bureaucracy responsible for ensuring the safety of our nation’s travelers – has seen better days. An internal investigation released in June found that the TSA had a stunning 96 percent failure rate in detecting weapons and fake explosives.  More recently, a report from “The Today Show” revealed that NBC producers were able to pass airport security with Swiss army knives and box cutters in tow. Comforting, huh?

While knives and weapons may make it past airport security all too often, your handgun carry permit – a government-issued form of identification – will not. I speak from personal experience. On a recent flight from Nashville to Washington, I approached the TSA counter only to realize my drivers’ license was tucked away in a pocket of my jeans at home. Unfazed, I pulled out my handgun carry permit to identify myself to the agent. The card bears my picture, my full legal name, my date of birth, and a hologram with the state seal.

Further, as any firearm owner knows, the process of obtaining your handgun license is significantly more involved than obtaining a drivers’ license. It requires completion of a safety course, a fingerprint, and a thorough background check. If that’s good enough to carry a weapon, then surely it is sufficient as a form of identification to board a plane, right?

Wrong. As I handed over my permit, I was met with a look of immediate disapproval. The TSA agent informed me that handgun licenses are banned as a form of identification. After a moment of panic, I showed the agent my Congressional voting card and boarded my flight, but I vowed to do my research on the subject upon returning to Washington.

As it turns out, the TSA agent was correct. Their website explicitly states that “A weapon permit is not an acceptable form of identification” so I decided to determine what is allowed under TSA standards. According to federal law, the criteria for a “verifying identity document” is “an unexpired document issued by a U.S Federal, State, or tribal government” that includes your full name, date of birth, and photograph … In other words, everything that is on my handgun carry permit.  Compounding my frustration were the reports earlier this year that TSA was accepting Costco membership cards as a form of identification. Double standard much?

To read more click here. 

Investigation Opens to Find Leak of Alarming Study about Airport Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was an alarming discovery: An undercover operation found that investigators could slip through airport security with weapons and phony bombs more than 95% of the time, the Washington Post reports.

But that information, which quickly spread nationwide, is considered “classified,” so whoever leaked it could face termination or even jail time.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security said he is investigating.

“We have started an investigation to determine where the leak was,” Inspector General John Roth told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

After the reports became public, acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway was forced from the job, the Post wrote.

TSA Offers $15,000 for Ways to Improve Frustrating Screening Lines at Airports

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Security comes at a cost.

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, passengers have complained about long wait times and intrusive searches.

Now the TSA is offering $15,000 for the best ideas for improving those frustrating screening lines, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The challenge, said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein, “is about leveraging innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions to TSA’s most challenging issues.”

The person with the best idea will receive at least $5,000, while others with good ideas will get at least $2,500.

Report on Airport Security Breach is Cause for Heartburn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The stats for our nation’s airport should be cause for major heartburn.

USA Today reports that more than 25,000 security breaches — an average of about seven per day — have occurred at U.S. airports since November 2001.

Citing newly released Department of Homeland Security documents, USA Today reported that more than 14,000 people entered “limited-access” areas by going through airport doors or passageways without permission.

Other breaches included unauthorized people going from airport buildings to planes.

The documents are to be presented at a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, the paper reported.

“It’s clear the airports are not secure,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations said, according to USA Today. “For all the money, time and persistence we have thrown at airport security, it’s a real mess.”

Things We Still Don’t Know About Airport Security on 9/11

twin-towers-9-111As Andrew Cochran points out, there’s so much we still don’t know about what happened on 9/11. Time for some of that transparency the Obama administration has promised.

By Andrew Cochran
Counterterrorism Blog

Here is what we still don’t know, over seven years after the 9/11 attacks, about airline and airport security on that day:

1. We don’t know if all of the metal screening machines at the airports involved had been tested and were actually working as designed;

2. We don’t know if the security personnel working on those machines and screen passengers were qualified and properly trained to find barred and dangerous items; and

3. We don’t know how the terrorists made it through the checkpoints with their deadly box-cutters, knives and mace.

All that, and more, was unilaterally designated by the aviation industry defendants as confidential, wrongfully exploiting a protective order issued by a federal judge in 2004, designed only to protect trade secret and competitive information.

The order was entered in lawsuits filed by families of 9/11 victims against certain airlines, security companies and others responsible for airline and airport security (the “aviation defendants”) on that fateful day.

The remaining three families, out of 96 who filed lawsuits, have challenged the defendants’ “confidential trade secrets” designations, claiming that one of their major motivations for filing lawsuits and not going into the no-fault Victims Compensation Fund created by Congress was to ask questions, demand accountability and shed light on the checkpoint failures that allowed 19-for-19 hijackers to board aircrafts with prohibited weapons and hazardous materials.

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