ATLANTA — The Transportation Security Agency said a gun that slipped past security on an Atlanta to Tokyo flight January 2 was not due to the government shutdown.
After people across social media hinted that the gun was probably missed due to a lack of workers, a TSA spokesperson issued this statement to 11Alive Monday morning.
"The national call out percentages were exactly the same for Wed, 1/2/19 and Wed, 1/3/18 (when there was no shutdown) -- 5 %. It’s still accurate that staffing was not an issue in this case."
The TSA said the call out percentage was the exact same in 2018, when there wasn't a shutdown. However, as the partial government closure rolls into its 24th day TSA says the amount of unscheduled absences has more than doubled from this day last year.
"TSA experienced a national rate of 7.6 percent unscheduled absences compared to a 3.2 percent rate one year ago, Monday, January 15, 2018," said TSA's Spokesperson.
It is not the first headline in which the agency has missed dangerous weapons in passengers' luggage.
According to a 2017 NBC News report, TSA screeners failed to detect test weapons at a "high rate," findings one Congressional committee chairman called "disturbing." Before that, a 2015 investigation also found screeners failed to detect 95 percent of test items.
According to online flight tracking website, Flight Aware, Delta Air Lines flight 295 took off from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta around 11:30 a.m. Jan. 2 and landed at Tokyo Narita International Airport around 3 p.m. Jan. 3.
After landing, the passenger told officials about having the gun.
The agency later confirmed to NBC News that two TSA officers were terminated as a result.