No changes planned in LAX security

After gun find

The Associated Press

Posted: 10/26/2011 11:36:49 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES—No changes will be made to security procedures at Los Angeles International Airport after a loaded handgun fell out of checked baggage being loaded on a plane, a Transportation Security Administration spokesman said Wednesday. The agency has no plans to change the policy of screening only carry-on luggage for guns, TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said. He noted that the weapons are legal to carry in checked bags if they are unloaded, declared and in a proper case.
“They are not … of themselves a security threat in the belly of an airplane because no one has access to them,” Melendez said.
Authorities said Alaska Airlines hadn’t been notified about the .38-caliber handgun that tumbled out of a duffel bag being loaded onto a Portland-bound flight on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The gun owner, whose name hasn’t been released, was questioned by police and allowed to board a later flight for Oregon.
The TSA can assess a civil penalty if it finds an undeclared firearm in a checked bag, Melendez said.
In 2000, a loaded gun went off on an Alaska Airlines flight and the bullet passed through the floor of the cabin and lodged in a diaper bag.
The TSA is required to screen all checked baggage for explosives. In its early days, the security agents also scanned bags on monitor screens that could capture images of the contents, including guns.
“Over the course of 10 years, the technology has gotten better,” Melendez said.

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