TSA fails to detect gun at Montana airport – may be replaced by private firm

Stories of poor TSA security screenings are not new – several days ago we wrote about a man who passed through a Milwaukee checkpoint with shotgun shells. In this “TSA screw-up of the day”, we head to Gallatin Field, serving Bozeman, Montana.

This may be a fairly small airport, but that should not be an excuse for the TSA to miss a firearm in a carry-on bag. The gun belonged to an “unidentified man”, who was honest enough to notify the cabin crew when he noticed his error. As is normally the case, the plane returned to the gate, and was delayed for over an hour while the TSA did their job (again).

Now, I understand how our constant “TSA bashing” be be getting a little boring, but this story suddenly gets really interesting. Airport director Brian Sprenger is so fed up with the government screeners, that he is seriously considering replacing them with an outside security firm.

Of course, a local union leader is “strongly opposed”, claiming for-profit security firms are a bad idea, because they’ll need to make a profit, while working with the same budget offered to the TSA. But to be honest, I don’t see how a private firm could be any worse than the government workers in place right now.

Failing to detect a gun is the kind of mistake that could cost the lives of everyone on the plane. Too much emphasis is placed on items like water bottles and false no-fly list passengers, that you sometimes get the feeling they forget to keep a close eye on the most obvious issues.

There are no immediate plans to replace the TSA at Bozeman just yet – but the airport is in the exploratory phase, which on its own should set off some alarm bells within government.

Check out these other stories from the airport checkpoint!