Bullets found on Southwest flight by CNN photographer going to cover Sarah Palin

Let your kids kick the seats in front of them: it could save your life. If you’re the passenger being inconvenienced, it may behoove you to find a way to cope.

A kid who would otherwise be branded a royal pain found a loaded gun magazine … that should have been in the hands of a law enforcement official … on a Southwest Airlines flight. To make matters worse, the media was actually on the plane!

Here’s how it happened:

1. A kid was sitting on his mother’s lap during a flight from Burbank, California to Phoenix, Arizona
2. The plane landed, and the kid crawled across the seats in his row
3. His foot knocked an item to the floor – it was a loaded gun magazine
4. A flight attendant picked it up, but not before someone from a CNN crew, photographer Gregg Canes, saw it
5. The CNN passenger asked to take pictures of it, but the flight attendant would not let him
6. The gun magazine was turned over to the authorities

It’s that simple, folks … but it does get a lot more interesting.According to a statement by Southwest, “The item was immediately turned over to the crew working the flight who called in the local authorities to handle the investigation,” continuing, “The passengers who were remaining on that flight were rescreened and the plane was thoroughly inspected before returning to service.” They were ten allowed to get off the plane.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King told CNN that the officer who left the gun mag behind did follow the proper procedures to bring his gun on the plane. CNN adds:

“The full magazine was found in a back seat pocket,” a TSA official told CNN. “We believe it was left by a law enforcement officer on a flight that originated in San Jose and landed in Burbank. The officer was not an air marshal and we are trying to establish contact with the agent.”

Canes put it best: “It was actually almost funny, given the amount of scrutiny that we’ve been paying to the [Transportation Security Administration] and personal security. It seemed almost funny to see a magazine with bullets in it just sort of lying on the floor of a commercial jetliner.”

Need a bit of irony to round this out? Canes must have been in a gun state of mind; he was headed to Phoenix to cover a Sarah Palin book signing.

[photo by gcfairch via Flickr]