Loaded Gun Slips Past TSA
I’m not really worried about mistakes like this. Sure, a gun slips through occasionally, and a knife slips through even more often. (I’m sure the TSA doesn’t catch 100% of all bombs in tests, either.) But these items are caught by the TSA often enough, and when the TSA does catch someone, they’re going to call the police and totally ruin his day. A terrorist can’t build a plot around succeeding.
It’s things like liquids that are the real problem. Because there are no consequences to trying—the bottle of water just gets thrown into the trash—a terrorist can repeatedly try until he succeeds in slipping it through.
I asked then-TSA Administrator Kip Hawley about this in 2007. He didn’t answer.