As TSA workers across the nation call out sick (or work without a paycheck) amid the partial government shutdown, a passenger carried a gun on his flight out of Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. TSA confirmed the Jan. 2 incident with ABC News, saying in a statement that "standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm." The man boarded Delta Flight DL295 to Tokyo Narita International Airport, and upon arrival in Japan notified airline workers as to what had happened, a source says.
Hartsfield-Jackson is the country's busiest airport, and WSB-TV Atlanta confirms it has seen an increase in TSA workers calling out sick since the shutdown began on Dec. 22. But on the day of the gun incident, TSA had about 5% unscheduled absences, which the agency says is the same percentage it had on the same day a year prior, when the government was not shut down. After the passenger alerted airline staff, Delta alerted TSA; it's not clear what happened to the gun (Japan has strict gun control laws) or whether the passenger suffered any consequences. TSA's statement says "TSA will hold those responsible appropriately accountable." (Read more Transportation Security Administration stories.)