How Did 65-Year-Old Woman Manage to Get Gun Through DFW Airport Security, Anyway?

No doubt you've heard by now that a 65-year-old Little Elm woman was arrested at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport this morning for taking a .38-caliber pistol aboard an American Airlines flight. The Transportation Security Administration sent out a press release early this morning; a couple of hours later, DFW Airport spokesman Dave Magana followed up with the airport's official what-for that also said 10 flights had been delayed for around 25 minutes.

Long story short, per DFW's account: At 6:19 this morning, TSA called airport security and said they needed help tracking down someone who got through a checkpoint at Terminal D carrying a gun. Took about two hours to find her, and at 8 a.m. a Houston-bound American flight parked at Gate D31 was called back to the gate for a secondary inspection,at which point they found the woman with the gun in her purse. Airport cops took her into custody and charged her with a third-degree felony: Places Weapons Prohibited. She's been released and will face those charges in Dallas County.

Which doesn't answer the question: Why didn't TSA workers spot the gun and take her into custody while she was actually, you know, standing right there? I sent Magana a note a few hours ago and didn't hear back. I also called TSA HQ for an explanation. They resent the press release, which says only that "the owner of the bag left the checkpoint before the screening process was complete and prior to surrendering the firearm." Luis Casanova, TSA spokesperson for the South Central Region, then told me via email: "Any further inquiry beyond this should be directed to the DFW Airport Police." Which, when contacted, said to call Magana.

At last, I reached Magana. His response, on the record: "For specific questions about process inside the checkpoint, those are more appropriately asked of TSA."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky