US Transport Security Administration has officially been asked that all airport and airline employees be physically screened.
The new screening request comes two weeks after a Delta Airline baggage handler was charged with smuggling 153 guns onto varying flights from Atlanta to New York City.
The request was made by New York Senator, Charles Schumer, who wants all airline and airport employees physically screened each day before work.
The screening request was also extended to include pilots and flight crew, who he feels, should have to pass through metal detectors at airports as well as airport employees, including plane mechanics, luggage loaders and others in work areas behind security checkpoints.
As it stands now, there is no mandatory screening for any airport staff or airline crew.
Schumer based his request on the gun-running operation that was exposed in December, where Delta Airline’s, Eugene Harvey, a baggage handler, was charged with aiding Mark Quentin Henry, a former Delta employee, evade the detection of guns in carry-on bags.
In a news conference, Schumer referred to the smuggling operation saying it “was a cake walk for criminals to pull off due to a major loophole in our airport security protocols.”
Ken Thompson, a D.A. of the team that broke the case, explained that Henry legally purchased the handguns and assault rifles then gave them to Harvey who walked them into Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s secured area completely undetected. The weapons were then transferred back to Henry, who carried them onto Delta flights.
Four men ran the gun-smuggling operation from March to December of 2014.
Thompson noted that, “A bomb could have easily been put on any of these planes, just like the guns were, and so the federal government has an obligation to do something about this immediately.” He also noted that everyday passengers are still requested to surrender their water bottles at airport security check points.