Houston Passenger Brought Loaded Pistol on Plane

Posted Dec 17th 2010 08:22 AMUpdated Feb 7th 2011 12:58 PM


A Houston businessman has a cautionary tale for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) authorities just in time for the busy holiday travel season. Iranian-American Farid Seif says last year he boarded a Continental Airlines flight with a loaded handgun in his carry-on.

Seif says he passed through security at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport during last year's holiday season without realizing he had forgotten to unpack the gun – a loaded snub nose Glock pistol – in his empty computer bag.

TSA screeners did not spot the weapon.

Seif says he was shocked when, after the three-hour flight, he arrived at his hotel room and found the gun.

"There's nothing else in there. How can you miss it? You cannot miss it," Seif tells Houston's KTRK.

Seif says he contacted the TSA to report the incident.

Homeland Security has warned about threats al-Qaida during the holiday season, and advised travelers they can expect to see heightened security at airports including the use of full body scanners and enhanced pat downs.

Clark Kent Ervin, former Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security, tells ABC News that weapons can still slip through airport security.

The results of "red team tests," where undercover agents test what weapons and other banned items they can get through airport security, are classified. But the failure rate approached 70 percent at some major airports in recent tests, ABC News reports.

The TSA screeners who missed the gun in Houston were reportedly disciplined, but not fired.

Aviation Security Expert Jim Conway tells KTRK the screeners have a tough job and can experience job fatigue.

"Look, this is simply human error," Conway said. "When something like this happens, it's human error. I mean, these folks are doing the best job they can."

Photo, rafelmarquesz, flickr
Filed Under: News

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
charluvsdisney charluvsdisney

Houston Airport workers are idiots!

December 19 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary M

In the late 70's I worked security at Los Angeles Airport and found several guns on people, including one that was wanted for murder in NYC. But my co-workers were not so diligent, in fact I would send a toy gun through the X-Ray machine in a paper bag and they never caught it.
Even though the equipment used today is far superior to what we were using, the workers do no seem to have changed. This is a perfect example of the best detection devices being useless without an attentive operator.

December 18 2010 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paula Hernandez

If serial killers are predominantly white males, then PROFILE white males. If terrorists are predominantly middle-eastern Muslims, then PROFILE middle-eastern Muslims.

Liberalism in this country has led us to a place where all sense of logic has been abandoned. And why? To avoid offending the delicate sensibilities of every human being on the plant.(well, except Christians)

My grandparents were all immigrants. I remember the stories of hard work, appreciation, and assimilation. They were fortunate and blessed for the opportunity to make a life in the greatest country in the nation and knew it.

This is America, people. If you don't like it, then you are free to move back to your country of origin. If you want to live here, then support the irradication of terrorism by supporting appropriate measures, such as CRIMINAL profiling!

Absolute insanity!

December 18 2010 at 10:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope I NEVER hear another complaint about "homeland security". If you don't like the way this country is run... then LEAVE!!! Stricter measures are needed to protect our people!

December 18 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Profiling may be effective, and it should be used. However, it should not be the only method, as terrorist groups are reportedly recruiting non-Muslims (including white females) to carry out their evil deeds.

December 18 2010 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did no-one catch the fact that this happened LAST year??? TSA wasn't under the gun then, and pat-downs were non-existent. It's a shame that these procedures even have to be done, but since they do, I'd rather have someone doing the job that at least cares about the safety of those flying. The importance of safety is more than "just a paycheck". Those that treat the job as such need to be replaced by people who will do the job conscientiously and correctly.

December 17 2010 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doesn't this just take the cake- "Let's pat down little kids, old ladies, anybody, but let a loaded gun on an airplane"?? And it was in a case!!
Come on people, gov't, etc.- wake up!! Thank heavens this guy was honest and reported it. But it just goes to show how this illegal invasion of our privacy is NOT JUSTIFIED!! (See our constitution) Have they found anything with this? No!
Stop bugging innocent people! Find out who people are that look suspicious and profile them- don't pat down and scan with potential harmful radiation, since it doesn't work except to have people not want to fly anymore!

December 17 2010 at 11:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well the US is stupid but some think we are trying to teach the world how to be civilized. The time will come when we will have to puch the button..and that is ok because as a species ..we SUCK..but lets win in the mean time. Rome died because the army was all gay because they were perverted and thought it was fun. They were just like us now! So have a Merry Christmas

December 17 2010 at 11:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Am I the only one that's calling this reporter an idiot for writing what they call a "snub nosed" pistol? I hardly see an Glock, most likely a 40mm, automatic a snub nose gun. Gezzzzzzzzzzzz I knew what a snub nose was when I was three years old. Generally the .38 REVOLVER is what's known as a snub nose but any wheel gun that has a 2" or less barrel is a snub nose.
These people writs as they see fit without any proof reading or editing. For sure no investigating what the write about. ( And most likely get paid for it too. LOLOLOLOLOL
I agree wholeheartedly with profiling. Let's face it we do it every day in our normal lives. See some person looking weird and we avoid them. Why? Becasue we've learned by profiling that attracting their attention could possibly run into trouble. Profiling is NOT a bad thing. Handling peoples private parts is a bad thing. Outside of their job if these TSA workers tried that they'd be in the pokey in a heartbeat. If they tried it with me or mine they'd also have a split lip.

December 17 2010 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Stephens

That's GREAT! Post this stat that 70% ("approaching 70%") of the time, screener fail to catch what they should see. Sometimes (actually, OFTEN), the media needs to be more responsible.

December 17 2010 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply