Airline worker caught with gun at Detroit Metro raising security questions

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 22:19:12-04

A spokesperson for Detroit Metro Airport says there is an ongoing investigation into why a worker brought guns to the airport.

At the airport, workers don’t go through the same security screenings that passengers go through. At many airlines they simply need to show their badge. 

Recently, Delta decided to step up security at Detroit Metro Airport. 

Last Wednesday, just over a week after Delta started screening all employees, sources tell 7 Action News the new security unit screening workers found a worker trying to bring a loaded gun into the airport.

The worker told the security unit he forgot he had the gun, but he has a CPL.

That’s not all. Sources say when Airport Police searched his car, they found another gun.

There are restrictions on guns and other dangerous weapons on airport property.

A Wayne County Airport Authority Ordinance reads that no one shall, "Possess a dangerous weapon in any area of the Airport. This includes, but is not limited to, all Airport buildings, Airport terminals, airfields, parking lots, Aircraft and vehicles using the Airport, and any building or gate that opens onto the airfield."

It provides exceptions for on-duty law enforcement, and CPL carriers who are not approaching secure areas or the TSA screening process. 

It raises questions: Why would the worker bring guns to the airport? And, is this a sign more airlines need to screen all their workers to keep passengers safe?

“One of the greatest vulnerabilities at our airport is the insider threat, someone that is going to use their credentials to exploit the system,” said Lauren Stover, Security Director at Miami International Airport.

She spoke to CNN last year for a story that revealed, her airport is one of the few in the country that screens all workers as they enter.

The story came after a baggage handler in Atlanta smuggled guns to a passenger already through security.  The worker could do that because at most airports all you need is to to get a badge and you’re in - no regular physical security checks .

A spokesperson for Detroit Metro would not comment on security in place to screen employees at various airlines. Why? He said, for security reasons.

"Enhanced screening procedures for employees is something the Airport Authority has been implementing in cooperation with our federal partners, airlines, tenants, and stakeholders as part of our multi-layered approach to airport security.  While we do not share details related to airport security operations, our Public Safety team is constantly evaluating our airport security processes and procedures to ensure safe and secure facilities for our travelers and employees,” said Brian Lassaline, Public Affairs Director at Wayne County Airport Authority.  

7 Action News contacted the man accused of bringing guns to the airport. He had no comment.

Delta says he is suspended from work as Airport police investigate his crime.