Bloggers are raising their voices in unison calling for punishment for a federal agent who left her gun in a restroom inside the secured area at Milwaukee’s airport.
“Using the agency’s own standards, this agent should be headed to the slam,” wrote straightarrow on the blog managed by Ryan Horsley at Red’s Trading Post in Idaho.
“Because it was left in a TSA secured area for anyone to pick up, anyone who found it was a prohibited person due to location,” he said.
The incident has gotten only nominal publicity, with mostly local reporters carrying the story. According to the Associated Press, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, who was not identified by authorities, left her gun in the restroom.
The special agent alerted authorities at some time later, after she had left the airport, according to Guy Thomas, a spokesman. He said it was recovered either by local authorities or a civilian.
He couldn’t confirm how long the weapon was available to be picked up in the restroom, but reported the situation was concluded quickly. “The important thing here is that the firearm is in the appropriate control,” he added.
A “standard” investigation is being done, according to Thomas.
“It’s a sensitive situation as you can imagine,” he told the AP. “The agent is embarrassed.”
But he confirmed she was not suspended or even placed on leave immediately.
He reported the agent was returning from a “long detail” and the issue of fatigue may have played a role.
But the news spread quickly to blogs, where Len Savage, president of Historic Arms, posted a report highlighting the fact that the firearm was left in the restroom.
“A handgun found unattended inside a TSA Secure Zone at an International Airport one might even consider that a crime,” he wrote. “If it were a crime, then according to the ‘ATF Evidence Collection Handbook,’ the firearm should be sent to ATF Firearms Technology Branch [FTB] for proper classification.”
“Why is this relevant? There are only (2) female special agents at the Milwaukee ATF Field Office [according to my sources, not yet confirmed]. I am told both female agents were involved in U.S. v. Olofson. So that amounts to a 100 percent change of this agent being involved in Olofson’s prosecution…,” he wrote.
WND reported earlier on the Olofson case in which a drill instructor was convicted of illegally transferring a machine gun after a rifle he loaned to a student malfunctioned, setting off three shots before jamming.
The verdict of guilty on one count in the case against David Olofson was confirmed by the clerk’s office in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
At the time, Savage wrote that that would mean anyone whose weapon malfunctions is subject to charges of having or handling a banned gun.
“If your semiautomatic rifle breaks or malfunctions you are now subject to prosecution. That is now a sad FACT,” he wrote.
He raised objections to the results of the Olofson case because the weapon when first tested performed within legal guidelines. It was only when investigators demanded a re-test using “soft primered commercial ammunition,” did it malfunction again.
“Ask yourself this: If any citizen other than an ATF agent did this, would the firearm involved get the above ‘treatment’ at FTB? If the shoe were on the other foot, then there would [be] no mystery as to who this was. It would be plastered all over the airwaves that a gun owner was ‘irresponsible,'” he said.
“Who endangered the public safety more? Mr. Olofson, whose rifle fired three times and jammed … or the ATF special agent who left her firearm for anyone to find [including terrorists and children] in a restroom?”
Continued straightarrow, “No matter whether the firearm gets sent to the FTB, this officer made a ‘willful’ illegal transfer of a firearm to a prohibited person or persons. … She willfully went to the restroom, she willfully removed her firearm from her person and she willfully departed sans firearm. When should we expect the indictment and the expert government witnesses to tell a judge to trust them, she is guilty and he doesn’t need to know anymore?”