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TSA security report: No guns for airport security officers

More than four-months after the killing of an airport security officer and wounding of another officer and a civilian, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released a report on Wednesday, that includes the review of policies, procedures and operations following the Nov. 1, 2013, shooting incident at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). But the report is being met with sharp criticism by law enforcement officers who call it a "politically correct" exercise.

TSA agents who are on duty at both airports and railway stations have been denigrated by the media, politicians and American citizens.
DHS/TSA

The more than 25-page report recommends sworn law enforcement officers to be fully-armed with lethal and non-lethal weapons including firearms at least at security checkpoints and ticket counters during the busiest times in U.S. airports, clearly revealing its opposition to arming the TSA security officers.

J. David Cox Sr., the president of the American Federation of Government Employees says the recommendation further justifies arming the TSA security force or at least creating an armed unit of sworn and armed law enforcement officers working directly for the TSA. But, TSA's Obama-picked chief claims guns are not the solution.

“Following the incident at LAX last year, which shocked and saddened us all, I ordered a comprehensive review of policies and procedures at LAX and airports across the country. The report released today outlines the actions TSA took immediately following the shooting and new procedures to enhance the safety and security of TSA employees nationwide, especially those who work on the frontlines each and every day to protect the traveling public,” TSA Administrator John S. Pistole said in a press release on Wednesday.

“We sought the input of all TSA employees through a variety of mechanisms such as town hall meetings and the online Idea Factory. Ideas were submitted from all levels of the organization, to include our frontline officers and Federal Security Directors,” said Pistole in his release. “Many of these ideas were endorsed and incorporated into our action plan. We continue to welcome stakeholder and workforce feedback to improve safety and security at airports nationwide.”

However, the report reveals that the Obama administration, especially those within his national security circle, frown on the idea of arming TSA security officers.

"It's just like their nuclear security posture: Instead of worrying about our nation's enemies having access to -- or actually using -- a nuclear weapon, progressives worry about how many nuclear missiles and bombs we have in our arsenal," said former police training officer Douglas Laughlin.

According to the TSA report, right after the LAX shooting occurred, the TSA airport security directors were instructed to increase the perception of strength by having state and local airport law enforcement agencies increase the number of armed and uniformed police officers in and around security checkpoints.

Since the LAX 2013 shooting, the TSA, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, claims its officials have taken steps to improve officer safety and security.

For example, they've initiated active shooter training sessions for all TSA employees, as well as staging evacuation drills twice a year. Another step would be having all airports cut down on armed officers' response times.