A pistol discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag was accidentally fired inside the Atlanta airport, grazing a police officer, authorities said on Monday.
Security screeners at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spotted the .22-caliber pistol Sunday via an X-ray machine and notified Atlanta police, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Jonathan Allen said.
Authorities said the gun was loaded with five rounds of ammunition known as “snake shot,” which typically is used to kill small animals. As a police officer tried to remove the rounds while pointing the weapon at a screening table, the gun was unintentionally fired, according to an incident report.
The passenger, a 43-year-old Georgia man, was arrested on weapons charges and remained in jail early on Monday. He told police that he “travels to Florida often on business and keeps the weapon on him for protection, not to kill anyone but in an attempt to scare people off,” the report said.
It was stupid to attempt going though the TSA screeners with a firearm. It was stupid for the police officer to fire the gun. It was stupid to carry snake loads for self protection against humans. It was stupid to carry a firearm to only scare people.