NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Transportation Security Administration is looking into a report claiming one of their agents left his loaded pistol in a bathroom at Newark Liberty International Airport.
“TSA is investigating these allegations, and if true, appropriate measures will be taken,” the TSA said in a statement.
The incident took place in March, according to a report in NJ.com.
The marshal left his pistol on top of a toilet paper dispenser in a public men’s room, NJ.com reported, citing sources.
A janitor found the loaded pistol and alerted the TSA, according to the report.
Passengers at Newark told CBS2’s Sonia Rincon that if the report is true, it’s cause for concern.
“That’s pretty stupid. For somebody taking their gun off in the bathroom for whatever reason, especially a police officer or an air marshal, they should know better. So it’s kind of scary,” one passenger said.
“I think that was very careless and very dangerous,” another said.
The weapon was reportedly traced back to the marshal. It’s not clear where the marshal had gone. Federal Air Marshals are the only ones allowed to bring firearms onto flights. They work in plain clothes and answer to the TSA.
Security expert and FBI agent Manny Gomez said the protocol is the same with any type of law enforcement and securing weapons.
“Whether it’s local, state, or federal law enforcement that firearm stays on your person. You do not want to leave that firearm where anybody could gain access to it,” he said.
Gomez said if the report is true the marshal could be suspended.
“And depending on the severity of the circumstances, was he intoxicated? was he just delinquent in not securing his firearm? He might be terminated,” Gomez added.
The TSA said, in a written statement, that it is investigating the allegations, and if true, appropriate measures will be taken.