Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson talks about shoe bomb threat

Jeh Johnson

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson visited Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday and briefly commented on reports that security officials told airlines to be extra vigilant against would-be shoe bombers.

Here’s what he said.

“The advisory we issued is the type that we routinely issue in response to the latest intelligence,” Johnson said. “As you know, concerns about shoe bombs have been out there for years. Every once in awhile we update our advisories. We monitor our procedures so that we remain vigilant and in dealing with the various different threats that exist.”

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Is the punishment for bringing a gun through airport security too harsh?

Someone tried to bring this gun through security last week at Seattle's airport. Photo: TSA

Someone tried to bring this gun through security last week at Seattle’s airport. Do you think the punishment for doing this should be lessened? Photo: TSA

Here’s something that probably wouldn’t fly in California.

Georgia airports bust so many travelers for bringing guns through security that some members of the state legislature want to loosen the penalties for carrying a firearm through a checkpoint, according to the Associated Press.

The story talks about a man named Gary Lawrence who mistakenly brought a loaded 22-caliber revolver through Atlanta’s airport, one he usually uses “as protection against venomous snakes and coyotes.” He spent a night in jail and was charged with a misdemeanor, according to the AP story.

AP says some Georgia legislators think that this is unfair. They seem think people shouldn’t be published for what might be considered an honest mistake.

Now, gun-friendly lawmakers in Georgia want people licensed to carry a gun to avoid arrest if they accidentally take their firearms into the security checkpoint at the country’s busiest airport and willingly leave the security line. It occurs as gun rights groups in Georgia push state lawmakers to broaden the places where people can legally take guns, including churches and bars.

According to the TSA, travelers take guns through security a lot more often than you might think. Here’s the TSA tally from last week, which it published on its blog.

Gun NumbersUntitled

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LAX: to make connections easier, American and US Airways will operate shuttle bus inside security

US Airways is expecting to move to Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport next week, leaving Terminal 1, which it has shared with Southwest Airlines.

I’m being told that Feb. 12 is the targeted move date. I’ll update if that changes.

American Airlines, which is merging with US Airways, has printed up posters in an attempt to make things easier for travelers. Here’s the good news: American and US Airways will run shuttle buses inside the secure area of the airport to facilitate connections between the two airlines. This means passengers won’t have to re-clear security to switch airlines. The buses will leave every 20 minutes.

That’s a big deal, because American’s Terminal 4 and US Airways’ Terminal 3 are not particularly close to one another, despite the numbering scheme. There’s also no way to walk from one terminal to the other without re-clearing security.

Here are posters you’ll see soon at Terminal 3 and Terminal 4.

American-US Airways 2

American-US Airways 1

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TSA officers at Long Beach Airport find 12 knives in bag


A man tried to bring 12 throwing knives with 3-inch blades and an 8-inch long bayonet through security this week at Long Beach Airport, officials said.

The man, who intended to fly Wednesday on Delta flight 2448 to Salt Lake City, told screeners that he forgot to check his bag, officials said. The incident happened at about 6:40 a.m.

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