Air marshals had over 200 firearm mishaps from 2005 to 2017: TSA records

Air marshals had over 200 firearm mishaps from 2005 to 2017: TSA records
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Federal air marshals have been accused of misusing firearms or committing misbehavior with guns more than 200 times over a 12-year period ending in 2017, Transportation Security Administration documents say.

According to documents produced by the agency's Office of Inspection that were obtained by CNN, more than 200 incidents occurred between 2005 and 2017 in which agents committed a variety of offenses ranging from improper weapon storage to endangering public safety.

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In one instance, a federal air marshal staying in a hotel room accidentally discharged a loaded service weapon, which damaged a television set in a neighboring room. There were 18 other cases that also involved the improper firing of weapons, according to CNN.

In one case last year, an air marshal stationed in Charlotte, N.C., discharged his "personally-owned" weapon and injured himself in the foot, according to the report.

More than a dozen incidents involved alcohol use, according to the news outlet, including one instance where an agent attended a firearms training session while under the influence.

Some instances involving improper storage of weapons led to police or civilians finding government-issued firearms, including one box of ammunition that was found by police in a school park. One firearm was reportedly left inside a Bed, Bath and Beyond store.

The report comes after a widely publicized incident last year in which a passenger found an air marshal's firearm in a Delta flight's bathroom. The agency was also forced to begin regularly checking to see whether armed agents showed up to shifts sober after reports of inebriated activity.

The TSA says it carries federal air marshals who receive extensive firearms training. In a statement, Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for the air marshals, said less than 1 percent of the air marshal workforce was involved in the cases.

"All reports of misconduct are taken seriously and fully investigated," Kelly said in an emailed statement. "When those investigations validate any misconduct, TSA takes swift disciplinary actions."

"The Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) addressed disciplinary matters on far less than one percent of the workforce, and we are proud of the thousands of highly skilled and trained Federal Air Marshals (FAMs) who keep our skies safe every day," Kelly added.

Updated Wednesday at 1:00 p.m.