The Clarion-Ledger, 3/22/9

A loophole in airport security could allow a phony lawman to bring guns aboard a plane with little more than a fake letter and a badge bought off the Internet, a newly declassified federal report concludes.

The report from Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner is sharply critical of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s procedures for keeping unauthorized guns off planes.

Skinner’s probe is the result of a series of Clarion-Ledger articles investigating security breaches at Jackson-Evers International Airport, including several instances in which Jackson Mayor Frank Melton was allowed to take his personal guns aboard flights to and from Jackson and other airports.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat who represents Mississippi’s 2nd District, asked Skinner to conduct the investigation into Melton’s armed flights and reports that TSA workers in Jackson had been tipped off to secret inspections designed to test airport security.