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House Passes Airport Security Bill After LAX's Embarrassing Response During Deadly 2013 Shooting
The House just passed a bill that would tighten airport security after LAX's poor showing during a shooting at the airport last fall that left one TSA agent dead. The bill will now move on to the Senate. Introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), the bill is called The Gerardo Hernandez Airport Security Act in honor of Gerardo Hernandez, a TSA worker who was fatally shot by a gunman on Nov. 1, 2013, while working at LAX.
In subsequent state and congressional hearings following the shooting, it was revealed that LAX had several security flaws that may have hindered response efforts. This included a broken panic button and phone, issues with communication, and the dismissal of armed officers a few months prior to the shooting. These officers have yet to be put back in the terminals and remain on patrol outside LAX, where the LAPD argues they are more effective.
The bill calls for the Department of Homeland Security to make sure that each airport has a plan in place to handle threats that occur near security checkpoints, the L.A. Times reports. The department will also share with airports what they have learned works best at other airports.
On Nov. 1, Paul Ciancia, 23, brought an assault rifle with him to the airport and opened fire in Terminal 3, then moved through a screening area. The police were able critically injured Ciancia, but not before he fatally shot Hernandez, 45, and injured several others. Ciancia is currently awaiting trial.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated that Ciancia was killed by officers at LAX.