Union wants TSA agents to carry guns

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Union wants TSA agents to carry guns

By Simone Del Rosario. CREATED Nov 4, 2013

 TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The president of the union representing TSA agents said Monday that now is the time to start arming agents to protect both the agents and travelers. 

Authorities said Paul Ciancia had one target in mind: Federal security officers. TSA union members in Arizona said agents at the airport are an easy target.

"We're probably some of the easiest federal employees to find in the nation," union official Dennis Piert said. 

According to authorities, Ciancia walked up to the checkpoint, pulled a gun out of his bag and fired multiple shots at point-blank range. One TSA officer died and two others are wounded.

Now the president of the Union wants to put guns in the hands of those officers, and Piert agrees.

"I think it's the only responsible thing to do is combat that risk," he said. "How are you going to combat that risk? The only way you're going to do that is harden the target."

Attorney General Eric Holder said protecting airport security is not currently a TSA function, but that in light of the chaos and tragedy at LAX, it's something he and the TSA will consider. 

Travelers at Tucson Internation Airport have mixed opinions. 

"If it's trained properly and they know what they're doing, then we as passengers going through here can feel safer," said Joan Hernandez on her way to Orange County, Calif. 

"I would prefer less guns and I know security is important, but I think arming them is probably not the answer," said Corey Leamon, catching a flight to San Diego, Calif.