Airports: Asleep at The Gate

Asleep at The Gate

Almost every airline passenger has had the annoying experience of having keys, a belt buckle or some other bit of metal set a detection device buzzing. But how well do airport guards spot passengers actually carrying guns? To find out, the Federal Aviation Administration conducted a four-month test late last year in which agents, each packing an inoperative pistol in carry-on luggage or clothing, tried to sneak the weapons through airport gates around the country.

The result, disclosed last week: the weapons passed through 20% of the time on average. At Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, two-thirds of the concealed...