“If what begins as a simple reminder for someone to wear a mask escalates to a security incident, or an assault on a TSA employee or member of the flight crew, each and every one of those is going to be investigated,” warned acting TSA administrator.
Darby LaJoye, senior official performing the duties of the Transportation Security Administration’s administrator, told Just the News that TSA agents are handling mask mandate violations in airports the “same way” they would travelers trying to take firearms or other prohibited items through security checkpoints.
Firearms are among the list of prohibited items in carry-on luggage.
In January, the TSA began implementing President Biden’s mask mandate in airports and extended it through Sept. 13, 2021 for all individuals regardless of vaccination status.
“We’ve got thousands of inspectors, so you know, as a normal part of what we do, we don’t only just screen people at checkpoints, but we also have compliance inspectors who enforce a variety of federal regulations throughout the transportation system,” LaJoye said following a news conference with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas about aviation security during summer travel. “So being able to respond to incidents at an airport is not something that’s new to us.
“We’ve talked very broadly about the number of firearms and prohibited items, we approach it the same way. If what begins as a simple reminder for someone to wear a mask escalates to a security incident, or an assault on a TSA employee or member of the flight crew, each and every one of those is going to be investigated. Many result in arrest and potential civil and criminal penalties that can result in thousands of dollars in fines.”
Mayorkas said that his agency “will not tolerate behavior that violates the law, violates the guidance, and especially behavior that is assaultive to the individuals who are trying to protect the American public.”
h/t Coastie Patriot