TWIC card allows civilians with criminal histories access to base

Posted at 6:31 PM, Mar 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-25 18:31:57-04

The man who fatally shot a sailor at Naval Station Norfolk drove onto the base and passed through pier security with an ID for truck drivers that got him next to the destroyer Mahan.

There are two main ways for civilian workers to get on base. A RapidGate ID card means a background free of felonies. But a TWIC card does not. The Transportation Worker Identification Credential program is run by the TSA.

It allows truck drivers with convictions for drug dealing, fraud, bribery, arson, kidnapping, rape and robbery to get an ID card and base access as long as those convictions are at least seven years old.

There are 2 million active cards granted by the TSA, and since the program started, 132,000 drivers were disqualified.

And according to the TSA, half of those disqualified drivers either appealed or asked for waivers and they got them.

In the Tuesday shooting, it’s clear the civilian had a TWIC card. But it's not clear if he even had a job to do on the base.

An investigation will have to answer whether this TSA program with a low-level of security is the right fit for high-security Navy base.

UPDATE: Naval Station shooter grabbed gun from petty officer on watch