Friday, February 27, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 53 Loaded Firearms, a Modified Laptop, an Airbag, and More

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at Ontario (ONT).


59 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 59 firearms, 53 were loaded and 20 had rounds chambered.

Modified Laptop at FLL - This modified laptop appeared as a potential threat item on the X-ray monitor, and a result, the airport incurred a 49 minute evacuation of the checked baggage screening area while explosive detection professionals cleared the item. In addition to packing electronics properly to avoid a delay during screening, we recommend that you pack laptop computers and other valuables in your carry-on baggage.
 
Modified laptop discovered at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL).
Airbag discovered at Sacramento (SMF).
Airbag - An airbag was discovered in a carry-on bag in Sacramento (SMF). According to the FAA Office of Security and Hazardous Material, airbag actuators are on the list of hazardous materials and are prohibited from transport aboard passenger aircraft. Read more info on why airbags are prohibited here. 

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – Artfully concealed is a term used to describe an item that was intentionally hidden. It could be anything from a knife sewn into the lining of a bag to a sword hidden inside of a walking cane. If a concealed prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here is an example from this week where an artfully concealed item was found by our officers.

  • A folding knife was detected inside the battery compartment of a flashlight in a carry-on bag at Minneapolis - St. Paul (MSP).

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft.  Read here on why inert items cause problems. 

L-R: Inert grenades discovered in carry-on bags at LAX & LAS
Clockwise from top left: Punching Weapon (CHS), Throwing Knives (ORD), Throwing Star (MCO), M-80 Fireworks (TUS), Brass Knuckle Cellphone Case (ALB)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Stun Guns - 11 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Two were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), and the remainder were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), Burbank (BUR), Chicago Midway (MDW), Fayetteville (FAY), Gulfport (GPT), Gunnison (GUC), Kansas City (MCI), Reno (RNO), and San Francisco (SFO).

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: BNA, CMH, MSY & BIL
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: RNO, LAS, STL, ATL, JAX & HRL
L-R: Firearms discovered in carry-on bags at:ORF & LAS
59 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 59 firearms, 53 were loaded and 20 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 and 2013

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns

TSA Blog Team

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TSA Workers Deserve More than an IOU



Transportation Security Officers
If by the end of the week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not receive funding, the Department shuts down.  A shutdown for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) means that most of our employees would still continue to come to work, without receiving a paycheck for that work until the shutdown ends.
 
As a counterterrorism organization, our dedicated and professional workforce will - in the event of a shutdown - continue to secure our nation’s transportation systems, without pay, just as they did during the government shutdown of 2013. Over ninety percent of our workforce – that’s about 50,000 employees – would continue to report to duty.

Yes, critical operations would continue, but the support for those operations would cease. Approximately 6 percent of the TSA workforce would be furloughed. Hiring would cease. Required training would cease. Travel associated with routine planned security inspections would cease. Deployment of security technology equipment would potentially be delayed.

Although TSA is most recognized and known for our work in nearly 450 airports throughout the United States, our national security mission includes mass transit and passenger rail, as well as pipeline and container traffic. These transportation systems play a vital role in driving the engine of our economy.

TSA officers rely on the development of new technologies, the sharing of reliable intelligence, and screening procedures that can be adapted to address the ever evolving threat. These vital functions depend on a secure budget.

As a civilian government workforce, the men and women of TSA have sworn an oath to protect the traveling public. As fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, partners, sisters and brothers – this responsibility is not without sacrifice.

The vast majority of TSA personnel – including frontline operational and support personnel– rely on biweekly paychecks to support themselves and their families. If DHS does not receive funding, these employees would not receive biweekly paychecks for their work during the shutdown until Congress acts.  They deserve better than the proposition of coming to work every day on an IOU.

We hope that Congress will pass a clean budget for DHS.  In the meantime, TSA remains dedicated to our mission to protect the nation's transportation systems and ensure freedom of movement for people and commerce.


Acting Administrator 

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.
 

Friday, February 20, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 34 Firearms, Inert Grenades, and More


This loaded firearm and knife were discovered in a carry-on bag at Myrtle Beach (MYR).
This loaded firearm and knife were discovered in a carry-on bag at Myrtle Beach (MYR).

34 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 34 firearms, 27 were loaded and 5 had rounds chambered.
Inert Grenade Fishing Lure (ANC)
Inert Grenade Fishing Lure (ANC)
Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft.  Read here on why inert items cause problems. 

  • Two inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Indianapolis (IND) and Anchorage (ANC).
  • Several inert training fireworks were discovered at Phoenix (PHX).
Inert Fireworks Used For Training (PHX)
Inert Fireworks Used For Training (PHX)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Knuckle-Knife (GTF) & Fireworks (DEN)
Knuckle-Knife (GTF) & Fireworks (DEN)
Stun Guns - 21 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the remainder were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago Midway (MDW), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Detroit (DTW), Duluth (DLH), Grand Forks (GFK), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Oakland (OAK), Ontario (ONT), Orlando (MCO), Palm Beach (PBI), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Francisco (SFO), St. Louis (STL), and Stockton (SCK).

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.
  
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered at: ATL, LEX, CHO, CID, SMF, BOI & BIL
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered at: ATL, LEX, CHO, CID, SMF, BOI & BIL
34 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 34 firearms, 27 were loaded and 5 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 and 2013

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Friday, February 13, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 49 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week


Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at PHX.
Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at PHX.

49 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 49 firearms, 43 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An inert hand grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Raleigh Durham (RDU).
  • An replica grenade used as a stick shift attachment was detected in a carry-on bag at Oakland (OAK).  
L-R: Grenades discovered at RDU & OAK
L-R: Grenades discovered at RDU & OAK

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Axes (BWI), Gun Knife (BWI), Bows & Arrows (LAS)
Axes (BWI), Gun Knife (BWI), Bows & Arrows (LAS)
Stun Guns - 19 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Three were discovered at Denver (DEN), three at Sacramento (SMF), two at Atlanta (ATL), and the remainder at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Eugene (EUG), Kansas City (MCI), Las Vegas (LAS), Milwaukee (MKE), Newport News (PHF), Norfolk (ORF), Orlando (MCO), and Tallahassee (TLH). 

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: BNA, CLT, PHX, RSW & RAP
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: BNA, CLT, PHX, RSW & RAP
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: PHX, OAK, HRL & FLL

49 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 49 firearms, 43 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 & 2013

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.