Friday, December 19, 2014

TSA Week in Review: 29 Loaded Firearms, Disassembled Firearm in a PlayStation 2, Sword Cane, and More



disassembled .22 caliber firearm
Disassembled .22 caliber firearm (JFK)
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying any prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A disassembled .22 caliber firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at the New York Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. Various components of the gun were found hidden inside a PlayStation 2 console and others were tucked alongside a tripod, and among the belongings of the traveler. TSA officers have detected more than 2,100 guns at airport checkpoints so far this calendar year.
  • A sword cane was discovered at Newark (EWR).
  • A six-inch knife was discovered concealed underneath the lining of a bag at Anchorage (ANC).
 
Gift Wrapped Knife (AUS)
Gift Wrapped Knife (AUS)
Gift Wrapped Knife - A five-inch knife was discovered in a gift wrapped package at Austin (AUS). This is just one example of why we don’t encourage wrapped gifts. We recommend waiting until you land to wrap them. If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it. Instead of wrapping a gift you’re traveling with, you could use a gift bag instead. 

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.

  • A WWII era military blasting machine was discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Denver (DEN).
WWII Blasting Machine (ATL)
WWII Blasting Machine (ATL)
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our 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.
 
Large cake knife (ORD)
Large cake knife (ORD)
Stun Guns – 12 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Anchorage (ANC), Buffalo (BUF), Burlington (BTV), Colorado Springs (COS), Denver (DEN), Myrtle Beach (MYR), Ontario (ONT), Las Vegas (LAS), Rapid City (RAP), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), and St. Louis (STL).
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at (HOU).
 34 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 34 firearms, 29 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered.
 
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: AMA, BNA, JAN, LBB & MCO
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: AMA, BNA, JAN, LBB & MCO
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: MCI, MIA & MCI
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: MCI, MIA & MCI
Top to bottom, firearms discovered at: ABQ & BNA
Top to bottom, firearms discovered at: ABQ & BNA
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.

*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.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well. 

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.

Friday, December 12, 2014

TSA Week in Review: 43 Loaded Firearms, Lipstick Knife, Explosives Training Kit & More


Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at San Antonio (SAT).
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at San Antonio (SAT).
56 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 56 firearms, 43 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered.
Inert Hand Grenade (LAS) & Explosives Training Kit (RDU)
Inert Hand Grenade (LAS) & Explosives Training Kit (RDU)

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 military explosives training kit was discovered in a checked bag at Raleigh-Durham (RDU).
  • Four inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered in separate incidents at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL) and Salt lake City (SLC).

Belt Buckle Knives (OAK), Lipstick Knife (TPA), Sword Cane (FLL)
Belt Buckle Knives (OAK), Lipstick Knife (TPA), Sword Cane (FLL)
Knife taped to handle mechanism under lining of bag at PHX
Knife taped to handle mechanism under lining of bag at PHX
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying any prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A knife was found concealed to the pull handle mechanism under the lining of a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX).
  • Two belt buckle knives were discovered in separate incidents at Oakland (OAK).
  • A sword cane was discovered at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL).
  • A lipstick knife was discovered at Tampa (TPA).

(L-R) Knives discovered at LAS, FAY, NRT & ONT
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our 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 GunsTen stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Allentown (ABE), Billings (BIL), Chicago Midway (MDW), Dallas Love (DAL), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Lake Charles (LCH), Las Vegas (LAS), Oklahoma City (OKC), Pueblo (PUB), and San Francisco (SFO). 
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at JFK.
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at JFK.
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.

Loaded firearms
Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at PHX, PIT, SAT, BUF, AUS, CLT & SEA
Loaded firearms
Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at PHX, BTV, PHX, ATL, PDX & MSY
56 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 56 firearms, 43 were loaded and 13 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.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well.

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.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Evolution of TSA Risk-Based Security



Passenger Aircraft in Flight
The threat to the aviation system persists more than a decade following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  We continue to face a real and persistent threat, against actors adept in the design, construction and concealment of explosives, including non-metallic improvised explosive devices. TSA continues to evolve its approach to transportation security and to lower the risks we all face when traveling from, within and to the United States.

In 2011, TSA changed the way it screens the nearly 2 million passengers who fly daily from more than 450 commercial airports in the U.S. We moved from the “one-size-fits-all” approach to more efficient risk-based, intelligence-driven security operations.

Mostly, passengers notice this at airport security checkpoints. The risk-based security approach  is not limited to just passenger screening, it also applies to cargo security along with the work we do at train stations, bus depots and seaports.

Since the vast majority of people pose little to no threat to aviation, we can expedite the screening process at airports. This allows TSA to focus more on individuals who may pose an unknown level of risk to the traveling public.

Through risk-based initiatives such as TSA Pre✓®, we are providing effective security while gaining efficiencies and improving the travel experience for millions of passengers each week.

A record number of travelers flew this Thanksgiving holiday period. More than 12.5 million passengers were screened between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, a 1.3 percent increase from 2013. Nearly 50 percent of these passengers experienced expedited screening. Nationwide, 99.6 percent of passengers waited in a line for less than 20 minutes.

Throughout 2014, we focused on increasing the population of known and trusted travelers receiving TSA Pre✓®. In fact, we enrolled more than 740,000 travelers in the program since opening the first application center in December 2013. We expanded TSA Pre✓® to more than 120 airports and opened more than 300 application centers nationwide.

With more people experiencing TSA Pre✓®, airports are opening more expedited screening lanes and expanding the hours in which those lanes are staffed. Passenger support for TSA Pre✓® is positive and we are confident it will only grow as more people recognize the benefits of this program.

As we continue to adapt our security approach, we work relentlessly to stop commercial airplanes from being turned into weapons used against us and our way of life. Today’s TSA is fully committed to strengthening transportation security in America, while improving the traveler experience. Risk-based, intelligence-driven security is not a concept for the future; it is what we do every day at TSA to keep our nation safe and secure.

John S. Pistole
Administrator
Transportation Security Administration
Arlington, Va.

Friday, December 5, 2014

TSA Week in Review: 30 Loaded Firearms, Smoke Grenade, Machete, and More



Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CHS.
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CHS.
38 Firearms Discovered This WeekOf the 38 firearms, 30 were loaded and 15 had rounds chambered.

Smoke Grenade
Discovered in carry-on bag at IAD.
Smoke Grenade - A fireworks-style smoke grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Washington-Dulles (IAD).
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.
  • Four inert grenades were discovered this week. Three were discovered in carry-on bags at New Orleans (MSY) and Las Vegas (LAS). One was discovered in a checked bag at Jacksonville (JAX).
Four inert hand grenades.
(L-R) Grenades discovered at MSY, LAS, and JAX

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying any prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places. 
  • A machete was discovered concealed within the lining of a carry-on bag at Tampa (TPA).
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our 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.

Assorted knives.
Clockwise from top: Items discovered at LAX, CLT, ORF, LAS & ALB
Stun Guns17 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Portland (PDX), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the remainder were discovered at Birmingham (BHM), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Northwest Arkansas (XNA), Oklahoma City (OKC), Orange County (SNA), Pasco (PSC), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), Savannah (SAV), Seattle (SEA) and Syracuse (SYR). 
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.

Three loaded firearms.
Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at BWI, IAH & SAT
Four loaded firearms.
Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at: SMF, LBB, DTW, SAT
38 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 38 firearms, 30 were loaded and 15 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.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well.

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.