Friday, May 22, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 53 Firearms, Inert Tank Projectile, and More

53 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 53 firearms, 42 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered. This firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at RDU.
53 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 53 firearms, 42 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered. This firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at 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.

  • An inert replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Newark (EWR). 
An inert anti-tank projectile was discovered in a checked bag at Tulsa (TUL).
An inert anti-tank projectile was discovered in a checked bag at Tulsa (TUL).
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 are some examples from this week where artfully concealed items were discovered by our officers.

  • A stun cane was discovered in a carry-on bag at Oklahoma City (OKC).
  • A credit card knife was detected under the insole of a shoe at San Antonio (SAT).
A D-size battery with a screw-off top was discovered at Tulsa (TUL). A small amount of marijuana was inside of the battery.
A D-size battery with a screw-off top was discovered at Tulsa (TUL). A small amount of marijuana was inside of the battery.
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.
 
A large selection of knives that were discovered in carry-on bags.
Counterclockwise from the top, these knives were discovered at IAH, ORF, SAN, MCO, ORD, ORD, IAH, PHX, LAX, SAN, and EWR.
Spear Gun (SLC), Bear Mace (SLC), Bottle Rockets (LAS), Nunchucks (OAK)

Daggers in zip-up folder (TUS), Knuckle Knife (MCO), Throwing Star (DAL), Throwing Knives (ORD)
Daggers in zip-up folder (TUS), Knuckle Knife (MCO), Throwing Star (DAL), Throwing Knives (ORD)

Several knives discovered in one bag.
All of these items were discovered in one carry-on bag at SLC.
Stun Guns - 26 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags around the nation. Three were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Atlanta (ATL), two at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Oklahoma City (OKC), two at Portland (PDX), and the remainder were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Grand Junction (GJT), Kansas City (MCI), Lehigh Valley (ABE), Little Rock (LIT), Memphis (MEM), Milwaukee (MKE), New York Kennedy (JFK) , Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Richmond (RIC), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA). 

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.





Firearms
Clockwise from top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at ORD, BNA, EWN, MIA, MCI, ISN, and ABY.
Firearms
Clockwise from top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at DAL, TUL, and MSY


53 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 53 firearms, 42 were loaded and 17 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 and 2013.

Follow @TSA 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.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

TSA Travel Tips: Memorial Day & Summer Travel 2015



Military Cemetery
Photo Courtesy of VA
While Memorial Day is seen by many as the official start of summer, there is more to May 25th than pool openings and cookouts. Have fun with your families and friends, and please remember to pause and reflect on those who have fought and died for our nation. Read about the history of Memorial Day.

TSA Checkpoint

TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers each day at nearly 440 airports nationwide. During major holidays, including the Memorial Day travel period, TSA sees a spike in the number of passengers screened at airport checkpoints across the country. According to the AAA, airports and airlines anticipate 2.6 million air travelers nationwide during this holiday period, a 2.5 percent increase from 2014.

Passenger preparedness can have a significant impact on wait times at security checkpoints nationwide.

In order to help travelers prepare and plan ahead for the busy summer travel season, we’ve put together some travel tips that will help you glide through security.  

TSA Precheck Logo
TSA Pre✓® is an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 complaint liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, in select screening lanes. TSA has also opened more than 330 application centers nationwide, allowing more U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents the opportunity to apply for TSA Pre✓®. Pre-enroll online today.  

Military Seals
TSA Pre✓® for U.S. Armed Forces: TSA offers TSA Pre✓® expedited screening to all members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy are also eligible to receive TSA Pre✓® screening benefits. Accompanying family members ages 12 and under can be processed through expedited screening as well. To participate, enter the DoD ID number in the known traveler number field while making flight reservations. Learn about the requirements and additional screening information. If you’re traveling this summer as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, read this post for tips to ease your travel.

Know before you go: TSA’s summer travel page provides useful information to help ease travel through the airport security checkpoints this season.

Prepare for security: Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and remove large electronics including laptops and the 3-1-1 compliant liquids bag, from carry-on baggage.

TSA Recognized Locks: Read about TSA recognized locks when locking your checked bags.

Liquids in baggie.
Liquids, Gels & Aerosols: If you’re checking a bag, make things simple by packing liquids in your checked baggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about the liquids rules. If you’re concerned about them leaking, do what I do and put them in a zip-top bag. If you only travel with a carry-on, read about the 3-1-1 liquids rule: each passenger is allowed to take as many 3.4 ounce or less sized containers that will fit in one sealed clear quart-sized zip-top bag – and one bag per person.  Make sure you take the zip-top bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray.

Here is some information on frequently asked liquid, aerosol and gel items:

  • Deodorant: Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 oz. or less, but gel or spray deodorant is.
  • Powdered Toothpaste: This is fine in both checked and carry-on bags and does not apply to the 3-1-1 rules.
  • Suntan & Sun Block Lotion: Lotions – both pump and aerosol - fall under the procedures that I mentioned above. Sun block sticks do not fall under this rule.
  • Beverages: Wine, liquor, beer, and all of your favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 oz. or less bottles in your carry-on bags in the baggie.
  • Gel Inserts for shoes are now permitted.
  • Foods: Here is a list of foods that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, dressings), jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces and soups. 



Prohibited Items. Swords, knives, etc.
Check for prohibited items: Use the “Can I bring my…” tool to check what items are allowed/ not allowed in carry–on and checked luggage. Smartphone users can easily download the “My TSA” app to quickly find helpful information about TSA policies and procedures.

Traveling With Children: Did you know that children 12 and under can keep their shoes on? If you’re going on a family trip this summer, be sure to read more tips on traveling with children.


Forgotten or Lost IDs: If you have lost or forgotten your ID, you will still be permitted to fly as long as you help us verify you are who you say you are by answering a few questions. Read about how you may travel without an ID.   

Camping Gear
Camping, Backpacking, or Fishing: If you’re heading to the great outdoors, be sure to check out this post for tips on traveling with camping and fishing gear.

Lose Something? Contact the TSA lost & found at your airport here


Dog being removed from pet carrier. Traveling With a Pet: TSA does not prohibit travel with pets. However, it is very important that you contact your airline first so they can let you know about any requirements, fees, or restrictions they might have. Read about traveling with your pet.

 

Shaving Razors: What kinds of razors can you pack in your carry-on? Read which razors can travel.  

Medication
Medication: One of the more popular questions we get from travelers is: “Can I travel with my medication.” The answer is yes, with some qualifiers. Read about traveling with your meds.

Dry Ice: Did you know that you can take dry ice in your carry-on or in checked baggage? Read here to find out how to use dry ice to keep your favorite vittles preserved while traveling.


Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this summer? Read this post from our resident diving expert for tips and travel information.

Jewelry: Should you remove jewelry or keep it on to go through security? In most cases you can keep it on, but there are a few different choices that you can make based on what kind of jewelry it is. Read this post for more information. 


Various sporting goods.
Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc. are all prohibited from being carried onto the plane. However, you can place them in your checked baggage.

Insect Repellents – They are permitted in your carry-on bags and checked baggage. The liquid limits apply when carrying these in your carry-on bags.

TSA Cares: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with any questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans including individuals associated with a wounded warrior program may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.

Contact us at the TSA Contact Center with questions about procedures, upcoming travel and to provide feedback. The hours are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., Eastern Time; weekends and federal holidays, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Eastern Time. 


Have a great summer!!! 

Follow @TSA 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, May 15, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 57 Firearms, Live Smoke Grenades, Bear Mace and More

57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.
57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered. 
750 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition and two military smoke grenades were discovered in a checked-bag at Tucson (TUS).
750 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition and two military smoke grenades were discovered in a checked-bag at Tucson (TUS).
Bear mace.
A container of bear spray was detected in a carry-on bag at Anchorage (ANC). Bear repellent is prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft. You can pack bear repellent in your checked bag if the volume is less than four ounces and if it has less than a two percent active ingredient of either CS or CN. Most bear repellents exceed these limitations.
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.

  • A replica grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Seattle (SEA).
Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered at PHX, MDW, SFO, IAD, LAS, LAS, SAN, PNS, and PBI.
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.

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 discovered by our officers.

  • A 22 caliber starter pistol was discovered under the zipper lining and tucked above the wheels of a carry-on bag.
  • A sword cane was discovered in divested property at Appleton (ATW).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Oakland (OAK). 
 
Belt Buckle Knife - Oakland (OAK)
Key Chain Stun Gun - BWI
Stun Guns - 13 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Baltimore (BWI), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Durango (DRO), Honolulu (HNL), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Ontario (ONT), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO), and San Juan (SJU).

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 in carry-on bags at GRR, DAL, MDW, LAS, RDU, SMF, and SMF.

57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 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 and 2013.

Follow @TSA 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, May 13, 2015

Response To Judicial Watch Press Release

Earlier this year, when a Transportation Security Officer noticed something did not seem right with the passenger screening process at an airport checkpoint in Denver, supervisors were notified and an investigation was initiated.  At the time, I stated that the alleged behavior of the employees involved was egregious and intolerable and I stand by those words. Our workforce is held to the highest standards of personal and professional integrity and everyone is accountable for their actions.

Yesterday, the advocacy group Judicial Watch issued a press release detailing what it claims is a number of “alleged sexual-related assaults” on passengers by Transportation Security Officers at several airports. The basis of Judicial Watch’s press release is a compilation of complaints filed by passengers who received a pat down as part of the security screening process.  For more than a decade the passenger security screening procedures in place at airports throughout the country have been designed, implemented and modified with one overarching objective – to ensure the free and secure movement of people and goods from place to place. It is one of our nation’s most cherished freedoms, and safeguarding it is vital not only to our economic prosperity, but also to our national character. 

Following the brutal and unprovoked attacks against our nation September 11, 2001, the United States Congress moved swiftly to federalize airline passenger screening and established the Transportation Security Administration to get it done.

As a central component to the mission we are sworn to uphold, TSA personnel safely screen nearly 640 million travelers every year, preventing thousands upon thousands of prohibited and potentially dangerous items from being carried into the cabin of an aircraft. This includes more than 2,200 firearms last year alone, the vast majority of which were loaded.

To ensure we remain one step ahead of our adversaries, TSA built a formidable, layered system of security based on identifying and mitigating risk. Technology plays an integral part in our ability to detect potential threat items, including non-metallic improvised explosive devices, understood to be among the greatest threats to aviation security. When the screening process indicates a potential threat, it must be resolved and one way to do this is by patting down the area where a potential threat item has been detected.

There is nothing sexual about a resolution pat down, and we take every passenger complaint to the contrary seriously. If an investigation is warranted it will be conducted swiftly and thoroughly and the employees involved will be held accountable for their actions. Our singular objective is and always will be the security of every passenger on every flight every day. To present as fact a handful of passenger complaints from the hundreds of millions of screenings performed each year is a far cry from any standard of objectivity and only serves to perpetuate misinformation and mistrust in an organization dedicated to serving the American people.

Melvin J. Carraway
Acting Administrator, Transportation Security Administration

Friday, May 8, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 43 Firearms, $100,000 Watch, Machetes & More

43 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 43 firearms, 38 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered. This loaded antique firearm was discovered in carry-on bag at RDU.
43 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 43 firearms, 38 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered. This loaded antique firearm was discovered in carry-on bag at RDU.
$100,000 Watch - A gold Cartier diamond encrusted watch was left at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) security checkpoint. A TSA officer spotted the watch and turned it into the TSA lost and found location. The $100,000.00 watch was picked up the next day.
$100,000 Watch - A gold Cartier diamond encrusted watch was left at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) security checkpoint. A TSA officer spotted the watch and turned it into the TSA lost and found location. The $100,000.00 watch was picked up the next day. If you’ve lost an item at the checkpoint, be sure to visit the TSA lost and found page.
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.
 

A traveler at BDL packed octagonal sais in his carry-on bag. Octagonal sais, as well as all other martial arts weapons, are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags. Martial arts weapons may be packed in checked baggage, but it’s best to check local laws to ensure your weapons aren’t illegal to possess.

A traveler at BDL packed octagonal sais in his carry-on bag. Octagonal sais, as well as all other martial arts weapons, are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags. Martial arts weapons may be packed in checked baggage, but it’s best to check local laws to ensure your weapons aren’t illegal to possess.


Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at BWI, ABQ, LAS, EWR, OAK, EWR, EWR, PHX, ORD and JAX.
Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at BWI, ABQ, LAS, EWR, OAK, EWR, EWR, PHX, ORD and JAX.


Discovered in Carry-on Bag at EWR
Stun Guns - 20 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week around the nation. Three were discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), and the remainder were discovered at Abilene (ABI), Boston (BOS), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Duluth (DLH), Gulfport (GPT), Honolulu (HNL), Kansas City (MCI), Las Vegas (LAS), Memphis (MEM), Minneapolis (MSP), Nome (OME), Norfolk (ORF), Portland (PDX), Roanoke (ROA), Sacramento (SMF), and York LaGuardia (LGA). The pictured stun gun was discovered at EWR.

Ammo Discovered in Carry-on Bag at FAT
Ammo Discovered in Carry-on Bag at FAT

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, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at BUF, DFW, and IND.
Clockwise from top, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at BUF, DFW, and IND.

Clockwise from top, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at TLH, FAY, LAS, BOI, LAS and BNA.
Clockwise from top, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at TLH, FAY, LAS, BOI, LAS and BNA.


43 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 43 firearms, 38 were loaded and 14 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 and 2013.


Follow @TSA 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.