Friday, October 24, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 51 Firearms Discovered This Week (And One Unloaded Cannon)

Loaded firearm discovered at MLB
51 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 51 firearms, 39 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. 

Cannon Barrel - You can add this one to the “items we don’t see every day” category. An unloaded cannon barrel was discovered along with a passenger’s checked items at the Kahului Airport (OGG). Our officers have discovered cannonballs in the past, but this is the first cannon I can recall.  

Cannon Barrel (OGG)
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 resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.
  • An inert hand grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.
  • Two concealed six-inch knives were detected in a traveler’s shoes at Tallahassee (TLH).
Knives in boot at (TLH)
What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • A Miami (MIA) traveler informed the airline ticketing representative that he had C4 explosives in his checked bag. His bag was located and after all was said and done, no C4 was discovered.
Marijuana (SFO)

Stun Guns – 12 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Atlanta (ATL), Billings (BIL), Buffalo (BUF), Burbank (BUR), Columbia (CAE), Kansas City (MCI), Los Angeles (LAX), Northwest Florida (VPS), Oakland (OAK), Orlando (MCO), Phoenix (PHX), and San Diego (SAN).
Marijuana at SFO - Several plastic-wrapped packs of marijuana totaling six pounds were discovered in a carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO). Our officers are looking primarily for weapons, but when they come across drugs, they must be reported to local law enforcement.

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.


Top - Bottom: Knives Discovered at LAS, LAS & 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.
Ammunition discovered in carry-on bag at JFK
(Clockwise from top left) Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags at: RNO, DAL, FLL & AUS

*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.


Friday, October 17, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 37 Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week


Loaded firearm discovered at LAS.
Loaded firearm discovered at LAS.
39 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 39 firearms, 37 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered.

Grenade (LEX)
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 or other explosives weapon, 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 resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An novelty grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS).
  • An inert grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Lexington (LEX).
  • A grenade-shaped E-cigarette was detected in a carry-on bag at Harrisburg (MDT).
Bullets in cuff (BOS)

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

  • Two rounds of .22 caliber ammunition were detected sewn into a shirt cuff at Boston (BOS).
  • An oversized bottle of vodka was discovered in the right ankle area of a Minneapolis (MSP) passenger after advanced imaging technology screening.

Knuckle Stunner (ORD)
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 Guns – 11 stun guns were discovered in checked bags this week. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Minneapolis (MSP), Oakland (OAK), Omaha (OMA), Provo (PVU), Sacramento (SMF), and Salt Lake City (SLC).
Ammo (CRW)
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 discovered at: (Clockwise from top left) ATL, IAH, CLT, ATL, & HOU
Firearms discovered at: (Clockwise from top left) ATL, CHA, RIC, IAH, & DEN
*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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

TSA Halloween Travel Tips




Replica grenades used as part of a Halloween costume
discovered in a checked bag at Nome (OME).
With October comes fall foliage, pumpkin flavoring in EVERYTHING, and Halloween!

If you plan on traveling with your costume this year, keep in mind that realistic replica items and props such as guns, scythes, pitch forks, chainsaws, butcher knives, grenades, axes, bombs, swords, machetes, and other realistic weapons are prohibited from being transported in your carry-on bags.

Most replica weapons can be transported in your checked baggage, but it’s never OK to pack anything that looks like (to include but not limited to) explosives such as grenades, land mines, rocket launchers, shells and bombs. Even if it’s a replica, anything resembling an explosive is treated as the real deal until the explosives experts can prove otherwise, which often leads to delayed flights or baggage.

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.