Friday, August 29, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 33 Loaded Firearms, Stun Grenade, and More


Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at AUS.
42 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 42 firearms, 33 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered. 

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. 
  • A double edged belt buckle knife was discovered at Kansas City (MCI).
  • A kitchen knife was discovered in the lining of a carry-on bag at Houston Intercontinental (IAH).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
  •  A cane sword and nunchucks (with an attached blade) were discovered in a carry-on bag at LasVegas (LAS).
(L-R) Cane Sword and Nunchucks (LAS), Belt Buckle Knives (LAX - MCI)
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 Airsoft grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX).
  • An inert replica grenade was discovered in carry-on bag at Pittsburgh (PIT).
  • A black novelty bomb was detected in a carry-on bag at Milwaukee (MKE).
  • A live stun grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Evansville (EVV).
(L-R) Live Stun Grenade (EVV), F Bomb (MKE), Replica Grenade (PIT)
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.

Trench Knife (MSP), Batarangs (ORD), 3 Throwing Knives (RIC), Throwing Knife (SLC), Cat Eyes (PBI), Knuckle Duster Knife (LAS), Dagger (DTW)
Stun Guns –Seven stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), and St. Louis (STL).
(L-R) Airsoft guns discovered at LAS & SMF

Airsoft Guns – Three airsoft guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), and one was discovered at Sacramento (SMF). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling with Airsoft Guns

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.

(L-R) Ammunition discovered in carry-on bags at IAH & MDW
Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at HOU, LAN, BTR, AUS, PWM, PHX, ATL

42 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 42 firearms, 33 were loaded and nine 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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

TSA Travel Tips: Labor Day & Back to School Travel



Labor Day is quickly approaching! It’s likely you are either off to school, taking an end of summer trip, or just plopping down on your couch and watching the tube. Whatever it is you’re doing, if you’re traveling by commercial aircraft, here are some tips and links to other posts that will help get you on your way.

Pack Smart: Pack smart and get through the line faster!

Double Check: If you’re grabbing a bag, suitcase, briefcase, jacket and other items you haven’t used in a while, be sure to give them the onceover so you don’t accidentally take something prohibited through the checkpoint. Many people who have brought guns, ammunition, knives, and other prohibited item say that they did so unknowingly.

Batteries – You can’t go anywhere without some kind of battery these days. Read this post to learn about what types of batteries you can travel with.

Foods: Cakes, pies, bread, donuts, turkeys, etc., are all permitted. Here is a list of items that should be placed in your checked bags or shipped: cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with liquid or gel food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy, jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer. 


Blades: Anything with blades should be placed in your checked baggage. This includes knives of all sizes, and blender and food processor blades. Nail clippers and corkscrews are permitted, but some have knife blades attached. This makes them prohibited.

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.


Jewelry: Should you remove jewelry or keep it on to go through security? The answer, in most cases is that 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. 

Lose Something? Find all of our lost & found contacts for each airport here.

Makeup: Any liquid makeup cosmetics such as eyeliner, nail polish, liquid foundation, etc., should be placed in the 3-1-1 bag. That goes for perfume as well. Powder makeup is fine.

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 this post for more information.

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. Here are a few tips that you might find helpful.

Shaving Razors: You can get more info from our blog post on this subject where the pictures will answer your questions.

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.

The MyTSA App: Want TSA information anywhere, anytime?  Use the MyTSA app. Among the great features, there’s a “Can I Bring My…” tool. Want to know if you can pack a certain item? This is the tool for you. Type in the name of the item you’re curious about and it tells you if the item is permitted or not, along with packing tips. This isn’t a Magic 8 Ball, so please don’t expect it to prophetically answer yes and no questions. A wait time feature is also available. It relies on crowd sourcing, which means the more people who use it, the better. 

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 click here for more tips. 

TSA Recognized Locks: Want to lock your checked baggage? Be sure to read this post first.

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.

Lastly, if you have any questions that aren’t covered here, please reach out to the TSA Contact Center. 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. The TCC can be reached at 866-289-9673. Passengers can also reach out to the TSA Contact Center with questions about TSA procedures, upcoming travel or to provide feedback or voice concerns.  

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


Reach out to the TSA Contact Center if you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer.

Friday, August 22, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 39 Loaded Firearms and Other Items of Note Discovered This Week


Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at HOU.

46 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 46 firearms, 39 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered.

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. 
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Saipan (GSN).
  • A comb knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • One round of .25 caliber ammunition was detected concealed inside a walking cane at Norfolk (ORF).
  • A concealed razor blade was detected in a cell phone case at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).

Belt buckle knife discovered at GSN. 
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. 
  • Two inert/replica grenades were detected in carry-on bags this week at Phoenix (PHX) and San Francisco (SFO).
Replica grenade/hot sauce discovered at PHX
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.

Sword EWR, Throwing Stars (SJC), Throwing Knives (LGA)
Propane (SAN), Model Rocket Engine (ILG) - (Both discovered in carry-on bags)
Stun Guns –15 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ), Atlanta (ATL), Branson (BBG), Casper (CPR), Denver (DEN), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Memphis (MEM), Mesa Gateway (IWA), Orange County (SNA), Portland (PWM), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), and San Francisco (SFO).
Airsoft Gun – An airsoft gun was discovered this week in a carry-on bag at the Seattle (SEA) airport. Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling with Airsoft Guns

Undeclared Firearms and Ammunition – Six undeclared 9mm firearms and a .40 caliber firearm were discovered improperly packed in a checked bag at San Diego (SAN). There were also 15 empty magazines, 200 rounds of 9mm ammo, 100 rounds of .40 caliber ammo, and a mix of 30 loose rounds discovered in the bag. Firearms and ammunition can be transported in checked baggage as long as they are declared and properly packed. You can read more about the firearm packing guidelines at TSA.gov.

Undeclared Firearms In Checked Bag (SAN)
Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags: Top - Bottom / Left - Right: SAT, OKC, HOU, ATL, FLL, IND
*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!


Reach out to the TSA Contact Center if you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer.