Friday, October 28, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Loaded Guns & A Knife In A Nut Can

Nuts
Can Shown Not Actual Can (Courtesy of Eric Kilby)
A lot of passengers simply forget that they have certain items in their bags, but when a prohibited item is intentionally concealed, it’s called an artfully concealed item. We had several of these this past week and here are a few of the more interesting ones:
  • During Advance Imaging Technology (AIT) screening at  Salt Lake City (SLC), a bottle of vodka was found taped to the inside of a passengers lower calf area. The interesting thing here is that the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine. For all we know, this could have been liquid explosives.
  • A passenger at Las Vegas (LAS) hid an unloaded .25 caliber handgun under the flap of their duffle bag. It turns out that flaps aren’t X-ray proof…
  • It also turns out that chewing tobacco isn’t X-ray proof either. That’s where TSOs at Chicago Midway (MDW) found a passenger’s knife. I’m going out on a limb here, but I suppose they were “spittin’ mad?”
  • Aw nuts! is probably what a passenger was thinking when TSOs at Albuquerque (ABQ) found their knife hidden in a can of peanuts.
After being told that some of the toiletries in her bag were too large, (read about TSA liquid rules) a passenger at Charlotte (CLT) took the next logical step and told our officers she had a bomb in her bag. Not only did that make her day a little longer, the entire checkpoint was closed until the situation was resolved. Her fellow passengers weren’t too happy.

A loaded .40 caliber handgun with 15 rounds and one chambered was found at Indian Wells Valley Airport (IYK) on Wednesday. This time was a little different though. It wasn’t found at the checkpoint, it was found in an unattended bag near the rental car counters. Ooops.

Yet another inert grenade was found in a carry-on bag at Birmingham. This time, it was a gift for the passenger’s son. While it was an inert grenade and posed no threat, we don’t know that when it’s on the X-ray monitor. We have to treat it like it’s real.  Read here and here about all the grenades we find.

Stun guns, firearm components, ammunition, brass knuckles, knives with blades up to 5 ½”, and switchblades were among some of the dangerous items found around the nation by our officers in passenger’s carry-on bags this past week.

Our officers found 25 loaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. (Not counting the unloaded and replica ones we found). Here’s a rundown of the loaded weapons we kept off of airplanes this week:
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at RNO detects a loaded 9mm
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at BOS detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at DEN detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-21: TSA Officer at TPA detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-22: TSA Officer at GNV detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-22: TSA Officer at ATL detects a loaded .40 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at ABQ detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at DFW detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-23: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at LEX detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at AEX detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at PDX detects a loaded 9mm pistol
  • 10-24: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at MCO detects a loaded .380 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at TUS detects a loaded .32 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at CMH detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at DRO detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at PHX detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at LIT detects a loaded .357 pistol
  • 10-25: TSA Officer at SLC detects a loaded .45 pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-26: TSA Officer at AUS detects a loaded 9mm pistol with a round in the chamber
  • 10-26: TSA Officer at BOI detects a loaded .44 pistol
  • 10-27: TSA Officer at OKC detects a loaded .380 pistol
  • 10-27: TSA Officer at CMH detects a loaded .38 pistol
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.

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 in their bag. That’s why it’s important to check your bags before you leave.

We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

The interesting thing here is that the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine. For all we know, this could have been liquid explosives.

Really?
For all you know any liquid, whether in a 3.4 oz bottle or not, could be liquid explosives.

TSA logic at its worst

Nadav said...

Once again, people prove that thinking is not one of their strengths. It looks like some people insist on being delayed and annoying other passengers.

The guns may be from forgetful passengers, but other items are clear intentions of hiding firearms.

Nadav

Roger said...

Still explanation for the question raised repeatedly in the comments to last week's post: Why was carrying a fake gold bar reason to call the cops? Nothing illegal there.

Mike Toreno said...

Anything that was a threat to airplane safety?

No?

Bob, can you tell us when the TSA is going to start firing people for not knowing what a Nexus card is, or for not knowing other things that they have been trained on and are expected to know?

Ray said...

I don't know how the TSA manages to find all the things they do. I didn't realize that so many things were found in a single week either. People bring or carry some pretty strange items with them to the airport.

Sleepless.in.Salem said...

I flew for the first time this summer, and I was surprised at how easy it was to get through security compared to some of the horror stories I've heard. People complain about the TSA all the time, but I'd rather spend an extra 10 minutes at security than have people sneaking knives and bullets on board!

Anonymous said...

Say, how about some independent peer-reviewed research supporting the liquid policy you've been lying to us about for five years, Curtis?

Anonymous said...

the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine. For all we know, this could have been liquid explosives.

Terrorists could just put liquid explosives in 3.4 ounce bottles. Duh. Heck, my 6-year old came up with that possibility when I explained the TSA liquids policy to her.

(Actually, 3.0 ounce bottles, because your signage at the checkpoints is wrong, ie. "3-1-1", not "3.4-1-1".)

In any case, the liquid ban and "3-1-1" is pointless.

Anonymous said...

These are certainly fascinating little anecdotes. However, I can't help but wonder what "page 2" of these stories would yield? Granted, it seems like the number of guns seized over such a short time is high, given the ubiquitous awareness of airport security. With that said...

How many of these (like the knife in the can of peanuts) are either cases of someone doing something just to see if they can get away with it, or in an effort to smite authority? It seems to me that the context of the person and situation should be taken into account when deciding whether or not to let someone carry something onto an airplane. Firearms? I think not. Dad’s Swiss Army knife? Maybe, it all depends on the person and situation, and if a professional deems, in good faith, that this person represents an eminent threat (then again, if they do, they shouldn’t be allowed to fly anyway, knife or no knife).

What were these people doing with these knives, firearms, and the like? Were any of them registered CWP carriers? Granted, a concealed-carry permit doesn't give you the right to carry a gun on a plane, but I'm wondering if are all these gun-toting bandits you've "caught" are otherwise law-abiding citizens, or did they represent an eminent threat to security?

I respect the job that the TSA is trying to do; I just disagree with the way in which you go about it. I think your agents should be able to apply sound judgment to a situation. Clearly nobody really needs a firearm on an airplane, but there are areas for subjective analysis. An agitated guy who doesn't speak English, flying one-way, and who seems very out-of-place and carrying a bunch of weird bottles in his bag is probably someone you should take a closer look at. My grandma, on the other hand, with a 20 oz bottle of water is probably a safe bet to let the 3-1-1 thing slide.

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob says:
"The interesting thing here is that the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine."

Which shows how stupid the liquids police is. The exact same liquid is either extremely dangerous or totally safe depending on how it's packaged.

Madness.

Jim Huggins said...

As long as you're bragging about your successes in finding firearms this week, care to comment about how your screeners at PDX failed to notice 500 rounds of live ammunition in a passenger's carry-on luggage?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I'm wondering if are all these gun-toting bandits you've "caught" are otherwise law-abiding citizens, or did they represent an eminent threat to security?

Well, they weren't arrested, so...
either they WEREN'T a threat (in which case, them having a gun or a knife is moot), or they WERE a threat, in which case the TSA let them get away.

Neither possibility looks good for the TSA.

Adrain said...

Once again, please note that all of the threats listed here were found by pre-TSA methods (x-raying carry-ons and walk through metal detectors).

None of the threats were detected by x-raying shoes, compelling "voluntary" surrendering of liquids, whole-body imaging, or identity checks.

Anonymous said...

"A loaded .40 caliber handgun with 15 rounds and one chambered was found at Indian Wells Valley Airport (IYK) on Wednesday. This time was a little different though. It wasn’t found at the checkpoint, it was found in an unattended bag near the rental car counters. Ooops. "


I'm not sure of the purpose of this statement. So the security measures at the checkpoints failed? Why would you ever advertise that? Oh and "Ray" & "Sleepless. In. Seattle" aren't fooling anyone. We know they're plants : )

Anonymous said...

I don't know how the TSA manages to find all the things they do. I didn't realize that so many things were found in a single week either.
______________
The list indicates "was found" without specifally stating that a TSA agent discovered the item.

The list also says that guns were "detected," without actually saying that the item was truly a gun.

Even the term "our officers" could mean other branches of federal security.

Although a month and day are given, no year is listed--these items could be from various years.

You must read things very carefully on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Jim Huggins said...
"As long as you're bragging about your successes in finding firearms this week, care to comment about how your screeners at PDX failed to notice 500 rounds of live ammunition in a passenger's carry-on luggage?"

Don't expect a response. If they were to admit that they can't actually prevent weapons from getting on airplanes, people might question what they are doing any why they exist.

RB said...

Which shows how stupid the liquids police is. The exact same liquid is either extremely dangerous or totally safe depending on how it's packaged.

Madness.

October 29, 2011 9:03 AM
.............
If it wasn't for stupid TSA procedures TSA would not have a job.

Anonymous said...

Call me when you find an actual threat to an airplane using whole body scans.

Meanwhile, pleas inform us your failure rates, that according to representatives who saw them, are "dismal"

Anonymous said...

We've all been very lucky that there haven't been any real suicide bombers trying to get through a checkpoint. What would happen if someone with a real bomb happened to be at the security checkpoint? I've never even seen anything that looked like one of those bomb disposal barrels.

Security theater again and always. If terrorists really wanted to kill a lot of people they'd just do it a security checkpoint.

The TSA should be focusing on moving people through the checkpoints as rapidly as possible so that there is not a large group exposed to a possible suicide bomber. Focus on real threats and stop looking for imaginary liquid bombs, nail clippers, cash and drugs.

Anonymous said...

[[How many of these ... are either cases of someone doing something just to see if they can get away with it, or in an effort to smite authority?]]

DING DING DING DING. We have a winner.

You've got your forgetful people, and you've got your "act of defiance" people.

Neither are intent on air piracy or sabotage, and the "act of defiance" people do what they do ONLY because they are told they can't. It's basic human psychology - rather juvenile, yes, but not criminally intended. Catching the petulant doing what they're told they can't do should not be used to justify one's existence, though. It's like bragging about making a child eat his peas. Seriously? That's what floats your boat? Self-perpetuating imperious authority? At least children eventually grow up and move out to escape the pointless bossiness. How does one escape a government intent on uniformly treating "free" citizens like nothing but pre-criminals?

Notably absent from what TSA has ever caught are the "nefarious intent" people. There's a few reasons for this, starting with, "TSA doesn't screen for 'intent' - they don't know how."

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Isn't every liquid a "potential" liquid explosive, no matter what size container it is in? Are there some magical propeties to 3.4 oz bottles and ziploc bags that renders explosives harmless? vodka in a small bottle inside a ziploc bag is ok but a larger bottle is not. How does this make sense? It's been determined that it was vodka. It's the same thing as preventing me from carrying a bottle of water through security, but allowing me to buy a $3 bottle after security.

I know somebody is going to say that 3-1-1 limits the amount of liquid that can be taken through the checkpoint. However, what is preventing terrorists from carrying the allowed amount of liquids and combining liquids after security? By the way, everything I have read about liquid explosives makes it sound like they are either incredibly unstable or require long prep times & precise conditions that would be unlikely to be avaiable during a flight.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm tired of feeling like a criminal when I fly. The TSA seems to believe that every one is a terrorist and is guilty until proven innocent. The vast majority of us aren't terrorists. We're more likely to die on the way to the airport than we are flying.

Anonymous said...

anon said:
"Say, how about some independent peer-reviewed research supporting the liquid policy you've been lying to us about for five years, Curtis?"

check out the national geographic tv special on the UK liquid bomb plot.

Anonymous said...

Actually, every solid is a potential explosive too, not just liquids. Limiting liquids, but allowing whatever amount of solids makes no sense either.

Anonymous said...

Hey, how about opening up the body scanners to public comment as you were ordered to do.

"Airport Body Scanners Were Improperly Adopted by U.S., Appeals Court Rules"

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-15/airport-body-scanners-were-improperly-adopted-by-u-s-appeals-court-rules.html

James said...

Sorry for the long post, but I'm tired of feeling like a criminal when I fly.

Wow Anonymous, you sound like my clone. :) I really, TRULY hate to sound like the rebel type here, but after participating in this discussion, I feel compelled to say something (NOT anonymously):

Am I the only person here, or at least among the very few, who is genuinely becoming alarmed at the rapid erosion of my freedom in the USA? Granted, TSA policies in and of themselves do not reduce our lifestyles to that of residents of the (former) DDR, but I’m becoming gravely concerned that the same mechanisms that allow laws, or law-like policies to be put in place, all in the name of “public safety” or “the greater good” can, do, and will continue to be abused, misused, or misinterpreted for a variety of purposes. Like them or not, speed limits, concealed-carry laws, child support enforcement laws, the minimum drinking age, voting rights laws, three-strikes-and-you’re-out, and even the ridiculous US tax code are all codified by ELECTED representatives at various levels, and enforced either directly by or by the subordinates of, ELECTED representatives of the people (sheriffs, governors, etc.). I don’t know much about the hierarchical structure of the TSA, but as far as I know, they are not accountable to the citizens of the US in any way, and their leadership, much like that of the CIA or other intelligence / military agencies, are appointees, serving at the pleasure of high-level officials. The chief difference, as I see it, between an appointee running the CIA versus one running the TSA is that the CIA’s charter is to protect (at all costs, IMHO) the security of the United States from OUTSIDE threats. While that may indeed be TSA’s charter, at least in part, it is predominantly Americans who are subjected to their authority, since Americans are the ones traveling in and out of American airports.

If we have American citizens representing a clear and present threat to anyone on American soil, then that is a law-enforcement and public safety issue best left in the hands of local law enforcement, who knows the unique eccentricities of their own populations better than anyone. If, instead the threat is (as I believe) from outsiders, then the security focus needs to first focus on who doesn’t belong here (a considerably small subset of the population), and then scrutinize them as you deem necessary and appropriate. I submit to the authority of my elected leaders; I do not recognize the right under the US Constitution of the TSA nor anyone else to demand that I surrender my beverage, remove my shoes or “produce my papers” to travel as I please. The latter I’m willing to comply with, in order to establish my identity as an American citizen. Once I’ve done that, leave me alone in my own country.

-- James

RB said...

Seems we need these weapons to protect ourselves from TSA.

U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners

http://www.propublica.org/article/u.s.-government-glossed-over-cancer-concerns-as-it-rolled-out-airport-x-ray


"On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.

One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit."


TSA killing Americans!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Waiting to see if this is mentioned in next week's review:

http://www.propublica.org/article/u.s.-government-glossed-over-cancer-concerns-as-it-rolled-out-airport-x-ray

kellymae81 said...

Anon said"For all you know any liquid, whether in a 3.4 oz bottle or not, could be liquid explosives.

Of course it could, but that is why passengers are limited to the 3.4oz liquids in a qt. size zip lock bag. We also have the random/unpredictable screenings to help 'deter' potential threats from even entering the checkpoints. So we may not catch terrorists everyday but thats the point. We have our systems in place to keep those loopholes closed so that they cant use them to get something thru. Our job is to keep them away.

Another anon said:An agitated guy who doesn't speak English, flying one-way, and who seems very out-of-place and carrying a bunch of weird bottles in his bag is probably someone you should take a closer look at. My grandma, on the other hand, with a 20 oz bottle of water is probably a safe bet to let the 3-1-1 thing slide.

As much as I wish I could agree with you, that would not be efficient PLUS, that plays into profiling, which we dont do. We dont have the manpower to take the time to take each case into consideration and analyze whether they pose a threat or not. You cant do that in minutes time. YES, grandma is probably not going to do anything, but terrorists come in all races, ages and sizes, unfortunately, so we have to treat all in the same manner and be efficient. Having the same rules for ALL takes out the "Well, you let HER take her water, why not me" controversy and keeps a more efficient policy for all.

Jack said...

The interesting thing here is that the passenger could have put the vodka in 3.4 oz. bottles in a baggie (not a brown bag) and that would have been just fine. For all we know, this could have been liquid explosives.

Are liquids safer in baggies than brown bags?

You should, however, be proud of yourself for finding an item that is not prohibited. Good job.

Jack said...

Oh, and by the way... a gun in a bag at the rental car counter is not of the TSA's concern.

Anonymous said...

"As much as I wish I could agree with you, that would not be efficient PLUS, that plays into profiling, which we dont do."

In what way would that not be efficient? How do you define efficiency?

Of course "you" profile. Are you unaware of the BDO program in place at Logan?

When you hire non-high school grads to perform security, the TSA is what you end up with.

Anonymous said...

kellymae81 said...
"We have our systems in place to keep those loopholes closed so that they cant use them to get something thru. Our job is to keep them away."

When you keep them away, where do you think they go? Do you think they just disappear because they can't get on an airplane?

The TSA is totally focused on airplanes and totally misses the bigger picture.

Keeping terrorists off of airplanes doesn't make anyone safer. Catching terrorists and locking them up makes people safer. You are fixing the wrong problem.

TSORon said...

Jack said...
[[Oh, and by the way... a gun in a bag at the rental car counter is not of the TSA's concern.]]

Absolutely correct Jack, but it WAS an interesting story. Isn’t that a part of what blogging is all about, telling interesting stories? Or has it become nothing more than a haters venue? You get to make the choice, choose wisely.

James said...

Kellymae81 said, “Anon said ‘For all you know any liquid, whether in a 3.4 oz bottle or not, could be liquid explosives.’… Of course it could, but that is why passengers are limited to the 3.4oz liquids in a qt. size zip lock bag…” That statement makes NO SENSE whatsoever. Do you people not see that you are operating in a completely reactionary way? You operate as though there is some kind of terrorists’ rule-book. Newsflash: They don’t have one. The bomb-in-a-bottle trick? That’s old school now. Next time they’ll try something totally new. How exactly does the 3-1-1 thing prevent anyone from bringing liquid explosives (or solid ones, for that matter, as another poster pointed out) onto an airplane? Since we don’t profile (as you noted below), ten people could each bring their little 3.4 oz bottle of whatever and now you have a gallon, so what does 3-1-1 really address?

Kellymae81 said, ”Another anon said ‘An agitated guy who doesn't speak English… carrying a bunch of weird bottles in his bag is probably someone you should take a closer look at…’ ” (That was me, actually), to which you said, ” …that would not be efficient PLUS, that plays into profiling, which we don’t do…” Not efficient? Really? That’s an amazing analysis, coming from a government agency. As for profiling, well, doesn’t that bother you a little? I mean, don’t you think maybe we aught to be profiling? I mean, this is all in the interest of improving safety, right? Or is it because the TSA is more concerned about getting sued for violating the “civil rights” of someone they profiled than they are about getting sued from an ordinary American who’s just been asked to surrender his basic liberties? I don’t mean to sound antagonistic here, but if you feel your blood pressure going up having to defend yourself here, imagine how I feel as a law abiding citizen being put through this gauntlet every time I fly. When does it end? Exactly which liberties and rights to privacy are permanently and forever off the table for being taken away in the interest of fighting terrorism?

Anonymous said...

"...Sleepless.in.Salem said...
... but I'd rather spend an extra 10 minutes at security than have people sneaking knives and bullets on board!"

Keep on drinking that kool-aid that the sheeple patrol hands out!

kimm said...

...."James said...
Am I the only person here, or at least among the very few, who is genuinely becoming alarmed at the rapid erosion of my freedom in the USA?..."


Nope. Never in a million years did I think that I would become a possible terrorist in someone's eyes simply because I wear an ankle brace and have a plate implant.

kimm said...

..."PLUS, that plays into profiling, which we dont do. We dont have the manpower to take the time to take each case into consideration and analyze whether they pose a threat or not..."

Really? Isn't pulling out anyone with a cane, brace, wheel chair, etc., PROFILING??? Where is the case by case consideration here? Seems as though you DO have the time to profile when you want to. And it seems your chosen target are those of us with some sort of disability, implant or other medical problem.

Jim Huggins said...

TSORon writes: Isn’t that a part of what blogging is all about, telling interesting stories?

Interesting relevant stories. This is a blog about TSA, not any random thing that happens in an airport, or to someone that works in an airport.

Otherwise, I hope we can look forward to a detailed account of what's being served at Blogger Bob's Thanksgiving dinner table ... :)

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
"Absolutely correct Jack, but it WAS an interesting story. Isn’t that a part of what blogging is all about, telling interesting stories? Or has it become nothing more than a haters venue? You get to make the choice, choose wisely."

Interesting storied that involve the TSA would make sense, not just any random interesting story. This isn't supposed to be CNN.

Anonymous said...

"... but I'd rather spend an extra 10 minutes at security than have people sneaking knives and bullets on board!"

Then clearly you'd have no problem with the police knocking on your door and searching your house, correct? They would carefully explain that living in your neighborhood is a privilege, not a right and that your neighbor's safety is more important than your "right" to be secure in your home and papers.

You'd be ok with that, correct?

JustSayin?

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely correct Jack, but it WAS an interesting story. Isn’t that a part of what blogging is all about, telling interesting stories? Or has it become nothing more than a haters venue? You get to make the choice, choose wisely."

You aren't really that naive, are you, Ron? When the Blog team posts a story in its professional capacity, what it posts is absolutely expected to be germane to the TSA. It was an attempt to muddy the waters by suggesting that the TSA is keeping the travelling public safe.

Finally, we don't pay TSA employees to regale us with "interesting stories." If Bob or the team wants to post interesting stories that do not reflect on the organization they are representing, they can do it on their own time.

How one conducts him/herself professionally reflects on that person. I choose to protect liberty and defend the Constitution. Do you? Choose wisely?

Jack said...

By the way, TSORon...

I travel with a handgun on a regular basis. When I do, if you searched my bags, there would be a gun in there 100% of the time when I am at the car rental counter.

I don't see this as being something illegal, prohibited or interesting.

Just last week in Palm Beach the lady scanned my backpack and asked me if there was a laptop in there. I said "no."

She scanned it again, this time insisting that there was a laptop in there. Again, I told her there was not, and offered to point her to my laptop in the tray.

She scanned a third time before having one of her cohorts dump the entire bag out all over the counter.

Guess what... no bag.

All of this fuss, and what she insisted was in the bag, was not. In fact, what she insisted was in the bag wasn't even prohibited!

It took me ten minutes to re-pack all of that crap.

You guys really should be so proud of yourselves for finding things that aren't prohibited. It's wonderful that you're good at that, though, as you aren't good at finding things that are.

No wonder you want to post about legal guns.

TSORon said...

Jack said...
[[By the way, TSORon...

I travel with a handgun on a regular basis. When I do, if you searched my bags, there would be a gun in there 100% of the time when I am at the car rental counter.]]

And in some places having such would be an illegal act. Please make sure that you check with the local law enforcement agencies before trying something like that.

[[I don't see this as being something illegal, prohibited or interesting.]]

To bad.

[[Just last week in Palm Beach the lady scanned my backpack and asked me if there was a laptop in there. I said "no."

She scanned it again, this time insisting that there was a laptop in there. Again, I told her there was not, and offered to point her to my laptop in the tray.

She scanned a third time before having one of her cohorts dump the entire bag out all over the counter.

Guess what... no bag.

All of this fuss, and what she insisted was in the bag, was not. In fact, what she insisted was in the bag wasn't even prohibited!

It took me ten minutes to re-pack all of that crap.]]

Were you trying to make a point, or is this just an “interesting story”?

[[You guys really should be so proud of yourselves for finding things that aren't prohibited. It's wonderful that you're good at that, though, as you aren't good at finding things that are.

No wonder you want to post about legal guns.]]

Guns at the checkpoint are not legal. Period. Not even a law enforcement officer can transit the checkpoint with a firearm. And guns are rarely illegal, it’s the actions of the person who has it in their possession that may be illegal. Pack your gun in your checked baggage, as suggested by the TSA web site and you should never have a problem (except in New York).

Jim Huggins said...

TSORon writes: Guns at the checkpoint are not legal. Period. Not even a law enforcement officer can transit the checkpoint with a firearm.

Then how do FAMs and FFDOs board their aircraft?

Corey Heim said...

"Then how do FAMs and FFDOs board their aircraft?"

Well, come on, it's for OUR PROTECTION. So therefore, it's allowed. Those other pesky law enforcement officers, you know, who have passed the requirements to carry the weapon and are sworn to effect arrests? They're citizen terrorists like the rest of us the TSA presumes we are.

Anonymous said...

"Guns at the checkpoint are not legal. Period. Not even a law enforcement officer can transit the checkpoint with a firearm."

Sorry, Ron, simply not true. LEOs routinely go through the checkpoints with firearms as do FFDOs and FAMS.

I seriously question if the original comment was written by a TSO.

Anonymous said...

"Of course it could, but that is why passengers are limited to the 3.4oz liquids in a qt. size zip lock bag. We also have the random/unpredictable screenings to help 'deter' potential threats from even entering the checkpoints. So we may not catch terrorists everyday but thats the point. We have our systems in place to keep those loopholes closed so that they cant use them to get something thru. Our job is to keep them away."

Yes, imagine the huge deterence: A passenger is found with liquids in excess of the idiotically mandated amount. It's taken from him/her and the passenger is allowed to proceed. I can't imagine the horror that passenger would be exposed to!

GSOLTSO said...

Jim Huggins sez - "Then how do FAMs and FFDOs board their aircraft?"

I can't give the exact protocols, but they are different than unauthorized personnel. Any LEO traveling armed is not supposed to go through the line with regular unauthorized/unarmed passengers. I can't tell what the TSA official reasons are, however it is a bad idea to have those folks coming through like unarmed passengers. It creates several different situations that are bad:

1) It takes the weapon out of the LEOs direct control

2) It lets just aboout anyone around know that the person is an armed LEO

3) Even with previous communication, there is always a chance of miscommunication and having the checkpoint shut down until it is all sorted out

Needless to say, TSA has a process for authorized, armed LEOs to follow that helps keep things flowing more smoothly.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"Needless to say, TSA has a process for authorized, armed LEOs to follow that helps keep things flowing more smoothly."

Nope. In many airports they go through the same line as us "unauthorized" people.

Care to try again?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Nope. In many airports they go through the same line as us "unauthorized" people.

Care to try again?"

Then let me rephrase, where I have worked, there is a different procedure for LEOs than unarmed passengers. There may be other processes in place at different locations based on logistical or space limitations. I personally have never heard of it being done that way, thank you for the new information.

West
TSA Blog Team

Jim Huggins said...

GSOLTSO: Any LEO traveling armed is not supposed to go through the line with regular unauthorized/unarmed passengers.

Anonymous: Nope. In many airports they go through the same line as us "unauthorized" people.

GSOLTSO: Then let me rephrase, where I have worked, there is a different procedure for LEOs than unarmed passengers. There may be other processes in place at different locations based on logistical or space limitations.

And herein lies the frustration that the public has with TSA. When even a well-meaning, admirable LTSO like West doesn't have a full understanding of how TSA operates at all aiports, how is a member of the general public supposed to interact with this agency?

GSOLTSO said...

Jim Huggins sez - "And herein lies the frustration that the public has with TSA. When even a well-meaning, admirable LTSO like West doesn't have a full understanding of how TSA operates at all aiports, how is a member of the general public supposed to interact with this agency?"

I have always agreed that the inconsistencies are and will continue to present challenges for the traveling public.

As for dealing with TSA, the best information I can give the public is to visit the TSA sites, read the signage at the checkpoints and listen to the information given out at the individual checkpoints. Believe it or not, the vast majority of passengers do pay attention and get through with a minimum of hassle.

If you are treated unprofessionally or discourteously at one of the checkpoints, I strongly encourage (to the point of begging sometimes) passengers to fill out comment cards at the checkpoint, and follow up with more formal complaints if needed. I also understand that filing a complaint does not always achieve what the complainant is after, but it does help us as an organization to work towards improvement. It may seem like a small gesture in the grand scheme of things, but if passengers do provide more real time feedback of what was right, and what was wrong, it helps us move the right direction - even if we do not move fast enough for the folks providing that feedback.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"If you are treated unprofessionally or discourteously at one of the checkpoints, I strongly encourage (to the point of begging sometimes) passengers to fill out comment cards at the checkpoint, and follow up with more formal complaints if needed."

In my literally hundreds of flight, I have filed two. I followed up with online complaints. In each case, the report was detailed and emotion-free.

I have yet to receive any response to either complaint.

Mark Knife said...

a 0 tolerance policy should be introduced.. If you are caught with any kind of weapon. You should have a mandatory screening done to you every time you fly from now on. Eventually people will.

Also I don't believe any liquids what so ever should be allowed on board as carry on its a small price to pay to have to buy a small travel soap or whatever after you land.

Anonymous said...

"a 0 tolerance policy should be introduced.. If you are caught with any kind of weapon. You should have a mandatory screening done to you every time you fly from now on. Eventually people will."

I'm all for it. At the same time, any TSO that misses a prohibited object should be fired immediately with no recourse. I'd even relax the policy to say that only TSOs that miss a weapon should be fired. That would, of course, include screw drivers, etc, in addition to the actual replicas used for testing.

That's fair isn't it?


"Also I don't believe any liquids what so ever should be allowed on board as carry on its a small price to pay to have to buy a small travel soap or whatever after you land."

I'll go one better. Most explosives are not liquids but solids. By the same logic used for liquids, passengers should only be allowed 3.4 oz of solids. No laptops, no carryon bags, etc.

Fair also, isn't it?

Greg said...

I agree with what Sleepless.in.Salem said in his/her comment.

I recently flew to New York for the first time on a business trip, and was expecting to be thoroughly searched by the TSA so made sure my pockets were empty before boarding.

I was sure I would make it through the scanners, but something alerted the TSA officers and they had to do a manual search which wasn't bad at all.

The officer was friendly and it wasn't invasive in any way. I don't know what all the bad press on the TSA is all about but in my opinion, its a great new defence against people carrying dangerous items onto planes.