Thursday, December 1, 2011

There’s An App For That? Stun Gun Disguised As Smart Phone At LAX

Stun GunTransportation Security Officers at LAX were “stunned” when they discovered a smart phone. Not just any smart phone… It was a cute little pink smartphone that gave a whole new meaning to “bad connection.” It was a stun gun.

Law enforcement authorities responded to the incident and allowed the passenger to continue on her flight, after surrendering the item to TSA.

Our officers see countless smart phones every day, but this one was literally meant to “connect" with someone. It’s just an example of what we know all too well. Everyday common household items aren’t always what they appear to be. It may seem mundane at times, but this is why we take a closer look at everything that’s going on the plane.

It’s important for passengers to check their bags prior to traveling. Even if a passenger has no ill intent, an item such as this one could result in a civil penalty or even an arrest. And we really don’t wish that on anybody. So let’s keep your record clean and our checkpoint lines short. Leave this stuff at home.

Great job LAX!

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.

 

44 comments:

The Morty said...

Why was she allowed to continue on her journey? She tried to bring what some would consider a weapon on board...am I missing something here?

Anonymous said...

Was she provided an opportunity to place her stun gun into checked baggage where it is allowed?

There's some confusion as to who took it from her - this blog indicates she "surrendered" it to TSA, but a local story notes that police took it from her. Regardless, having deprived her of an item that she is legally allowed to possess in both CA and VA, I do pray that she does not require its use to help protect her until she can acquire a replacement.

Anonymous said...

I don´t see how, in this day and age in which cabins are secure and passengers know to fight back, a stun gun could do any big damage in flight. Certainly can´t do more than many comon items, or even a strong human, unarmed.

Anonymous said...

Yawn.

Call me when you catch an actual terrorist.

Anonymous said...

You know an organization is inept when they immediately seize an opportunity to publicize a single success story for doing the job that is expected.

Anonymous said...

I think it's great they took it away. It is a weapon! And it obvious the person wanted to conceal it, else why hide it in a girly pink container. I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else. Bravo TSV!

Anonymous said...

"Why was she allowed to continue on her journey?"

Because, like every single other "success story" Curtis posts on this blog, she posed absolutely no threat to her or any other flight.

Anonymous said...

If you take the time to read the comments on this blog, it doesn't matter what the subject every comment is somehow negative.
If they don't find a gun in someones bag they are ctiticized and rightfully so in my book, if they do find guns, stun guns or other weapons, they still get thrown under the proverbial bus. Seems to me that even if they were to find an actual bomb in someones bag....you folks would still find something to complain about.
Give credit where credit is due. To the officers that found this stun gun, Kudos to you on a job well done.

Anonymous said...

Big deal.

My laptop is probably more dangerous than that stun gun.

Anonymous said...

And what technology was used to find the stun gun? AIT or the traditional bag x-ray scanner? Most likely the latter, since how would the TSO's have known what was actually inside the "phone" just by examining it?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why was she allowed to continue on her journey?"

Because, like every single other "success story" Curtis posts on this blog, she posed absolutely no threat to her or any other flight.


Exactly.

Why are liquids banned? Because they could be *explosives*, donchaknow!

And what do they do with the "potential explosives"?? Call the bomb squad? Dispose of them in a reinforced, bomb-proof container? Nope- They dump then in a trash can right next to the checkpoint. Because they *know* they aren't really explosives.

And the TSA knows all the "weapons" it finds are NOT, were not, and would not, be used to take over the plane. THAT'S why they never have anyone arrested- they *know* they aren't really terrorists.

The TSA 'protects' us from stuff they *know* isn't dangerous.

Anonymous said...

I for one don't want to be traveling next to someone holding a cleverly disguised-in-pink stun gun, regardless of their motives for having it, and regardless of which states think it's ok to have folks carry them. Just as I wouldn't bring a grenade or stun gun or artfully concealed knife to a kids party. If there's a place for those things, fine, loose in an airplane cabin is not one of those places. The more I read this blog the more I want to hug every TSA agent out there, how so many folks have made you into the enemy is a great case study in psychological pathology. Thank you for being there and catching Pretty Pink Stunguns...

Nadav said...

It's amazing what people try to pass through security.

Sometimes, with all those items, it's really hard to understand whether they really forgot those items in their bags or just testing the TSA.

Nadav

Anonymous said...

What about this device was a 'gun'?

Trying to make a small find sound more dangerous?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else."

Like what exactly? She uses it to knock out a flight attendant, then what next? How does this accomplish anything and why would someone do that?

She most likely carried it for self-protection. Actually, a stun gun is more likely to be useful in stopping a hijacking than as a hijacking tool.

Anonymous said...

And TSA got all hot and bothered because someone had the design of a gun on their purse?

Now really!

Does it seem that TSA is the rival of the Ministry of Silly Walks in their zeal to justify their jobs?

Anonymous said...

"I think it's great they took it away. It is a weapon! And it obvious the person wanted to conceal it, else why hide it in a girly pink container. I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else. Bravo TSV!"

-----

Anonymous, this would be allowed on-board -- http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=SHCA7020028L&N=0&InitialSearch=yes/BI/4906 -- and at over three pounds and full of glass, could easily knock out a passenger or flight attendant if thrown hard enough.

So could your laptop; so could your beverage glass (if seated in first class); so could a passenger's own fist.

Lots of everyday items can be easily turned into weapons. These items might pose a threat to a particular passenger or flight attendant, but with the cockpit doors locked and other passengers willing to fight back, that would be it. No threat to the flight itself.

So, yes, especially if the stun gun was not legal on the ground, the TSO did well by spotting it. But for Bob to continually crow about these mundane finds is getting old, quickly.

Saul said...

It's unfortunate that this blog has turned into the TSA's police log rather than a substantive debate on the TSA's polices and procedures.

[Screenshot captured.]

Eric said...

I work in Law enforcement and this kind of thing never surprises me, there is always something new. Way to go TSA.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the TSA is there to protect us.

Like from purses with gun designs on them. I for one am glad that the TSA is watching out for purse-armed terrorists.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Teen-stopped-at-airport-for-design-on-purse/-/475880/4858586/-/qijcv5/-/index.html

Anonymous said...

You want credit? This is a better find than the embossed leather gun decoration sown onto the side of a purse. Unfortunately this find is still unimportant as a Stun Gun is not an effective weapon on an airplane. On the bright side, if you increase the number of prohibited items your detection rate will go up.

Keep up the good work of stopping harmless items from getting on airplanes.

Would I get in trouble if my son's G. I. Joe action figure is equipped with a 1.5" long pistole?

Not Scared of Terrorists

Anonymous said...

And to balance out this "great catch"--which almost certainly wasn't intended to cause harm on the flight had it been allowed on the plane--TSA also managed to catch a "gun" design on a purse, and isn't budging on the idea that it was the right thing to do: http://www.news4jax.com/news/Teen-stopped-at-airport-for-design-on-purse/-/475880/4858586/-/qijcv5/-/index.html .

TSA is now beyond satire.

Anonymous said...

[[I think it's great they took it away. It is a weapon!]]

In the hands of McGyver, a deck of playing cards is a weapon. Are you suggesting that we de-card passengers too?


[[And it obvious the person wanted to conceal it, else why hide it in a girly pink container]]

Newsflash, genius: personal stun guns are marketed like that so that when the woman with the girly pink container gets mugged on the street and she's fishing in her purse to find her valuables, the mugger won't know she's actually grabbing the one-time-use weapon.


[[I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else.]]

I would dispute your contention that you think. A stun gun can be used once and then has to recharge. She could take out a stewardess - but that would be it. Or she could annoy the fat guy on the aisle seat in front of her - but that would be it. After that, though, she'd be wrestled to the ground by those people who have been - since 9/11 - providing more actual air flight terrorist interdiction than the federal agency built to do that job: passengers.

Furthermore, stun guns are not lethal; they simply incapacitate - and sometimes not all that well. There have been many viral videos of people [mostly brainless kids] playing with stun guns for fun, and it was redone on Tosh.0. And yes, no human was permanantly injured during the filming.

Once again, we've got a bureaucratic agency with mindless rules patting itself on the back for a trivially minor "success", and the agency's even more mindless camp-followers hyperventilating over it.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Ayn R. Key said...

What about a purse that has a picture of a gun on it?

Anonymous said...

".... and the passenger was allowed to catch her flight"


Why?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...December 1, 2011 10:45 PM

I for one don't want to be traveling next to someone holding a cleverly disguised-in-pink stun gun...


Best not leave your house then. Without knowing you or where you live, it's a pretty safe statement to say that there's more of those types of items, or "worse", out there that you probably pass by every day than you know...

And you better hope you don't have a FAM on your plane then too... forget about a stun gun, they can carry a 'real gun with actual bullets' with them when they fly. Suppose that goes for some pilots as well as other LEOs who are aboard the plane on official business. Since the pilot may have one, it's probably best you don't fly at all anymore -- especially since you don't want them on the plane, regardless of the reason the person has it.

Erik said... December 2, 2011 12:37 PM

I work in Law enforcement and this kind of thing never surprises me, there is always something new. Way to go TSA.


I'm a little confused here, or am I missing the sarcasm? You appear to be expressing surprise, but then appear to praise TSA? Surely you're not surprised that someone was in possession of an item that they are lawfully allowed to have are you? If so, I do hope that the part of law enforcement you work in is not as a LEO or any direct control over who may be detained or arrested.

Michael said...

Why was she allowed to continue? Probably because she wasn't a 17 year-old with a cool purse.

http://www.news4jax.com/news/Teen-stopped-at-airport-for-design-on-purse/-/475880/4858586/-/qijcv5/-/index.html

Mike

8675309 said...

""I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else."

Like what exactly? She uses it to knock out a flight attendant, then what next? How does this accomplish anything and why would someone do that?"

You're right- one stun gun can't be used to disable enough people on a plane to be useful. But how many would it take? Two? Three? Four? The 9/11 hijackers didn't show up with ONE box cutter, either. And it’s a LOT easier to disable somebody with a stun gun than it is a box cutter.

And don't give me the tired hardened cockpit door argument. Getting into the cockpit might not even be their plan.

Anonymous said...

"".... and the passenger was allowed to catch her flight"


Why?"

Because the passenger was not a threat to civil aviation and travel is a right. Questions?

Anonymous said...

8675309 said...
"And don't give me the tired hardened cockpit door argument. Getting into the cockpit might not even be their plan."

Then what exactly would be the plan? Please explain it because I don't see it. I don't see any way that a stun gun can be used to bring down an airplane. I don't buy vague assertions of "it might possibly be dangerous". I want a real example.

Personally, I feel *safer* with a stun gun aboard. If some idiot has too much to drink and starts to harass the flight attendants, a stun gun could be useful. Much more likely than a terrorist attack.

Anonymous said...

"And don't give me the tired hardened cockpit door argument. Getting into the cockpit might not even be their plan."

-----

Then what would be the plan? If the attackers can't get inside the cockpit and affect the flight itself, then why go through the trouble of attacking passengers and crew on a plane? Just do the same on a crowded street; or in a crowded subway; or inside a mall this time of year.

The TSA has said to the press that their main focus these days is explosives, items that can affect the flight and airplane itself. A stun gun would affect neither.

Anonymous said...

".... and the passenger was allowed to catch her flight

Why?"

Presumably because she had a ticket, presented no threat and someone (LE) recognized that preventing her would have been a violation of her civil rights.

Anonymous said...

I think this, as with all the other catches that aren't publicized, is a great job on TSA's part. Keep up the good work, and don't let them get you down! I know how hard it is to hear garbage every day, but you're doing an awesome job!

Anonymous said...

>So let’s keep your record clean?

Anonymous said...

"Would I get in trouble if my son's G. I. Joe action figure is equipped with a 1.5" long pistole?
"

Lol, I see what you did there.

Anonymous said...

[[I think it's great they took it away. It is a weapon!]]

In the hands of McGyver, a deck of playing cards is a weapon. Are you suggesting that we de-card passengers too?


[[And it obvious the person wanted to conceal it, else why hide it in a girly pink container]]

Newsflash, genius: personal stun guns are marketed like that so that when the woman with the girly pink container gets mugged on the street and she's fishing in her purse to find her valuables, the mugger won't know she's actually grabbing the one-time-use weapon.


[[I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else.]]

I would dispute your contention that you think. A stun gun can be used once and then has to recharge. She could take out a stewardess - but that would be it. Or she could annoy the fat guy on the aisle seat in front of her - but that would be it. After that, though, she'd be wrestled to the ground by those people who have been - since 9/11 - providing more actual air flight terrorist interdiction than the federal agency built to do that job: passengers.

Furthermore, stun guns are not lethal; they simply incapacitate - and sometimes not all that well. There have been many viral videos of people [mostly brainless kids] playing with stun guns for fun, and it was redone on Tosh.0. And yes, no human was permanantly injured during the filming.

Once again, we've got a bureaucratic agency with mindless rules patting itself on the back for a trivially minor "success", and the agency's even more mindless camp-followers hyperventilating over it.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

[[I think it's great they took it away. It is a weapon!]]

In the hands of McGyver, a deck of playing cards is a weapon. Are you suggesting that we de-card passengers too?


[[And it obvious the person wanted to conceal it, else why hide it in a girly pink container]]

Newsflash, genius: personal stun guns are marketed like that so that when the woman with the girly pink container gets mugged on the street and she's fishing in her purse to find her valuables, the mugger won't know she's actually grabbing the one-time-use weapon.


[[I also think it could do a LOT of damage if used on a flight attendant or someone else.]]

I would dispute your contention that you think. A stun gun can be used once and then has to recharge. She could take out a stewardess - but that would be it. Or she could annoy the fat guy on the aisle seat in front of her - but that would be it. After that, though, she'd be wrestled to the ground by those people who have been - since 9/11 - providing more actual air flight terrorist interdiction than the federal agency built to do that job: passengers.

Furthermore, stun guns are not lethal; they simply incapacitate - and sometimes not all that well. There have been many viral videos of people [mostly brainless kids] playing with stun guns for fun, and it was redone on Tosh.0. And yes, no human was permanantly injured during the filming.

Once again, we've got a bureaucratic agency with mindless rules patting itself on the back for a trivially minor "success", and the agency's even more mindless camp-followers hyperventilating over it.

rwilymz
http://dblyelloline.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Maybe she needed it for her own protection? If she wasn't intending to hijack the plane or use it for anything but defense, she has every right to carry it. It's ridiculous to claim some TSA "victory" over something like this.

Anonymous said...

It is ridiculous that she was allowed to continue on the flight after trying to bring a weapon on board. I guess she looked "innocent". Didn't fit your 'profiles', TSA?

Anonymous said...

The reason that the comments on this blog are universally negative is that the inmates universally resent the guards. Especially the guards who subject them to humiliating body searches.

No matter how much effort the TSA devotes to positive blogging about what they do, they will always be despised by the citizenry who have to endure the "security theater" that doesn't provide any real security.

Like other big organizations, the TSA always reacts to yesterday's breach. The baddies always analyze today's security procedures and then try something that hasn't been done yet.

$8.1 billion dollars. 730 million searches. That's $11 per molestation of the 4th Amendment.

All-American Canner said...

What are they trying to protect, exactly, and from what, and how did the actions and laws enacted actually accomplish this goal? How did the posted blog support this?

There are more people who can incapacitate or harm others faster with their thumbs then the average airfarer can with a pink stun gun. Are you going to have them remove their thumbs before boarding?

Again, what are you hoping to accomplish? Where do you draw the line? The founders of this great nation already drew it, why don't you just stick to it?

Peace said...

Do we really need some more violence on this Earth or it is sufficient already. We want peace and that is all.

nat said...

I don´t see how, in this day and age in which cabins are secure and passengers know to fight back, a stun gun could do any big damage in flight. Certainly can´t do more than many comon items, or even a strong human, unarmed.

Hightechsafty said...

The fact that it is called a gun does not necessarily mean that it is life threatening. As a matter of fact, all that these “guns” can do is make your attacker lose track of his surroundings for some time. Like everything else, this gadget also needs to be used responsibly otherwise it has some scope for backfire. But I guess that is true for every other thing in life.