Friday, December 30, 2011

TSA Week In Review: Non Metallic Martial Arts Weapon Found with Body Scanner

An artfully concealed non-metallic martial arts weapon called a “Tactical Spike” was found in the sock of a passenger at Pensacola (PNS) after being screened by a body scanner.






An artfully concealed non-metallic martial arts weapon called a “Tactical Spike” was found in the sock of a passenger at Pensacola (PNS) after being screened by a body scanner.

In one carry-on bag at Wichita (ICT), TSA Officers discovered a tree saw with a 13-inch blade, a pocketknife with a 3-inch blade, two throwing knives with 8-inch blades, eleven individual 30-06 rifle rounds, one 12-gauge shotgun slug, five count of buckshot, and five boxes, each containing 25 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells and a partridge in a pear tree.

Throwing Knives
In two separate incidents at Los Angeles (LAX) and San Diego (SAN), two sets of three throwing knives were found in carry-on bags.

A total of three inert grenades were found in checked baggage at Salt Lake City (SLT) and Tucson (TUS). They were gifts…

In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found stun guns, a realistic replica firearm, brass knuckles, a butterfly knife, a gravity assist knife, a collapsible baton, ammunition, firearm components, daggers, throwing knives, a brass knuckle knife, a switchblade, a torch lighter containing a spring loaded knife, a butcher knife, a throwing star, and a cat eye.
Cat Eye, Knife, Inert Grenades










On the other hand, there are artfully concealed items...  Artfully concealed means that the prohibited item was intentionally concealed with the intention of sneaking it through security:

- A 14” cane sword was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).
- A 3” double edged knife was found concealed as a belt buckle at Los Angeles (LAX).
Our officers found 10 loaded firearms and 3 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 13 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 

Loaded Gun
12/24: PNS – Loaded .380 w/ round in chamber – LIT – Unloaded .22 – MIA – Loaded 9mm
12/25: ATL – Loaded .32
12/26: SBN – Loaded .380
12/27: DEN – Loaded .380 w/ round in chamber
12/28: GEG – Unloaded 9mm – DFW – Loaded .32 w/ round in chamber – MCI – Loaded 9mm w/ 22 rounds and a round in chamber – DFW – Loaded .22
12/29: DEN – Unloaded .22 – IAH – Loaded .22 – IND – Loaded .32 – DFW – Loaded .380 w/ round in chamber
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. 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. 

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 throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. 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 in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport. 
Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt. 
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.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to be the first post - And if so, can I request that we DON'T DISCUSS CUPCAKES!!!?

Tom said...

Here's a question what happens to the weapons once taken are they returned, or held and then sold off???

Anonymous said...

"The TSA released a statement saying, "The biggest threat to aviation today, explosives and explosives components. While edge weapons such as swords remain a prohibited item it will not cause catastrophic damage."

Why is that you are saying knives are a big catch when you find them, but no big deal when you don't?

Also, why did you not mention the artfully concealed iPod and the artfully concealed candy that shut down a checkpoint causing missed flights? Not to mention the super dangerous cupcake?

Tom said...

What happens to the weapons once they are found? Are they returned or held and then sold off??

repo4sale said...

Thank you TSA for doing a GREAT job! I have been to 68 countries, filled 5 passports traveling all over the world. I feel most safe in the USA! Yours truly, John

RB said...

And how many more TSA employees were arrested this week?

Anonymous said...

"In one carry-on bag at Wichita (ICT), TSA Officers discovered a tree saw with a 13-inch blade, a pocketknife with a 3-inch blade, two throwing knives with 8-inch blades, eleven individual 30-06 rifle rounds, one 12-gauge shotgun slug, five count of buckshot, and five boxes, each containing 25 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun shells and a partridge in a pear tree."

Okay..3 blades that could actually do damage. Eleven 30-06 rounds, but no rifle. A 12 gauge slug but no shotgun. Five 'count' [what's a count?] of buckshot. And 5 boxes of 12 gauge shells (again, no shotgun). I highly doubt the partridge in a pear tree was a threat to the aircraft.

Now, if someone on the same flight had managed to smuggle in a rifle or a shotgun, I would be concerned. Otherwise, all I am seeing here is a gun owner who went shopping after packing their luggage.

Concerned Observer said...

Congratulations! One non-metallic threat in a little over one year! ... How much money is spent per confirmed threat found with the WBI?

Could a tactical spike get through a cockpit door? how much of an advantage would it over over a handful of passengers determined to disarm and detain him?

Anonymous said...

Explain how any of these knives are more dangerous than the many objects available inside security that can easily be made sharp and pointy?

The duty-free shop will be happy to sell you large glass bottles that can be broken to make dandy knives. As a bonus, they are full of flammable liquids!

There is no security, it's all make-believe.

Anonymous said...

And just to be clear, Curtis, none of these passengers were terrorists or charged with terrorists, correct?

Jim Huggins said...

And, of course, the incredibly dangerous cupcake. (sigh)

Anonymous said...

And still no mention of the TSO who brought a his own gun through the checkpoint illegally. Was he arrested? Fined? Fired?

Anonymous said...

An artfully concealed non-metallic martial arts weapon called a “Tactical Spike” was found in the sock of a passenger at Pensacola (PNS) after being screened by a body scanner.

So, the person was arrested?

If they weren't, then there was obviously no intent to cause a problem. In which case, why does it matter they had this???

Oh, and it seems the ruler is missing from that photo. Could it be this 'dangerous weapon' is only an inch or two long?

Anonymous said...

I don't see the tally for cupcakes. How many cupcakes were "artfully concealed" and confiscated by the TSA?

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the dangerous cupcakes that you confiscated too!

Unknown said...

The statement of '20 layers, each is capable...' is absurd - and we don't buy it. I hope you don't buy it either. I hope you're at you're desk giggling at the bureaucratic attempts at misinformation they come up with, because to take this seriously is ridiculous. Please treat your readers with more respect by not making such ludicrous claims.

Jannis said...

Good Job cathching these smaller less dangerous items TSA, and a Great Job catching that explosive that the guy in Texas was trying to get onto a plane!

Anonymous said...

What really bothers me is that there is no information logged on whether the person who was carrying the "Government Forbidden Item" was a bonifide threat to the safety of the aircraft.

A bank president with a concealed carry permit in Baltimore forgot to take his firearm out of his carry on luggage. He was no threat, and in fact the flight would have been safer with him having that firearm.

Anonymous said...

"Good Job cathching these smaller less dangerous items TSA, and a Great Job catching that explosive that the guy in Texas was trying to get onto a plane!"

And the cupcake! Don't forget about the dangerous cupcake that was kept off the airplane! Recently my child's water bottle was also kept off the airplane. Great job TSA for keeping us safe from 8 year olds wielding water bottles!

Anonymous said...

"Great Job catching that explosive that the guy in Texas was trying to get onto a plane!"

Yes, great job! If he would have had a detonator, it would have been a threat but as it is, it can be used as a PR item for the uninformed!

TSM said...

Quoted:
" Anonymous said...
What really bothers me is that there is no information logged on whether the person who was carrying the "Government Forbidden Item" was a bonifide threat to the safety of the aircraft.

A bank president with a concealed carry permit in Baltimore forgot to take his firearm out of his carry on luggage. He was no threat, and in fact the flight would have been safer with him having that firearm.

January 2, 2012 1:39 PM

------------------
Really? Because I'm sure that Bank President has been trained in firing a handgun in the closed quarters and pressurized environment of an airplane in flight.
Do you people actually think before you post?

Anonymous said...

"Really? Because I'm sure that Bank President has been trained in firing a handgun in the closed quarters and pressurized environment of an airplane in flight.
Do you people actually think before you post?"

Do you know what would happen in the event the bank president had to use his weapon? I'm an aircraft structural engineer and I can tell you with a high level of certainty: Nothing.

Do you have information to the contrary that doesn't involve Hollywood movies showing people sucked out of gaping holes in the cabin? There is the possibility of rapid or explosive decompression (a small risk actually) but, assuming that the shot was justified, ie., done to prevent an act of air piracy, that is an excellent tradeoff as both are easily managed and are events for which crews are trained.

Do you even research anything before you write? There is a level of intellect required to analyze situations such as the one you reference. Try to step up.

Anonymous said...

I find it laughable that the TSA confiscates a water bottle but lets you take your laptop (more concermed about the battery) on to the plane. Did you know if I overvolted the battery of my laptop it would be just as explosively dangerous as a hand grenade? (Albeit harder to time a detonation and make threats with) *holds up laptop battery* Watch out everyone! I'm armed and dangerous! I'll set it off if you get closer! Just let me... *fiddles with battery* plug it into this to make it actually explode.

TSM said...

Quoted
" Anonymous said...
"Really? Because I'm sure that Bank President has been trained in firing a handgun in the closed quarters and pressurized environment of an airplane in flight.
Do you people actually think before you post?"

Do you know what would happen in the event the bank president had to use his weapon? I'm an aircraft structural engineer and I can tell you with a high level of certainty: Nothing.

Do you have information to the contrary that doesn't involve Hollywood movies showing people sucked out of gaping holes in the cabin? There is the possibility of rapid or explosive decompression (a small risk actually) but, assuming that the shot was justified, ie., done to prevent an act of air piracy, that is an excellent tradeoff as both are easily managed and are events for which crews are trained.

Do you even research anything before you write? There is a level of intellect required to analyze situations such as the one you reference. Try to step up.

January 6, 2012 8:15 PM"
---------------------
Actually, you need to step up. I never said anything about "the possibility of rapid or explosive decompression". That was your quote.
All I stated was that "I'm sure that Bank President has been trained in firing a handgun in the closed quarters and pressurized environment of an airplane in flight."
Training that air Marshalls and Armed FFDOs go through. I didn't sensationalize, you did.
Try to keep up.

Chris said...

To all those who say that the cockpit is locked, and passengers know how to fight back: what if it turned into a hostage situation, a la "land the plane where I demand or I kill the hostage." (in this imaginary situation, someone is holding that tactical spike to someone's throat) While getting stabbed isn't exactly fun, at least you know the cockpit is locked down and the passengers won't let anyone ELSE die.

Anonymous said...

"To all those who say that the cockpit is locked, and passengers know how to fight back: what if it turned into a hostage situation, a la "land the plane where I demand or I kill the hostage." (in this imaginary situation, someone is holding that tactical spike to someone's throat) While getting stabbed isn't exactly fun, at least you know the cockpit is locked down and the passengers won't let anyone ELSE die."

OK, what if? You can assume that a terrorist is aware that taking a hostage will not gain him control of the aircraft.

Also, in no way should you assume that 1. a prohibited item is needed, 2. that anywhere close to all of the prohibited items are caught in screening, or 3. An elderly or young person could be the hostage, neither or which would require a weapon to harm.

What was your point?

Anonymous said...

"Training that air Marshalls and Armed FFDOs go through. I didn't sensationalize, you did.
Try to keep up."

Oh, ok. Then you had no point, correct? If you weren't worried about the either of the situations mentioned, what was your point? That they didn't recieve training that would make no difference?

I'll try to keep up, I really will but you have to understand that I know what I'm talking about when it comes to this subject. Hare *you* received the training you mention?

Anonymous said...

How about catching terrorists? Isn't that what we pay you for?

UtahCCW said...

Be careful even when you check a gun. If you plane gets diverted, and you end up in Jersey, they might throw you in jail.

self defense said...

It looks like his post has gotten some heated response. I find it funny when people bring weapons and when it get confiscated they make a fuss about it whether you have ill intent or not its just common sense not to bring weapons to a plane ... TSA plays a very important role in keeping us safe but there are those who abuses the power they are given

beladiri said...

its fully informed review.i was travelled few country and once my bag get caught in screening, it was a small pencil cutter and yes of course it must be throw out from my bag.
Bob, how about knife dummy which is made by plastic or vinyl ? is this get caught too ?