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

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