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.