Improvised Explosive Device Training Aids Discovered at Two Airports – These weren’t tests on TSA, these were non-TSA instructors who thought it was OK to place these items in their checked baggage. As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these sorts of items for their jobs. As with all inert training items and replicas, we don’t know they’re not real until we’ve gone through all the motions. This can include evacuated baggage areas and closed checkpoints which lead to delays and missed flights. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination.
- A passenger at Norfolk (ORF) had simulated detonating cord, simulated sheet explosives, and two 3.5 ounce cans of propane in his checked bag.
- A passenger at Carlsbad (CLD) was traveling with inert training materials in their bag.
Stun Guns –7 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation at: El Paso (ELP), Milwaukee (MKE), San Francisco (SFO), Lawton (LAW), Cleveland (CLE), Atlanta (ATL), and Harrisburg (MDT).
Six Bladed Star of Death – A throwing start with six folding knife blades (see photo) was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
Grinding Grenade – Grenades are supposed to explode, but this one grinds! A novelty tobacco grinding grenade was discovered at San Diego (SAN). Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints. We don’t know they’re inert until we check them out and checking them out can often inconvenience you and your fellow passengers.
Fireworks are Prohibited – As you can see from the image, this passenger at New York Kennedy (JFK) went a little above and beyond. Just as fireworks do I suppose?
Items in the Strangest Places – It’s one thing to forget you had a prohibited item in your bag, but when you intentionally try to sneak it past us, you could wind up being cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.
- A folding knife was discovered concealed in an aspirin bottle at Minneapolis (MSP).
- A knife was found concealed in a belt buckle at San Jose (SJC).
- Marijuana was found concealed in a flashlight in checked baggage at Jacksonville (JAX). We’re not looking for drugs, but you can probably imagine that marijuana in a flashlight would look odd on the monitor.
- A 13” knife was found concealed under the lining of a carry-on bag at Sarasota (SRQ).
- A small knife was detected concealed inside the lining of an empty knapsack in the carry-on bag of a Tampa (TPA) passenger.
People Say the Darndest Things – Here is an example of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
- A passenger at New Orleans (MSY) said the following to an airline gate agent: “I will get on a flight even if I have to blow up the airport and call myself a terrorist.”
Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were a total of 12 illegal and prohibited items discovered this week with the body scanners at: Ontario (ONT), Los Angeles (LAX), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) , 2 at Hilo (ITO), 3 at San Francisco (SFO), 2 at Reno (RNO), St. Thomas (STT), and Des Moines (DSM). Items were found in hands, pockets, and concealed in the groin area. Among the items was a folding knife that a passenger surrendered prior to the pat-down after alarming the body scanner.
Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It – Officers at Las Vegas (LAS) found several boxes of snappers in a carry-on bag along with a glass pipe.
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things.
Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.
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. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.
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.
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