Friday, August 31, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 35 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week


Loaded GunsFirearms - 35 firearms were discovered 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. See the spreadsheet and photos below.

A dagger brush was discovered during a bag check at Palm Beach (PBI). The handle pulled apart from the brush to reveal the dagger.
Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to check your bags prior to traveling. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.
  • An 18” sword was found inside a walking cane at Memphis (MEM).
  • A dagger brush was discovered during a bag check at Palm Beach (PBI). The handle pulled apart from the brush to reveal the dagger.
  • A stun gun disguised as a smart phone was discovered during a bag check at Detroit (DTW).
Throwing Stars and Cane Sword

















Stun Gun
Stun Guns – 8 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Los Angeles (LAX), Ontario (ONT), 2 at San Francisco (SFO), Detroit (DTW), Baltimore (BWI), Oakland (OAK), San Juan (SJU), and Chicago O’Hare (ORD). The stun gun at DTW looked like a normal smart phone, but after a closer look on the X-ray, our Officers knew what it was, and prevented it from making it onto the plane.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, Airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things. Just to mention a few…

Loaded Guns


discovered firearms



Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
35 firearms discovered at TSA checkpoints.

































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.


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tweet – Tweet: Follow One or All of Our 19 Twitter Accounts


Follow TSA on Twitter
TSA has had a presence on Twitter since 2008 with our @TSABlogTeam account, but we recently expanded that presence greatly by creating 18 new accounts for our office of public affairs. To stay up to date with all things TSA, follow one of the accounts, or live on the wild side and follow them all!

Spokespersons - Follow these accounts for updates on TSA related news and announcements for their regions.
@TSAmedia_AnnD Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
@TSAmedia_Carrie Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
@TSAmedia_JonA Alabama, Georgia,  Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee
@TSAmedia_LisaF New Jersey, New York
@TSAmedia_Lorie  Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
@TSAmedia_NicoM Arizona, California, Hawaii
@TSAmedia_SariK Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
TBD Soon -  Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
Regional Accounts - Follow these accounts to keep up with TSA related news as well as up to the minute announcements on emergency situations affecting airports.
@TSACentral Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas
@TSAMidAtlantic Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, West Virginia,
@TSAMidwest Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
@TSANortheast Delaware, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
@TSASoutheast  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,  Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Islands
@TSAWestern Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Main Twitter Accounts
@TSA This is where you can get updates concerning national TSA related information.
@TSABlogTeam This is where you can get quick notes and updates from me concerning the TSA Blog and national TSA related information.
Our social media directory can be found here.


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

TSA Pre✓™ Begins at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) with US Airways


TSA Precheck Logo.
As of today, TSA Pre✓™ is now available for select US Airways frequent flyers and CBP Trusted Traveler members at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX). The TSA Pre✓™  line is located at the Terminal 4A security checkpoint.

Have you already opted into TSA Pre™ but rarely get selected for expedited screening? Here are some possible reasons why as well as some tips:

  • First off, to keep things random and unpredictable for anyone with bad intentions, there are times where you may not be selected for expedited screening. 
  • TSA Pre✓™ is currently only available for U.S. citizens traveling domestically on a participating airline, out of a participating airport. Click here for the most updated list.
  • If you are a member of a CBP Trusted Traveler program, be sure you’re including your PASS ID – found in the top-left corner on the back of your membership card – in the ‘Known Traveler’ field every time you book a flight. If you’re not sure it’s in there, especially if you’re not booking it yourself, you can always call your airline to confirm that your number is on the reservation before you fly. 

Bonus Tip: Did you know that kids 12 and under can travel with you through the TSA Pre✓™ lane? If you didn't, now you know! That info might come in handy this summer.

In case you're wondering what TSA Pre✓™ is, you can go here to read all about it. Long story short, it's an initiative that allows passengers to keep their shoes and belts on, and keep their laptops in their bags. Also, it is free to many members who have been opted in by participating airlines. To see if you may qualify for TSA Pre✓™ benefits please click here.

Here are some other TSA Pre✓™ posts that might interest you:


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

TSA Week in Review: BB Gun in a Book


BB Gun in a Book – While we regularly find BB and pellet guns, I don’t usually write about them, but this one was kind of interesting. Why? Well, first off, it has the appearance of a real firearm, and it was taped inside of a book! The book wasn’t hollowed out mind you, it was just taped there. This was discovered at Fargo (FAR). Realistic replica firearms are prohibited for the same reason that inert grenades are. They not only cause the checkpoint to come to a halt when we find them, but imagine if somebody waved one of these items around on a plane. There are many scenarios of what could happen, and not one of them is good.
BB Gun in a Book – While we regularly find BB and pellet guns, I don’t usually write about them, but this one was kind of interesting. Why? Well, first off, it has the appearance of a real firearm, and it was taped inside of a book! The book wasn’t hollowed out mind you, it was just taped there. This was discovered at Fargo (FAR). Realistic replica firearms are prohibited for the same reason that inert grenades are. They not only cause the checkpoint to come to a halt when we find them, but imagine if somebody waved one of these items around on a plane. There are many scenarios of what could happen, and not one of them is good.

Oops, I Forgot There Was a Pistol in My Pocket: A passenger traveling out of Oklahoma City (OKC) was removing items from his pocket prior to walking through a body scanner when he realized he had an unloaded .22 pistol in his pocket.

Knives & Cane Sword
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 be cited or even arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where passengers tried to sneak items past our Officers.



  • Two knives were detected concealed between a metal sheet and the nylon sleeve of the bag frame at Seattle (SEA).
  • A multi-tool was discovered concealed in a sock that was filled with change at Tucson (TUS).
  • A knife was detected concealed under the lining attached to the pull handle of a bag at Harrisburg (MDT).
  • A  belt buckle knife was discovered at Salt Lake City (SLC).
  • A pocket knife (a pink one!) was attached to the back of a key with a rubber band in an attempt to conceal it at Wilmington (ILM).
  • See “BB Gun in Book” above to read about the find in Fargo (FAR).
 
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 Honolulu (HNL) told the ticket agent that he had a bomb in his bag. When the ticket agent reprimanded him for the comment, he told the gate agent that he had a nuclear bomb in his bag.  Law enforcement officers responded and arrested him on a state charge.
  • While an Officer was conducting an explosive trace sample at Orlando (MCO), the passenger stated: “I hope the residue doesn’t show up on the test.”
  • A passenger at Charlottesville (CHO) stated he had a bomb in his shoe after he was asked to place his shoes on the x-ray belt.
Grenade
Inert Grenades Etc. – We continue to find hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if something looks like a bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint, they can cause significant delays to you and other passengers. I know they are cool novelty items, but again, please do not take them on planes!  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.
  • An inert grenade was discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Indianapolis (IND).
Stun Guns – Zzzzzzap! 6 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: 2 at Denver (DEN), Atlanta (ATL), Tucson (TUS), Los Angeles (LAX), and Kansas City (MCI)

Throwing Stars
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things. Just to mention a few…


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.

28 guns discovered at TSA checkpoints.


Loaded guns
Loaded guns
Loaded guns
Loaded guns












































































If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.