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




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.

46 comments:

BWFALLI said...

What is the likelyhood a traveller who inadvertently had a firearm in their baq may get their piece back after paying his/her fine?

If they are not returned to he owners, will TSA be selling/auctioning the firearms off if confiscated like has been done to knives, scissors and other sharp/naughty goods?

If so, will this be handled at Airports through state or local Port Authority, or through federal sites?

I am a purchaser for gun stores, and I am always on the lookout for merchandise, and some stores here in Oregon had great luck re-selling the TSA confiscated knives and tools.

Thanks for any info you can supply.

Anonymous said...

20 PsedsocAnd to think that if the TSA weren't there to check these guns would have gotten through for god knows what use(?) I've traveled overseas four times in the past 9 months; everytime the TSA was courteous and friendly. We all best knock off the criticiam be thankful they are there! SC

Richard Addrisi said...

I WANT TO BRING IN MY CHECKED BAG PARTS FOR MY PISTOL [IE] NEW WOODEN GRIPS AND A NEW CYLINDER. THE PISTOL ITSELF IS IN ARGENTINA, DO I HAVE TO DECLARE THE PARTS? -------R-----------

Anonymous said...

I had a can of bear spay confiscated from my checked luggage. Why? There was no way I could get to it.

kanuwoman said...

I think the Mr. Burns is trying WAY too hard not to offend in stating that the owners of 30(!) out of 35 LOADED confiscated guns "probably had no ill intentions and probably just forgot the guns were in their luggage." It's impossible to imagine what intentions someone with a loaded gun might have, if not "ill" ones. Unlike razors or even pocket knives, a gun has only one purpose, and LOADED? Come on!
Passengers who are discovered to have these in their carry-on luggage should be arrested on the spot, and publicly humiliated in front of all the other passengers they've held up in line with their stupidity. Then they should be charged and heavily fined and/or imprisoned.
I'm glad the TSA is doing its job!!

Anonymous said...

Except for the tan handgun with the laser and light, most of the firearms are the kind you might keep in a jacket or pants pocket. And an unloaded gun is a useless gun. Still, not paying attention while packing is incredibly stupid.

TSORon said...

BWFALLI said...
[[What is the likelyhood a traveller who inadvertently had a firearm in their baq may get their piece back after paying his/her fine?

If they are not returned to he owners, will TSA be selling/auctioning the firearms off if confiscated like has been done to knives, scissors and other sharp/naughty goods?

If so, will this be handled at Airports through state or local Port Authority, or through federal sites?

I am a purchaser for gun stores, and I am always on the lookout for merchandise, and some stores here in Oregon had great luck re-selling the TSA confiscated knives and tools.

Thanks for any info you can supply.]]

TSA does not take the weapons, that is done by the local police. Their policies are what determines what happens to it. In some cases that I have heard of the weapon is immediately returned to the owner and that owner is refused access to the sterile area. In many cases the weapons are confiscated by law enforcement and the owner is either cited or arrested. Again, these decisions are made by the responding law enforcement agency. What happens to the weapons after that is determined by the local policies of the responding agency.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[I had a can of bear spay confiscated from my checked luggage. Why? There was no way I could get to it.]]

Most likely because it is a prohibited hazardous material by FAA regulations and the airline is not allowed to transport it.

Anonymous said...

So why do we need body scanners, again?

Anonymous said...

Bobby--

We know that the TSA has had the Advanced Invasive Technology (AIT) scanners since at least early 2009, when six airports were testing the new scanners as their primary screening technique. We also know that the APA requires the TSA to immediately hold a public comment period when it does something like that.

It's now three years later, and a year after a federal court ordered the TSA to "promptly" hold such a public comment period. When the case went to court again, the TSA argued that it hasn't been dragging its feet-- why, just the other day, they finished submitting a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to the Department of Homeland Security! ( http://epic.org/privacy/body_scanners/DHS-Response-in-Opposition.pdf )

Tell me, Bobby, do you think that maybe the reason that some of the TSA's transportation security officers get confused about rules is because the TSA proposes rules a full three years after it actually puts them in place? I mean, there's been confusion with some of the TSOs about whether or not people have the right to take pictures in airports-- is that because there's some rule in place, a rule that won't be proposed until 2015?

Bobby, the average American isn't a time traveler. Can you explain why the TSA only proposes rule changes a few years AFTER they've already been made? It might help the rest of us linear-time folks understand what's going on.

Anonymous said...

First, how convenient that the blog comments are moderated. Sure weeds out the real comments huh? Second and more important, my real comment is, isn't showing off these supposedly confiscated weapons a bit like the old Vietnam era "body count"? We can tell we're doing good because on paper we pretty much killed every bad guy out there and we have all their guns now. Yeah. The only way for total security is to fly drugged, naked in hermetically sealed baggies hung from the ceiling of the airplane. But then again I suppose the TSA is working on that too. Now that you have my IP address, I suppose I'll be seeing you in the future.

concerned citizen

Anonymous said...

And I suppose at least one of these items was found in a bottle of coke purchased from an airport gift shop?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oTZUZdJiI-Q#!

Anonymous said...

TSORon is incorrect, if not outright lying. I had a leatherman with me while passing through security, and the TSA sure did take it. Police were not involved, and it was the TSO that took my multi-tool. If we could stop with the security theatre and allow those who are legally carrying guns, knives, tools, etc. to simply go about their business, none of these questions would be necessary.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us if any of these confiscations are related to terrorist or criminal plots. OK? That, to me, is the most important fact you keep leaving out of these posts.

Anonymous said...

Was nothing found by the body scanners this week? I question their effectiveness when almost everything found is detected by pre-9/11 screening methods. The cost of the machines and possible health effects don't seem worth it.

Did the person who had the sword cane, know they had a sword inside their cane? If I ever need a cane, I'm checking it to make sure there isn't a sword in it. It seems like a lot of them have swords in them.

Anonymous said...

So many metal objects discovered... and all of which could have been found by walk-through metal detectors.

When are we going to have that public comment period on the naked body scanners?

kanuwoman, by "publicly humiliated" you meant "subjected to an invasive patdown," right?

Anonymous said...

"I think the Mr. Burns is trying WAY too hard not to offend in stating that the owners of 30(!) out of 35 LOADED confiscated guns "probably had no ill intentions and probably just forgot the guns were in their luggage." It's impossible to imagine what intentions someone with a loaded gun might have, if not "ill" ones. Unlike razors or even pocket knives, a gun has only one purpose, and LOADED? Come on!"

TSA misses 70% of firearms, so you can safely assume that at least 50 loaded weapons (90% confidence) make it on to airplanes in any given week. I haven't heard much mayhem as a result. Have you?

Stan said...

Bobby,

Can you please give me a rational explanation how randomly testing beverages purchase AFTER clearing the secured checkpoint is anything but a waste of taxpayer money?
Please, spare me the standard "layers of security" line. Give me an actual, tangible, reasonable benefit other than that it allows TSA to pad its budget just that much more.

Anonymous said...

I believe his name is Bob and using Bobby is a silly way to try to belittle him.

RB said...

TSA agent admits detaining people is not really about airline safety

"This was inside the terminal at the Houston airport. I was not allowed to board a plane (even though I had already been through airport security) because I drank my water instead of letting the TSA "test" it. The TSA agent finally admitted that it wasn't because they thought I was a security risk-it was because they were mad at me!
I was able to get on the very next flight out of houston-and even managed an upgrade! (thanks United)
Sorry for crappy phone video-but the audio is what I wanted to post.
I know this is not really news (it seems like the TSA is retaliating all the time against people), but it was a little satisfying to get that statement on video."


So a TSA employee admits his action were in retaliation and not about safety.

I suspect the actions of this TSA employee were illegal.

This TSA flunky should be fired on the spot but TSA doesn't have the cojones to hold its employees accountable.

Is this what TSA is suppose to be doing to the public?

TSA, a failed exercise.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"I believe his name is Bob and using Bobby is a silly way to try to belittle him."

Actually, I believe Bob is a pseudonym and not his actual name. Not the point you're making, I know, and perhaps not even important in the scheme of things, but I thought I'd throw it out there none-the-less.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I believe his name is Bob and using Bobby is a silly way to try to belittle him.

September 5, 2012 1:08 PM

..................
Bob belittles himself by violating the United States Constitution by supressing free speech.

Bobby took and Oath to Defend the Constitution and he shows us how much his sworn oath is worth.

Nothing!

RB said...

Blogger Bob censored my post showing an illegal act by a TSA screener. Guess things TSA are off topic unless it shows TSA Thumping its collective chest. Can't have a dissenting opinion of the TSA Blog, nah, that would be Free Speech, something that the Federal Government is obliged by the United States Constitution to defend.

For those interested in what TSA is really doing the video is available on the net but I'm sure Blogger Bob will once again violate his Oath to the United States in an effort to defend all things TSA.

But by some chance this gets posted I invite all to view this video.

http://youtu.be/gEii7dQUpy8

Anonymous said...

I see the TSA is in the news again for testing liquids purchased after security. I'm concerned about the chemicals used in this test and possible contamination from unsanitary practices of the TSA going from drink to drink.

What happens if I refuse testing? Will your screeners provide a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) upon request. Since this is a chemical, I assume OSHA would require you to have them. Why aren't you testing the drink vendors instead?

What is the prupose of testing a liquid that someone is drinking? If something is so volatile that it could take down an airplane, wouldn't it likely kill the drinker quickly? Plus, wouldn't the terrorist just keep the liquid inside his bag? This just seems like a waste of time and money.

Anonymous said...

Actually, his name is Curtis Burns.

Anonymous said...

GOOD JOB TSA FINDING FIREARMS BUT LIKE A WEEK AGO, SEVEN TRANSPORTATION SECURITY INSPECTORS (REGULATORY) AT MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WERE CAUGHT FRAUDULENTLY ALTERING THE MILES REPORT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE BIGGER REIMBURSEMENT. AN INVESTIGATION FOUND IT OUT AFTER CHECKING THE GPS AND COMPARING THE RESULTS WITH THE EMPLOYEES PAPERWORK. THIS A A VERY CREDIBLE RUMOR!!!! WANT TO COMMENT ABOUT IT?

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[TSORon is incorrect, if not outright lying. I had a leatherman with me while passing through security, and the TSA sure did take it.]]

Sorry Anon, your experience is not even close to what I was commenting on. A “Leatherman” is a prohibited item and is not allowed in a passengers accessible property. It IS allowed in checked baggage, which is where you should have put it. When it was found at whichever checkpoint you attempted to transit it with the Baggage Search TSO should have offered you options. Option #1 is to abandon it at the checkpoint and proceed into the sterile area. Option #2 is to have both you and your property escorted out of the sterile, including the prohibited item. Both options are available to any passenger that brings a Leatherman, or any legal sized knife, to the checkpoint.

I was commenting on “bear spay” in checked baggage. Not a knife. Bear Spray, or Bear Repellant’s are likely to contain hazardous materials that are not allowed to be transported on commercial passenger aircraft by the FAA regulations. This is not a TSA regulation, it belongs to a completely different federal agency. TSA can and does remove such items from a passengers checked baggage when found, it’s a safety concern for the passengers. As a sister agency we are expected to work with the FAA on these types of concerns.

Anonymous said...

I can't be the only one who thinks that boxing and locking a weapon for transport is just common sense, can I?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I believe his name is Bob and using Bobby is a silly way to try to belittle him.

Maybe, if he would actually ANSWER THE QUESTION(S) people ask, no one would feel they need to 'belittle him'?

@SkyWayManAz said...

I've said it before and got no answer so I'll say it again. If you CAN test liquids why are we not allowed to bring drinks thru security? Why the size restrictions on our toothpaste? If you CAN test why are they still banned? Is there any hope I'll get an answer that isn't evasive?

Anonymous said...

They say they found all that stuff, guns, knives, etc. Who are they trying to kid? Not me, im sure they found some minor things but believe me or not its all lies to justify there infringents on our rights. Im not buying it. There just going to keep pushing us into tighter corners until we have no freedom or civil rights left to fight for. Wake up fellow citizens please wake up.

Anonymous said...

..."@SkyWayManAz said...
I've said it before and got no answer so I'll say it again. If you CAN test liquids why are we not allowed to bring drinks thru security? Why the size restrictions on our toothpaste? If you CAN test why are they still banned? Is there any hope I'll get an answer that isn't evasive?..."

If people did not believe that TSA and Homeland Insecurity has a goal of nothing more than harassing the flying public, then the latest stunt of testing drinks purchased in the SECURE area, should say it all.

And SkyWay, don;t hold your breath about ever getting a response. I have contacted this dangerous joke of an organization a number of times about something that happened to me that could have had serious health results, but after 2 years, I'm still ignored.

TSORon said...

@SkyWayManAz said...
[[I've said it before and got no answer so I'll say it again. If you CAN test liquids why are we not allowed to bring drinks thru security? Why the size restrictions on our toothpaste? If you CAN test why are they still banned? Is there any hope I'll get an answer that isn't evasive?]]

The answer to your question is obvious if you look for it. 1.8 million passengers per day, and let’s say that 5% want to bring over sized liquids through. That’s about 90,000 passengers a day who would have their liquids checked, at about 450 airports across the nation. That’s 200 or more passengers per airport per day (and we both know that many airports have far fewer passengers on the average day than that). At a CAT X airport such as ATL that number could be as high as 2000 or 3000 per day. Imagine how much that is going to slow the lines down. Missed flights, arguments with TSA staff, and 95% of the traveling public being delayed because 5% want to bring their Pepsi along.

The TSA is currently testing Liquid Bottle Screening systems that would allow for the screening of some over sized liquids, but they are generally not available and are pretty much still in the testing phase. I don’t believe they are not ready for general deployment.

@SkyWayManAz said...

TSORon at least you answered me but you guys do separate lanes so if it's backing people up then it can back up only those in the liquids lane. Besides be honest when has TSA let concerns over arguments with staff and missed flights get in the way? I am pretty much forced to opt out of body scanning because I'll alarm your fancy machine in two places. I can pass thru metal detector fine but that's not an option per your rules. Saying I opt out moves me through faster then if i go thru, alarm, then get pat down. Btw me opting out has visibly upset your staff on multiple occassions. If 5% opt out and get the pat down does TSA have theses same concerns over missed flights and arguments with staff? Maybe that seems a little bit of an off topic example but the liquid ban was implemented because TSA said there was no way to screen liquids and well you can so kind of unreasonable to play it both ways.

Anonymous said...

I think people keep forgetting that you don't have to fly.... Suck it up or go by rail, car or boat.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous insisting "we don't have to fly":

1. We have the right to travel in our country by any means available.

2. What rail? Look at the rail options west of the Mississippi. Very, very limited.

3. What boat? How many millions of people live in landlocked states?

4. Driving may be an option...IF you can drive, IF you have a car, IF you have the time. Tell business travellers they must take 3 days to drive cross country for a meeting. Do you want to refuse businesses the right to interstate commerce?

Mike Toreno said...

ClerkRon, "TSA" stands for "Thousands Standing Around". Drink testing at the checkpoint could be accomplished by some of the thousands who are currently assigned to stand around. Alternatively, drink testing at the checkpoint could be accomplished by some of those assigned to test drinks at the gate.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
I think people keep forgetting that you don't have to fly.... Suck it up or go by rail, car or boat.

September 8, 2012 9:58 PM


This is the TSA attitude. TSA and its people seem to forget that we have a right to travel. I think it would be helpful for TSA and its employees to remember just why they are there, to serve the public, not to abuse and violate our civil rights.

If the person who made the comment I posted above is a TSA employee then I would suggest we don't want you or your crap in our airports which is one of the reasons for the calls to return screening to civilians.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"Sorry Anon, your experience is not even close to what I was commenting on. A “Leatherman” is a prohibited item and is not allowed in a passengers accessible property. It IS allowed in checked baggage, which is where you should have put it. When it was found at whichever checkpoint you attempted to transit it with the Baggage Search TSO should have offered you options. Option #1 is to abandon it at the checkpoint and proceed into the sterile area. Option #2 is to have both you and your property escorted out of the sterile, including the prohibited item. Both options are available to any passenger that brings a Leatherman, or any legal sized knife, to the checkpoint"

Way to misrepresent what the poster was saying yet again. You forgot that option 3 is to "voluntarily surrender" the item, which, in layman's terms, means the "TSA took it." You claimed "TSA does not take the weapons, that is done by the local police," but this gentleman is pointing out that local police were not involved in the case of his leatherman and stating that TSA did, indeed, take it. And I know, technically "voluntarily surrendered" is not the same as "TSA took," but considering it is under duress (do you want to fly today?), for all practical purposes, "voluntarily surrendered" means "TSA took."


TSORon said...

@SkyWayManAz said...
[[TSORon at least you answered me but you guys do separate lanes so if it's backing people up then it can back up only those in the liquids lane. Besides be honest when has TSA let concerns over arguments with staff and missed flights get in the way?]]

To be honest SWMA I don’t really care if they argue or not, but each and every time they do it consumes time, time that could be put to better use getting the next passenger to their flight (that’s where the concern comes in). Arguing is their right, and I understand that, but arguing when you are wrong is just plain stupid.

Wintermute said...
[[Way to misrepresent what the poster was saying yet again. You forgot that option 3 is to "voluntarily surrender" the item, which, in layman's terms, means the "TSA took it.]]

No, its not. One is giving it up to meet their own agenda, the other is taking it. It’s a simple concept, but also a very important one.
[[" You claimed "TSA does not take the weapons, that is done by the local police," but this gentleman is pointing out that local police were not involved in the case of his leatherman and stating that TSA did, indeed, take it. And I know, technically "voluntarily surrendered" is not the same as "TSA took," but considering it is under duress (do you want to fly today?), for all practical purposes, "voluntarily surrendered" means "TSA took."]]

A knife, in most jurisdictions, over 4 inches in length is considered a weapon. Automatic LEO involvement in many cases. Under 4 inches then it’s a tool, and I have obviously seen more Leatherman tools that most and have never seen on that exceeds the 4 inch standard. Therefore no LEO involvement. Laws in this area change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, so check with the local LEO’s or an attorney before attempting to determine if your “Leatherman” is a weapon or a tool.

If I were to use your type of analogy, then we could assume that being forced to drive to work in the rain is a form of duress. IOW, your analogy is a non sequitur assumption.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the TSA is the agents think if you disagree with them or their ever-shifting secret policies, you're The Enemy and must be treated like crap.

The problem is also if a flyer doesn't treat agents like they're Little Gods, bowing and scraping in submissive obedience and Utter Gratitude, he or she is The Enemy and must be treated like crap.

I really don't care to feed the obvious power trips agents want to fill by, for instance, wanting to know my final destination or why I'm flying. It truly is none of the gov'ts business. I have a valid ID and a valid boarding pass. The agent shouldn't harass me because he is (direct quote) "just curious." No, he's just creepy and I am not a threat to airline safety. I just want to exercise my right yo travel freely in my country.

Flyers are not The Enemy.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"If I were to use your type of analogy, then we could assume that being forced to drive to work in the rain is a form of duress. IOW, your analogy is a non sequitur assumption."

That is the funniest thing I've read all day. A TSAgent threatening a traveler with "do you want to fly today?" is the same as driving to work in the rain? Good try. But not even close. At least you didn't stoop to insults this time... Well, other than "Arguing is their right, and I understand that, but arguing when you are wrong is just plain stupid." But as you're the one who is arguing while they're wrong... Well, you said it, not me... ;)

Wintermute said...

I replied to TSORon, in part...

" At least you didn't stoop to insults this time... Well, other than "Arguing is their right, and I understand that, but arguing when you are wrong is just plain stupid." But as you're the one who is arguing while they're wrong... Well, you said it, not me... ;)"

And I just wanted to clarify. Arguing when wrong does not make one stupid. Arguing when one knows they are wrong is entirely different. I'm sure TSORon *thinks* he's right, and, as such, is not stupid for arguing his points. It's just that he's wrong ;)

TSOCynthia said...

The traveling public prefer not to climb into a huge flying steel tube, often with loved ones, where people are allowed to have weapons, bomb components, and hazerdous materials.

The few who are outraged at the restrictions have a very narrow focus. We gave up a lot of freedom a long time ago. Where in this modern world can you go without rules and laws? No smoking in restaurants/seatbelt laws/auto insurance requirements/parking meters/leash laws/noise ordinances/building permits/school dress codes/work dress codes/heaight restrictions on amusement park rides.

Not much difference. Anyone who doesn't get it, that America has a big target on its back - is uninformed or intellectually challenged.

Wintermute said...

TSOCynthia said...

"Not much difference. Anyone who doesn't get it, that America has a big target on its back - is uninformed or intellectually challenged."

And yet more insults from a TSAgent. Thought insults weren't allowed on this blog? Anyhow, to equate the Fourth Amendment violations with smoking bans and the like is, quite frankly, intellectually dishonest. If you think otherwise, then you are who is, to use your own words, "intellectually challenged."

Anonymous said...

@TSOCynthia

I registered a complaint for your comment, "...Anyone who doesn't get it, that America has a big target on its back - is uninformed or intellectually challenged."

You, a TSA employee, are calling anyone who disagrees with TSA policies ignorant, stupid, or mentally handicapped.

I find your attitude and comments to be insulting and inappropriate for a government employee to say in an official capacity.

Are you part of the TSA Public Relations group? I certainly hope not. You have done nothing but anger taxpayers and give a(nother) black eye to the TSA.