Friday, November 23, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Pen Pistol Discovered at Allentown (ABE)



A pen pistol discovered at Allentown (ABE).
A pen pistol discovered at Allentown (ABE).





























We’ve Been Expecting You, Mr. Bond: A pen pistol (unloaded) was discovered in the carry-on bag of an Allentown (ABE) passenger. At first, the passenger claimed it was just and pen and later admitted it was a gun. 

Odd Watch Discovered at Oakland (OAK).

Odd Watch Discovered at Oakland (OAK)

 

Odd Watch Discovered at Oakland (OAK):  A strange watch resembling an IED component was discovered at Oakland. Check out my post from earlier this week for more information.

 

A magazine with seven rounds of .32 caliber ammo.
A magazine with seven rounds of .32 caliber ammo.


Ammo in Pocket: Usually, passengers just have keys or spare change in their pockets when they alarm the body scanners, but a passenger at Detroit (DTW) had a magazine with seven rounds of .32 caliber ammo in his pocket.

4 Inert Hand Grenades.












Inert Ordnance and Grenades Etc. – We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays. I know they are cool novelty items, but it is best not to take them on a plane.  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.
  • Four inert grenades were discovered this week. Two in checked bags at San Francisco (SFO) and Las Vegas (LAS), and the other two in a carry-on bag at LaGuardia (LGA). The grenade from LAS was discovered in the bag of a 13-year-old who stated he had it for the zombie apocalypse.

     A lipstick knife was discovered at Salt Lake City (SLC).     A box cutter was found taped to the wall of a passenger’s bag -- under the lining at Sacramento (SMF)     Two belt buckle knives were discovered this week at Bradley (BDL) and Houston (HOU).     A pocketknife was discovered in a gum tin at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
















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 local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.
  • A lipstick knife was discovered at Salt Lake City (SLC).
  • A box cutter was found taped to the wall of a passenger’s bag -- under the lining at Sacramento (SMF)
  • Two belt buckle knives were discovered this week at Bradley (BDL) and Houston (HOU).
  • A pocketknife was discovered in a gum tin at Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:
  • While at the ticket counter, a passenger at Gulf Port (GPT) stated that he “possibly had a bomb in his bag.” He later explained his reasoning. He thought his statement would get him through security faster.
  • A passenger at Charlotte (CLT) who was informed she couldn’t take an item on the plane stated: “I hope someone comes in here and blows you all up.”

Stun cane discovered at CLE.
Stun cane discovered at CLE.

Stun Guns –  Four stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Denver (DEN), one at Richmond (RIC), and lastly, the one discovered at Cleveland (CLE) was affixed to the end of a walking cane!

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 -- to mention a few…

Firearms - Here are pictures of some of the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. See a complete list below. 

Loaded guns.
5 loaded pistols.
4 loaded pistols.















































35 guns discovered in carry-on bags last week. 28 were loaded.






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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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is it some people don't understand about NO GUNS OR KNIVES OR INERT GRENADES in carry-on luggage or in your pocket or whatever? Forgetfulness is one thing, but trying to sneak a firearm through the effective screening procedures at a TSA Checkpoint is stupid! I'v been turning into a bit of a road warrior recently, and all I can say about the TSA screeners is they are polite, professional and sometimes funny as they hurry me through the process. They answer all my newbie traveler questions with courtesy and patience. I've learned to put my shaving kit with a disposable razor in my checked luggage and I've reduced my carry-on baggage to the minimum - just my laptop, power brick, a few pens and accessories and I'm home free! Keep up the great work, TSA and thanks for your watchfulness!

Anonymous said...

Some of these folks are trying to get away with something, but many just make a mistake with a firearm or other prohibited item. It is important to NEVER put a firearm, knife, or other weapon into ANY bag that you EVER take on an aircraft.

Anonymous said...

"Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions,...In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items."

Then why do you continue to post this nonsense every week?

Anonymous said...

Oh, you mean the watch that was perfectly fine with LAX TSA, but freaked Oakland TSA out so much they called law enforcement and had the guy arrested?

You mean the watch that was NOT a threat, weapon, bomb, nor incendiary, but rather was a custom timepiece carried by the creator and owner of said timepiece?

You mean the watch that you already posted on, but needed to fill up this blog post and try to scare people, so you unnecessarily put it in here again?

Oh, THAT watch.

I think that watch should certainly garner a closer look from TSA after viewing it in the xray machine, but TSA should have someone with enough knowledge and intelligence to inspect the item and *politely* talk with the owner to determine it was nothing but an artful watch.

That IS your job and is why taxpayers are spending $6 Billion every year on you guys.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Bob, how that passenger at Oakland had flown that same day through LAX with the same watch and no alarms were raised.

So did the OAK screeners overreact or were the LAX screeners derelict in their duty? You can't have it both ways, Mr. Burns.

Wintermute said...

Again, ~30 guns caught. Based on known failure rates and updated (paraphrased) statements such as "The failure rate has not changed much over time," we can assume ~70 guns made it on. Why are the planes not falling from the skies again? Oh yeah, I remember. The TSA overstates its effectiveness as well as the overall terrorist threat in order to scare us into submitting to any procedure they demand.

Chip and Andy said...

So about average on the guns plus one really cool pen-style pistol.

But!

Still no terrorists.

Anonymous said...

So to all of the people who think TSA is out to harass everyone, do these pictures make it clear the threat is real, and TSA is in place for a reason.
If the government decided to get rid of TSA and law enforcement in the airports, like so many of you bloggers request, you would be sitting next to passengers' carrying these items onto your flight, with your family sitting next to them also. At the same time, you would have no protection preventing these items from getting onto the plane, and no protection from an event occurring on your flight. From the responses I have read on various topics in this blog, it appears this is what most of you want.

Anonymous said...

"...So to all of the people who think TSA is out to harass everyone, do these pictures make it clear the threat is real, and TSA is in place for a reason. "

No.

And please stop with the "You Must Want NO Security" rhetoric. Pre-September 11 security will be fine thank you. If that isn't an option then I'll take moving the functions of TSA to private companies instead.

Anonymous said...

@Wintermute, you make an awfully big assumption with your comment "we can assume ~70 guns made it on."

Sorry, but as this blog shows, TSA is catching people with weapons trying to go through security and whether it is inadvertant or on purpose, this is why we have TSA. No one is secure when an unauthorized person is armed on a plane, and I am a pro-gun individual!

Anonymous said...

This would be the watch that had no explosives in it and in which the wearer had all charges dropped against him by the DA? That became viral and is looking like an embarrassment to your agency? Yea, great thing to post as a "good catch." You really thought that through.

Wintermute said...

"@Wintermute, you make an awfully big assumption with your comment "we can assume ~70 guns made it on."

Not really... The 70% failure rate is the TSA's own number. That rate is confirmed by "the rate has changed very little over time." So, logically, for every ~30 which are caught, ~70 make it on.

Anonymous 73.124.18.6 said...

Assuming that the reinforced doors mean no one is going to shoot their way in (loved the comment about the plastic knife "while the passengers sit and do nothing"), and the pilots are instructed to not open the door even if someone is slashing people in the isles, then I ask

What is the real harm if someone boards the plane with a firearm? To shoot some people and still not get into the drivers seat?

Yes 9/11 was bad. No I don't want to be one of the 6 people shot. But the biggest problem long ago seemed to be someone wanting to be flown to Cuba.

The biggest change seems to be the TSA justifing their existance and the mis-labeling of "land of the free."

Between the armed air marshals and people having shown their willingness to defend strangers from an armed or ill passenger, why can't we go back 20 years.

There is a BIG price tag to insure people don't bring the large size toothpaste onboard.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
This would be the watch that had no explosives in it and in which the wearer had all charges dropped against him by the DA? That became viral and is looking like an embarrassment to your agency? Yea, great thing to post as a "good catch." You really thought that through.

November 26, 2012 11:14 AM
..............

Lack of thought seems to be pretty common at TSA given the recent postings attacking citizens posted by TSA employees who on other occasions censor free speech in violation of our Constitution.

Why are these people getting paid with our tax dollars?

PrometheeFeu said...

Explain your reasoning for bothering people who say they have bombs in their luggage? How often do terrorists joke about having bombs in their luggage?

As for the woman who said she hoped somebody would blow up the checkpoint, what grounds do you have for harassing her? Are you fearful that she has the magical power of making her wishes come true?

Anonymous said...

"Explain your reasoning for bothering people who say they have bombs in their luggage?"

Specifically, people that give these warnings are guilty of attitude problems. They are not showing proper respect for authority. They test the organization and must be dealt with quickly lest the problem migrate to the traveling public.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Explain your reasoning for bothering people who say they have bombs in their luggage?"

Specifically, people that give these warnings are guilty of attitude problems. They are not showing proper respect for authority. They test the organization and must be dealt with quickly lest the problem migrate to the traveling public.


Please show me any law that states you must show respect to authority. Hint: there isn't one. TSA will gain respect when they deserve respect. They are much-maligned for a reason.

Chip and Andy said...

"...Specifically, people that give these warnings are guilty of attitude problems. They are not showing proper respect for authority."

Please define "Attitude Problem."

Please define "Proper Respect."

Who is in control of what is considered an attitude problem?
You? Or me?

And who is to say what is proper when it comes to respect? Is a TSA Agent treating me like I am a criminal because I want to fly showing me, the passenger, 'Proper' respect?