Friday, December 7, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher. No Partridge in a Pear Tree…



AT-4 Rocket Launcher.















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.
  • AT-4 Rocket Launcher – This bring back memories. I had a few of these in the back of my HMMWV in Desert Storm when it caught fire! Talk about lighting a fire under your seat… This particular AT-4 at Latrobe (LBE) was expended, but it was an eye-opener for our officers to say the least. It was discovered in checked baggage.
  • Four inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DAL), Houston (HOU), and Juneau (JNU).
  • A grenade shaped belt buckle was discovered at LaGuardia (LGA).
  • A perfume bottle in the shape of a grenade was discovered at Houston (IAH).
Four grenades.












Cane sword.













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. 
  • An 8” knife was detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Newark (EWR).
  • A razorblade was detected in a sock at Newark (EWR).
  • An 8” knife was detected in a cane at Baltimore (BWI).

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:
  • A Newark (EWR) passenger told the gate agent: “If you don’t want another terrorist attack, I better make this flight.”
  • During a bag search at Boise (BOI), a passenger stated: “I might have a bomb in my bag.”
  • During a bag search at Dallas (DAL), a passenger stated: “I’m a terrorist.”
Pictures of stun guns. 7 from Boston and 26 from New York's JFK.














 


Stun Guns – Forty stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: Lincoln (LNK), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Columbia (CAE), Newark (EWR), Minneapolis (MSP), Atlanta (ATL), Minot (MOT).
  • A passenger at Boston (BOS) had seven stun guns in his bag. They were Christmas gifts… One could say they were “shocking” stuffers.
  • This probably sets some sort of record, but a passenger traveling out of John F. Kennedy (JFK) had 26 stun guns in his carry on bag!
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.  




5 loaded pistols.
6 loaded pistols.
5 loaded pistols.
3 loaded pistols.


41 guns discovered this week. 36 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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49 comments:

Anonymous said...

Despite some of the TSA-negative publicity, someone is doing their job. These guns aren't "security theater".

Anonymous said...

I find this intresting (crazy some weeks) though facinating. Wondering sometimes what the statistics are by Airport?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 6:35 PM 12/7/12, you're right. The guns aren't "security theater". They're old, pre-9/11 security. Caught with the baggage x-ray. So why can't we go back to that security again? After all, it seems to be working.

Also, Bob, it's really curious how pro-TSA posts always seem to be the first posted. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, right?

Screen shot taken.

Anonymous said...

Once again you emphasize only "grenade" and not INERT.

Scary looking? Yes. Dangerous? NO.

Knock off the pathetic scare tactics, Bob.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is theater. Michael Chertoff admitted it in an interview several weeks ago.

Bob S said...

Yes, some people are very dumb, but to be on the safe side, never carry these items, if kind of legal, checked bagage but never handcarry. In Korea at the base exchange they sold canes with swords inside, they were discovered at sometime, but I wonder how many people returned them to the store for an exchange. Never carry any weapons unless you are law enforcement, and there are proper procedures to notify security, never any odd or possible weapon inside your hand carry baggage, that is unless you want to be arrested. Just keep the dumb things at home, period.

Anonymous said...

Bob S said...
Yes, some people are very dumb, but to be on the safe side, never carry these items, if kind of legal, checked bagage but never handcarry. In Korea at the base exchange they sold canes with swords inside, they were discovered at sometime, but I wonder how many people returned them to the store for an exchange. Never carry any weapons unless you are law enforcement, and there are proper procedures to notify security, never any odd or possible weapon inside your hand carry baggage, that is unless you want to be arrested. Just keep the dumb things at home, period.

December 8, 2012 3:13 AM
...........................

Almost all of us carry potential weapons.

Any kind of power cord, cable,shoelace,or such makes a fine garrote.

Have a writing instrument? Perfect for a good stabbing. The old cheap Bic's are perfect for that task.

Want to bludgeon a person? The edge of a laptop will fill the bill.

There are many other things in the typical persons belongings that are easy to use as a weapon. So what is TSA going to do, prohibit everything?

Anonymous said...

Bob, yet more TSOs who think that photography near the checkpoints is not allowed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk-s5YHW8Yk

Why do TSOs continue to tell us that photography is prohibited?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

Despite some of the TSA-negative publicity, someone is doing their job. These guns aren't "security theater".

Except how many of these guns were caught with pre-9/11 methods, or could have been? All of them? Yup. Everything on top of that is theater.

Robert said...

When I was in Guadalcanal last year on a tour, others were buying WWII relics to take home like very rusted bayonets & ammunition etc. I was tempted but didn't want the hassle of figuring out whether they were legal to bring back or not. It's not so easy as at home to just call up UPS and ship these things. How about some sort program where you could declare any items you think might be even slightly questionable, like the grenade shaped perfume bottle, so they could be hand-inspected & either allowed in checked baggage or provide a representative from a shipping service that would take it right there?

Anonymous said...

big Whoopity Doo they found guns and such last time I read our US constitution we have the right to keep and bear arms. If you really want to brag tie these weapons to a terrorist not a citizen who beleives in the constitution.with aright to travel our land without having to show his or her papers. You really want to brag, tell us how we have the right to protect ourselves without government intervention. Wow it really feel safe when an unarmed TSA officer is there to protect me! Gee thanks FEDS! The best thing you could possibly do for our protection would be to get out of our lives.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
Keep up the good work! Some people will criticize no matter what.
How about adding an "Arrested Y/N" column to your weekly gun summary? I for one would like to know if these people were actually arrested or "Allowed to rebook" after trying to sneak a gun (Oh yeah, I believe the "I forgot" defense) onto a plane.

Anonymous said...

Why do you congratulate yourselves so much on finding guns? Isn't that the bare minimum job requirement of a screener? That seems like the equivalent of a fast food restaurant getting my order correct.

It looks like all of these items were found with pre 9/11 screening measures. Why do we need the expensive and not as effective body scanners that have health and privacy issues?

Anonymous said...

Isn't an expended rocket launcher pretty much just a metal tube?

Mike Toreno said...

Keep up the good work! Some people will criticize no matter what.
How about adding an "Arrested Y/N" column to your weekly gun summary?

Because nobody cares. If there were a danger to aviation from the presence of guns on planes, the danger would have manifested itself through the use of one of the 70% of guns that do get through the checkpoint.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Bob, yet more TSOs who think that photography near the checkpoints is not allowed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk-s5YHW8Yk

Why do TSOs continue to tell us that photography is prohibited?

December 8, 2012 9:44 AM

.....................

A better question is: If TSA can't even train its employees that photography is not prohibited why should anyone believe that TSA can train these same employees to do anything?

This continuing issue is perfect proof that TSA employees are not trainable or the total failure of TSA management to,.....well manage.

Bob, which is it?

Mike Wallette said...

Yeah, yeah. Thanks for keeping us safe from all of the inert, replica weapons some moron forgot to take out of his/her bag before heading out to the airport. In the meantime, can you remind us how many dangerous iPads has TSA protected us from?

Anonymous said...

"Why do TSOs continue to tell us that photography is prohibited?"

1. It may be incompetence.

2. It may be fear of being caught doing criminal acts.

3. It may be a "power trip".

Anonymous said...

In response to RB on 12/8/12 at around 11 p.m.:

It is beginning to sound as if the TSA trains its screeners to attempt to intimidate photographers..

screen shot

Anonymous said...

Nothing on this list requires a whole body scanner to find. Why do you need them again?

Anonymous said...

I watched the Youtube video that was posted in these comments. Why was the photographer harrassed by the TSA? I thought your policy allowed photography, yet I see so many videos where the TSA workers are telling the person filming the opposite.

If the TSA cannot train their workers that photography is allowed, how can we trust them with aviation security? What other procedures are they doing wrong if they can't get their simple photography rules right?

John and Mary said...

Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards? What is prohibited on a plane, what is allowed, who can take a loaded weapon on a plane and who can't, and how to tell the difference between the two passengers?

You have a right to do just about anything you want in your home or on the street.
You ARE NOT required to allow anyone to look in your bags, scan your body, or pat you down. Only if you want to fly. There are many travel alternatives to flying available who those find our screening practices unacceptable. Passengers agree to abide our to screening procedures BEFORE entering security.

Fortunately, the vast majority of the flying public realize that we do a needed, if unpopular, service. We will continue to screen as we are trained and realize and take pride in the impact we have in making air travel as safe as we can.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
In response to RB on 12/8/12 at around 11 p.m.:

It is beginning to sound as if the TSA trains its screeners to attempt to intimidate photographers..

screen shot

December 9, 2012 10:06 AM
..................

I think we are well past "beginning to sound like" since proof is the actions of TSA employees.

So TSA publicly has a statement saying that pictures are not prohibited yet TSA employees are saying something else and it is not just a one off issue.

I would think a professional organization could solve such a PR problem if they wished.

Is TSA a professioanl organization or does TSA not wish to solve this problem?

Susan Richart said...

John and Mary:

A proper level of screening would be pre-9/11 screening:

WTMD
HHMD if WTMD alarms
Pat-down or WBI ONLY if HHMD does can not resolve an alarm.

NO private room pat downs unless requested by the passenger: anything the TSA needs to do can be done in public.

The two steps that will prevent another 9/11 were taken years ago: hardened cockpit doors and non-cooperation with terrorists.

That is all that is needed.

Mike Wallette said...

John and Mary: My job sometimes requires travel to Bethel, Alaska. If you can give me some ideas on how to get there without air travel in a reasonable manner (i.e., a dog sled over the Alaska Range is *not* reasonable), I will concede your point. Keep in mind, there are no roads, no trains, nor for much of the year, any water access to Bethel, so no, I cannot "just drive, take a bus, take a train, or take a ferry." If not, then please refrain from requiring me to sacrifice my 4th Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable searches without probable cause to perform my job functions.

As for how to provide security...as others have mentioned several times already, pretty much everything that Blogger Bob is crowing about here could be found by a metal detector -- no groping and no nudie scan required.

Anonymous said...

John and Mary said...
Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards? What is prohibited on a plane, what is allowed, who can take a loaded weapon on a plane and who can't, and how to tell the difference between the two passengers?


----------------------------

I say we go back to pre-9/11 screening with the addition of hardened cockpit doors. 9/11 wasn't a failure of the screeners. Boxcutters were a permitted item that day. Passengers will no longer be compliant with hijackers so the combination of that and the hardened cockpit doors means that type of attack will no longer work.

Metal detectors and explosive trace detection is all that is needed. If the TSA questions that a bottle of water is not filled with water, they have tests they can run on that.

If terrorism is such a constant threat, wouldn't the TSA have caught at least one terrorist by now? Instead, they treat every passenger like a terrorist, even though none of us are. People shouldn't have to have their genitals touched to get on a plane unless there is some serious probable cause to do so.

Anonymous said...

John and Mary said...
Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards?

This has been asked and answered numerous times before. Usually as part of the strawman argument "if U don't like the TSA, then lets have NO security!!1!"

A return to pre-TSA security would be fine. Metal detectors for passengers, X-rays for carry-ons. Stop the knives, stop the guns from getting on the plane.

No nudie-scans.
No gropings.
No separating people from their belongings so they can be stolen.
No making mothers taste their own breast milk.
No handing pliers to women to remove their nipple piercings.
No spilling peoples colostomy bags.
No putting hands in little kids pants.
(and, yes, all these have happened)

Anonymous said...

How many of these were found with the help of explosive detection canines?

Chip and Andy said...

"...Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards?"

Picture ID at check in.
Walk-Through Metal Detectors.
Greater screening of checked baggage.

Basically.... pre September 11 levels of security will be more safe than the TSA ever will be.

Oh, but what about 9-11 you are going to say.... nothing the TSA does now would have prevented 9-11, and will not prevent another 9-11.

The airlines hardened the cockpit doors which when combined with a plane full of passengers willing to beat the crap out of anyone trying to take over the plan makes air travel more safe than TSA could ever hope.

Defunding TSA would save the taxpayer over 8 billion a year so that is an improvement.

Removing TSA and its violations of the Constitution is an improvement.

Greater Baggage screening makes it more safe.

Ending the TSA becomes the Win-Win scenario you asked about.

Anonymous said...

John and Mary said...
"You ARE NOT required to allow anyone to look in your bags, scan your body, or pat you down. Only if you want to fly. There are many travel alternatives to flying available who those find our screening practices unacceptable. Passengers agree to abide our to screening procedures BEFORE entering security."
.................................................................

Can you tell me what I am agreeing to abide by when I enter security? Oh that's right, I'm not entitled to know. And these other alternatives that you suggest - why aren't those targeted on a regular basis? Hard to believe I can be safe without some stranger sticking their hands in my pants.

Anonymous said...

An expended AT-4 launcher is an empty tube. How is it a threat? Did you not say it was also in checked baggage?

Likewise an inert grenade is no more of a weapon than a similarly sized rock. Are rocks prohibited in carry-on bags (I never even thought about that.)

Of the many firearms confiscated, how many were being deliberately smuggled onboard, vs. accidently left in a carry-on bag by otherwise law-abiding citizens? Catching an innocent person making a mistake is far, far different from thwarting an attempted hijacking or terrorist act. Funny how we never seem to hear the whole story.

I support the _idea_ of TSA and understand the complex nature of the terrorist threat and the challenges inherent in defending against it. But TSA celebrating catching innocent people making mistakes or simply being ignorant doesn't exactly enhance public trust and confidence in your organization.

Anonymous said...

[i]Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards?[i]

Metal detector with shoes and light outerwear on, X rays for belongings, laptop inside the bag, no liquid madness. No ID, whole body imagers, rub downs, hands in pants and SPOT. Do it just like security abroad, where planes don´t fall out of the sky (and actually fly over and into the US with no problem whatsoever).

And invest in behind the scenes intelligence.

Anonymous said...

"Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards? What is prohibited on a plane, what is allowed, who can take a loaded weapon on a plane and who can't, and how to tell the difference between the two passengers?"

WTMD-only, no shoe carnival, no belt carnival, no liquids farce, no naked body scanners except as an optional secondary screening method for those who alarm the WTMD or have metal implants, etc. and choose a scanner over a wanding and limited area pat-down.

Everything except firearms, large knives, and explosives is allowed on planes.

Retraining for each and every screener in politeness, manners, and hygeine, preferably by personnel from any of the dozens of other countries that do airport security well, which is to say, unlike TSA.

I have no idea who the two passengers between whom you can't tell the difference are, but that's your problem, not mine.

Screencapped.

Eclectic Breakfast said...

How many of the guns were carried by terrorists? Transnational? Domestic?

How many of the guns were carried by convicted criminals or persons with extensive arrest records?

How many guns were carried by law enforcement personnel or persons with concealed carry permits?

How many arrests resulted from the discovery of the firearms?

How many convictions?

Anonymous said...

John and Mary said...
"You ARE NOT required to allow anyone to look in your bags, scan your body, or pat you down. Only if you want to fly. There are many travel alternatives to flying available who those find our screening practices unacceptable."

Yeah- like taking the train. Sure, it'll take a lot longer, but...

Oops, the TSA is there, too.

Well, you could take a bus...

Oops, the TSA is there, too.

I could drive...

Oops, the TSA is there, too.

I suppose I could walk.

Oops: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2011/03/02/docs-reveal-tsa-plan-to-body-scan-pedestrians-train-passengers/

Susan Richart said...

So AFSD in Miami is an ex-cop fired for soliciting sex.

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2012-12-13/news/miami-tsa-screening-chief-juan-garcia-fired-from-mpd-for-trying-to-buy-sex/

screen shot

Susan Richart said...

@Anonymous, December 11, 2012 3:28 PM:

DHS might have given up on the x-ray plans but they are still financing the audio recording of people riding buses in certain cities:

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/12/public-bus-audio-surveillance/

"Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses.....The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security..."

screen shot

Anonymous said...

I think the TSA folks are doing a great job! I find it disturbing to read the negative comments on this blog in favor of people trying to bring guns, fake grenades etc on a passenger plane. How STUPID can people be?? and to try to hide stuff, again how STUPID can people be? Whenever i have flown, i never had problems with any of the TSA folks, and i am so glad we have them to go through stupid peoples' bags. Because i will tell you, there will be a time when something that you think is innocent will not be.

Anonymous said...

"Shortly after leaving MPD, Garcia landed at the federal TSA. A spokeswoman declined to comment about Garcia but sent a statement from the agency: "[Garcia] fully disclosed the charge on his application. As part of a full background check, TSA determined the charge had been dropped and therefore did not violate any hiring qualifications."

----------------
So, as to your "So AFSD in Miami is an ex-cop fired for soliciting sex."

I guess someone shouldn't be hired because a charge against them was dropped?

Shadywack said...

I don't buy a bit of this baloney. It IS security theater, and the stuff in these pictures is just a dog and pony show. Note that no-where are we going to find out exactly where and how these weapons were confiscated and under what circumstances. This whole story is made-up and I view the TSA as no better than the DPRK at making propoganda. I don't fly because of the TSA, and that's cost the airlines tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

Shadywack said...

I don't buy a bit of this baloney. It IS security theater, and the stuff in these pictures is just a dog and pony show. Note that no-where are we going to find out exactly where and how these weapons were confiscated and under what circumstances. This whole story is made-up and I view the TSA as no better than the DPRK at making propoganda.

Anonymous said...

I see that the little girl with brittle bone disease (confined to a wheelchair) crying as TSA agents claim she has bomb residue on her hands...is not in your week in review. Why not?

Anonymous said...

"...Will those who disagree with our standard practice of screening please respond with an acceptable alternative screening procedure that will maintain or improve upon current security standards?..."

Use pre-9/11 procedures plus hardened cockpit doors plus 100% cargo and baggage screening.

"...You ARE NOT required to allow anyone to look in your bags, scan your body, or pat you down. Only if you want to fly..."

Google "roving backscatter vans." Such vans allow TSA to scan (i.e., irradiate) you and your belongings surreptitiously as you walk or drive down the street.

Anonymous said...

John and Mary said...
You ARE NOT required to allow anyone to look in your bags, scan your body, or pat you down. Only if you want to fly. There are many travel alternatives to flying available

Really? Please tell me, what "travel alternative" will get me from the East Coast to the West Coast overnight for a meeting? What 'alternatives' do I have to travel to, say, Hawaii for a week?

Anonymous said...

I was not allowed to have water for my 3 year old on the line going to the screening, which took one hour. The guy in front of me was drinking. TSA employees are incomptent and love the power they are given. I did not want to arguee because I just wanted to go home, but it's really frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Clicking on an item of "links to this post", which are all to Maximizing Progress causes my IE browser to crash

Anonymous said...

I totally understand confiscating firearms but a bottle of wine.... come on

Anonymous said...

So how many terrorism attempts did the TSA prevent in say... the last three years?

This article title is clearly designed to make it look like the TSA has contributed something... like reducing the threat from firearms in... checked baggage? a passenger wouldn't even be able to get to those. These are rather misleading statistics.

I'm terrified to think what harm could be caused by a belt buckle or perfume bottle. I guess being hit with a belt would hurt or something.

Thanks for all your hard work guys!

Anonymous said...

I think the missile tube should have been allowed to remain in the checked bag once it was seen to be just an empty tube. But I can also see where these tubes would be problematic as they usually have propellent residue that would likely trigger chemical detectors. There are a few issues with grenades worth considering. If you think inert grenades should be allowed on aircraft, please answer this. How do inspectors determine if it is indeed inert short of having an explosives expert examine it (and fuse), or perhaps just ask passengers to step into this special room and pull the pin...