Friday, January 20, 2012

TSA Week In Review: “Brush” With Death?

Knives, inert grenade, drugs concealed in game console.
“Brush” with Death?: A nonmetallic brush-dagger was found at Lynchburg (LYH) in carry-on bag. This brush would not only tease your hair, it would frighten it! A hair raising experience if you will… 

Not Just One, But Eight: You can imagine the officer’s surprise when a man walked up to them at the travel document checking area and stated “I have eight bombs on me.” The police report stated that the passenger “may” have been intoxicated. 

Another Grenade: Last week was grenade-free, but alas, an inert grenade was discovered during checked baggage screening at Tucson (TUS) resulting in an evacuated baggage area. 

Attempt To “Game” Checked Baggage: 1.5 lbs. of methamphetamines were discovered concealed in a game console and a DVR during checked baggage screening at Los Angeles (LAX). We’re not looking for drugs, but 1.5 lbs of anything other than electronics stuffed in an electronic item will raise some red flags. 

Everything Is Bigger in Texas: The toast and the knives… A 12” Bowie knife was discovered in a carry-on bag along with four other knives in Austin (AUS). 

Close Shave?: A 3” straight razor was found concealed in the lining of a backpack in Buffalo (BUF). 

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found stun guns, kubatons, brass knuckles, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and a blackjack. 

9 loaded guns.
Firearms: Our officers found 24 loaded firearms and 2 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 26 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 

1/13: STL – Unloaded .380 – BFL – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – DFW – Loaded 9mm – OMA – Loaded 9mm – BNA – Loaded .380 
1/14: SFB – Loaded .40 
1/16: IAD – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – PIT – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – TUL – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered – SMF – Loaded .380 -  EWN – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered – DEN – Unloaded .357 – FLL – Loaded .357 – ATL – Loaded 9mm  
1/17: BNA – Loaded .380 – STL – Loaded .357 – IND – Loaded 9mm w/ Round Chambered – IAH – Loaded 9mm – DAL – Loaded .40 w/ Round Chambered 
1/18: BHM – Loaded .22 w/ Round Chambered – Loaded .380 – DFW – Loaded .38 inside a carry-on bag was taken too soon by a passenger and made its way past security. The passenger and the bag containing the gun were located prior to takeoff.  
1/19: CLT – Loaded .380 w/ Round Chambered – RDU – Loaded .22 – BWI – Loaded .380 – ATL – Loaded 9mm 

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. We also look for explosives and bomb components as well, but thankfully those are extremely rare and we're happy to keep it that way.

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 in their bag. That’s why it’s important to double check your luggage before you get to the airport.

 Including checkpoint and checked baggage screening, TSA has 20 layers of security both visible and invisible to the public. Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack. In combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.  

Blogger Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team
If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

TSA Pre✓™ Checkup

TSA Pre✓™ logo. North, to Alaska! Select Alaska Airlines travelers at soon-to-be announced airports may be able to experience expedited screening as part of the TSA Pre✓™ pilot. So get your mukluks ready and keep an eye out here on the blog or @TSA / @TSABlogTeam for future info.

Also, TSA Pre✓™ operations started on Tuesday of this week at LAX for American Airline passengers.
If you want to learn how to sign up for TSA Pre✓™, click here.
For those who might not be familiar with TSA Pre✓™, there’s lots of info on our blog and on TSA.gov.

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.