Friday, February 17, 2012

TSA Week in Review: Spear Gun!

Spear gun, Knives, Sword Cane, Drugs Concealed in Peanut Butter
Paging Captain Ahab: Another spear gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Newark (EWR). The passenger assumed spear guns were good to go. Nope.

TSA Pre✓™  News: TSA Pre✓™ rolled out at Salt Lake City International Airport on the 14th!

Trick up Your Tie: A passenger at Orlando (MCO) had a pocket knife concealed behind their tie. (See photo) The passenger stated he keeps it there so his kids can’t find it.

Conceal Carry Permits: A passenger at San Antonio (SAT) had a loaded .32 with 8 rounds in their carry-on bag. In case they don’t cover this in the conceal carry course, the permit doesn’t allow you to carry a concealed firearm on a commercial aircraft. She thought it did. 

185 Rounds: We usually find a few rounds scattered in a bag, but this time, our officers at San Juan (SJU) found 185 rounds of .22 ammunition in a carry-on bag.

What Not to Say: A passenger referring to his bag at Islip airport (ISP) told our officer: “Yeah, I got a bomb in it.” Not a good way to expedite your screening…

You got Your Green Leafy Substance in my Peanut Butter: A passenger at Oakland (OAK) hollowed out the center of a peanut butter jar and attempted to conceal a baggie of marijuana. We found it.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our officers also found several stun guns, brass knuckles, realistic replica firearms, knives, knives, and more knives, firearm components, ammunition, and expandable batons and a throwing star.

9 loaded firearms.
Firearms: Our officers found 24 loaded firearms and 4 unloaded firearms in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. Here’s a rundown of the 28 firearms our officers kept off of airplanes this week: 
2/10: AMA – Loaded 9mm – DAL – Loaded .32 w/ round chambered – MDW – Loaded .380 – TPA – Loaded .32 – DFW – Unloaded .38 – LAS – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – RNO – Loaded .38
2/11: FLL – Loaded .38 – FLL – Loaded .40 w/ round chambered – LGB – Loaded 9mm w/ round chambered – SHV – Loaded .38 – SAT – Loaded .32 – ONT – Loaded .40 – ATL – Loaded .40 w/ round chambered
2/12: SFO – Loaded 9mm w/ round chambered – DFW – Loaded .38
2/13: SLC – Unloaded .40 – IND – Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – DTW – Loaded 9mm
2/14: PDX – Loaded .22 w/ two rounds chambered
2/15: CLT – Loaded .40 – ORD - Loaded .380 w/ round chambered – DFW – Unloaded .357 – ATL – Loaded .45 – LAX – Loaded .38
2/16: FLL – Loaded .380 – ANC – Unloaded .22 – LAS – Loaded .45 w/ round chambered
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, 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
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