Friday, March 2, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 60mm Mortar Round and Other Interesting Finds

Inert mortar shell, stun guns, flares and flare gun, dead snakes, fireworks, ammunition.
“Incoming” Flight: An inert 60mm mortar round used for training was discovered in the checked bag of passenger at El Paso (ELP). The passenger purchased it as a novelty and thought nothing of packing it in his bag. Gives a whole new meaning to “incoming” flight…

Skyrockets in Flight: An M-80 firecracker was found in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Seattle (SEA). Another passenger at Palm Beach (PBI) not only had some M-5000s, but he also had a few rounds of ammo. (See next story) Lastly, a passenger at Los Angeles (LAX) had a mixture of firecrackers and 9mm ammo in his carry-on bag. Did you know that M-80s were developed by the US Military to simulate incoming artillery during training? Just the thing you should bring on a plane!

Cornucopia of Prohibited Items: One passenger at Palm Beach (PBI) had the following items in one of his carry-on bags: Stun gun, double edged dagger, box cutter, package of razor blades, shotgun shell, 3 loose rounds of ammo, and 2 M-5000 firecrackers. (See photo)

Has Neville Flynn Been to EWR: A container of dead venomous snakes were found in checked baggage at Newark (EWR). Updated 3/3/12 to add that dead snakes are not prohibited. The snakes were permitted to travel. The large liquid jar holding the snakes needed to be inspected due to an explosive detection system alarm. No dead snakes were harmed during the making of this post. We just took advantage of the photo op. 

CPAP or C-POW!!!: A .270 caliber and 30-30 round were found inside a CPAP machine (breathing apperatus) in a passenger’s carry-on bag at Orlando (MCO). The passenger stated he keeps the rounds in the machine so he won’t lose them. 

Cane swords, knves, stun gun, pepper spray.
Bombed?: When asked by a ticket agent at Miami (MIA) if he had any liquids in his bag, the passenger responded with “I have liquor and I have a bomb.” I’m guessing liquor may have been the reason for that response. Another passenger at Las Vegas (LAS) thought it would be a good idea to tell our Officer: “I have a bomb” several times before walking through the metal detector.

Stun Pen: I’m not going to use a pun to describe this stun pen that was found at Denver (DEN). Shocking, I know…

Knife Concealed in Binoculars: A knife was found concealed between a pair of binoculars at Rochester (ROC) in a carry-on bag. Trying to conceal something in a device that is designed to reveal things. Brilliant! Well, not really…

The Old Under the Handle Trick: We’ve seen this one several times in the past, and once again, a passenger tried to conceal a knife by taping it underneath the handle of their carry-on bag. This time it was at Kahului (OGG).

Flare-up: Signal flares were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Reagan Washington National (DCA) – a regular flare, but smaller.

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

6 loaded guns, knife, and ammunition.
Firearms: Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

25 guns discovered. 21 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 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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