Friday, June 1, 2012

TSA Week in Review - Stunningly Smart Disguise

Stun Guns
Insert Your Own Stun Gun Pun [Here] - 7 stun guns were found this week in carry-on bags. Among them were a couple of standouts both discovered at Detroit (DTW). One was disguised to look like a smart phone while the other doubles as a punching weapon.

Cane Saw? – I’ve heard of a cane sword, but a cane saw? This was found at New York Kennedy (JFK).

Knife to a Gunfight? – A knife that looks like a gun was discovered at Des Moines (DSM). Now I’m guessing that if you were going to bring a knife to a gunfight, this would be the one to bring.

Knives, inert grenades, knuckle purse, cane saw and cane sword.
Grenade + Commercial Airliner =  - An inert grenade was discovered at Tampa (TPA). I was a kid once. I owned a few inert grenades and even strapped them to my web gear and ran around the woods with my friends. I get it. They’re fun. However, they can’t go on a plane. Even if they’re inert. Read here and here  for more information on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints. We don’t know they’re inert until we check them out and checking them out can often inconvenience your fellow passengers.

Pouch With Narcotics Concealed in Underwear
Pouch With Narcotics Concealed in Underwear
Body Scanner Discoveries This Week – There were nine incidents this week where body scanner alarms resulted in drugs being found on passengers using imaging technology. Items were found everywhere from pockets to the breast, to the groin area at EWR, SAT, ORD, TPA, PHX, SFO and GEG. In addition to these discoveries, there was also a passenger at Tampa (TPA) who had a white drawstring pouch concealed in his underwear containing several types of Narcotics. (See Picture) Another passenger at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) had marijuana taped to his ankle. We’re not looking for drugs, but finding these nonmetallic items in areas where explosives could also be hidden is a testament that the technology works. 
People Say the Darndest Things - Here are examples of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint has to be evacuated:

After asking a passenger at Detroit (DTW) for his boarding pass and ID, the passenger stated “Yes, and I have two bombs and three guns” while laughing. After being asked not to say that, the passenger stated “I do not have two bombs, only one bomb.” 

A passenger at Lubbock (LBB) told the airline employee that they were going to blow up American Airlines. When asked what he meant by that, he replied, “You’re about to find out.”

After being told her baggage had missed her flight, a passenger at Las Vegas (LAS) said, “There is a bomb in my bag.”
Knockout of a Purse – A purse was discovered at RDU that also doubles as brass knuckles. I don’t usually share brass knuckles in the Week in Review, but this was a cool find.

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

2 loaded firearms.
7 loaded firearms.
5 loaded firearms and an antique firearm.
Firearms - Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.
31 firearms discovered. 22 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.

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