Friday, October 12, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 39 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage This Week

39 Firearms Discovered – A total of 39 firearms were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Take a look at the photos and spreadsheet at the bottom of this post.

Loaded guns.  

Opposite Day? – It’s almost as if two separate passengers at New York Kennedy (JFK) and Tampa (TPA) read the prohibited items list backwards. The passengers had the following items in their carry-on bags:

  • JFK – A variety of firecrackers, brass knuckles, a large knife, and while we were in the bag, we saw his baggie of marijuana. We’re not looking for drugs, but when we find them, we notify law enforcement. 

  • TPA – A knife, a fully loaded magazine, a kubaton with a spike attachment, and a stun gun designed to appear as a smartphone.

Knives, Fireworks, Brass Knuckles, Ammunition, Stun Gun



















Inert 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 bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint, 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.

  • Two inert training mortar fuses were detected in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Richmond ( RIC), Virginia.
  • A replica grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Tampa (TPA), Florida.

Grenade and warheads.

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.

  • A walking cane with a knife inside was detected at LaGuardia (LGA).

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:

  • During screening at Rochester (ROC), a passenger told our officers that he had a firearm in his carry-on bag. No gun was discovered. Bad joke.

Stun guns.

Stun Guns –  Nine stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation. Two of which at Tampa (TPA) and Newark (EWR) were disguised to appear as smart phones. Others were discovered at LaGuardia (LGA), Washington Dulles (IAD) , Oklahoma City (OKC), 2 at Denver (DEN), Atlanta (ATL), and Jacksonville (JAX).

Knives and fireworks.

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. 

Loaded guns.

Loaded guns.
Loaded guns.

39 guns discovered at TSA checkpoints last week.

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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