Friday, November 9, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 7" Nonmetallic Pocketknife Discovered With Body Scanner

Folding plastic knife discovered at Salt Lake City.

Nonmetallic Pocket Knife – A 7” plastic pocketknife was discovered on a passenger during a pat-down after an anomaly was detected with a body scanner at Salt Lake City (SLC). The passenger stated he was trying to get the knife through security and was arrested on a federal charge.

Inert Ordnance and 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 realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, 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. 

Inert explosive training aids that were discovered at Austin.
IED Training Aids Discovered at Austin (AUS)

  • Inert explosive training aids were discovered in a golf club case  after an alarm in checked baggage at Austin (AUS).
  • Two inert hand grenades were discovered in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF).

Two inert hand grenades.
Two inert grenades discovered at Norfolk

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 cane sword was discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger 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:

  • After being denied boarding due to intoxication, a Columbus passenger told the gate agent that she had a bomb in her bag.

Stun Guns –  Seven stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints around the nation: Denver (DEN), San Juan (SJU), Las Vegas (LAS), Reagan Washington National (DCA), Jacksonville (JAX), Tallahassee (TLH), Grand Rapids (GRR). The stun gun discovered at DCA was disguised to look like a smart phone. 

Stun gun disguised as smart phone.
Stun Gun Disguised as Smart Phone Discovered at DCA

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.  

Five loaded pistols.

Four loaded revolvers.

Three loaded pistols.

Three loaded pistols.

35 total firearms discovered this week. 33 loaded, and 2 unloaded.

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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