Friday, December 7, 2012

TSA Week in Review: 41 Firearms, 40 Stun Guns, 4 Grenades, 1 Rocket Launcher. No Partridge in a Pear Tree…

AT-4 Rocket Launcher.

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.
  • AT-4 Rocket Launcher – This bring back memories. I had a few of these in the back of my HMMWV in Desert Storm when it caught fire! Talk about lighting a fire under your seat… This particular AT-4 at Latrobe (LBE) was expended, but it was an eye-opener for our officers to say the least. It was discovered in checked baggage.
  • Four inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas (DAL), Houston (HOU), and Juneau (JNU).
  • A grenade shaped belt buckle was discovered at LaGuardia (LGA).
  • A perfume bottle in the shape of a grenade was discovered at Houston (IAH).
Four grenades.

Cane sword.

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. 
  • An 8” knife was detected under the lining of a carry-on bag at Newark (EWR).
  • A razorblade was detected in a sock at Newark (EWR).
  • An 8” knife was detected in a cane at Baltimore (BWI).

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:
  • A Newark (EWR) passenger told the gate agent: “If you don’t want another terrorist attack, I better make this flight.”
  • During a bag search at Boise (BOI), a passenger stated: “I might have a bomb in my bag.”
  • During a bag search at Dallas (DAL), a passenger stated: “I’m a terrorist.”
Pictures of stun guns. 7 from Boston and 26 from New York's JFK.


Stun Guns – Forty stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: Lincoln (LNK), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Columbia (CAE), Newark (EWR), Minneapolis (MSP), Atlanta (ATL), Minot (MOT).
  • A passenger at Boston (BOS) had seven stun guns in his bag. They were Christmas gifts… One could say they were “shocking” stuffers.
  • This probably sets some sort of record, but a passenger traveling out of John F. Kennedy (JFK) had 26 stun guns in his carry on bag!
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.  

5 loaded pistols.
6 loaded pistols.
5 loaded pistols.
3 loaded pistols.

41 guns discovered this week. 36 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 have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.