Friday, January 25, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 30 Firearms Discovered at Security Checkpoints This Week (25 Loaded)



Loaded firearm. (BNA)

30 Firearms Discovered This Week – 25 of those firearms were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. Here are pictures of some of the firearms. See a complete list and more photos below.  


A switchblade was discovered in the pocket of a passenger after being screened with image technology at Philadelphia (PHL).

Knife Discovered With Body Scanner – A switchblade was discovered in the pocket of a passenger after being screened with image technology at Philadelphia (PHL). 

 


A replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Wichita (ICT)

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.


A replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Wichita (ICT).


 

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.


  • Three knives were discovered in a passenger’s thermos at Honolulu (HNL). He had traveled through the checkpoint once already and was permitted to take the knives outside of the checkpoint area to check them in his baggage. Instead, he attempted to sneak them through in a thermos.  

  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).

  • A sword cane was discovered at Memphis (MEM).


Three knives were discovered in a passenger’s thermos at Honolulu (HNL). A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX). A sword cane was discovered at Memphis (MEM).

Stun Guns Nine stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: Two at Atlanta (ATL), two at Denver (DEN), and one each at Bradley (BDL), Long Beach (LGB) , Minneapolis (MSP), Sacramento (SMF), Seattle (SEA).

 

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:


  • While preparing to go through the security lane, a passenger at Chicago O’Hare (ORD) asked: “Should I remove my gun and bomb, too?”


  • A passenger at LaGuardia (LGA) going through the checkpoint stated: “It’s not like I have a bomb in my bag, but I could have.”


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 Discovered This Week

6 loaded firearms. 5 loaded firearms.
2 loaded firearms.
 

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. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500.00. 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 order to provide a timely weekly update, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post highlighting the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012.

 


Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Rapiscan Backscatter Contract Terminated – Units to be Removed



You may remember us blogging about new privacy software we rolled out for the L3 Millimeter Wave body scanners. It’s called Automated Target Recognition (ATR), and with the use of this software, our officers no longer see an image of the person being screened. This is what our officers see if the passenger alarms:

ATR Monitor
ATR Monitor After Alarm
 You can read more about the ATR software here.

Congress mandated as a part of the The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that all TSA body scanners should be equipped with ATR by June 1, 2012 (There has since been an extension to June 1, 2013).

At this point, all Millimeter wave units have been equipped with ATR, but even with the extension to 2013, Rapiscan was unable to fulfill their end of the contract and create the ATR software that would work with backscatter units. As a result, TSA terminated the contract with Rapiscan in order to comply with the congressional mandate.

All Rapiscan AIT units currently operational at checkpoints around the country, as well as those stored at the TSA Logistics Center, will be removed by Rapiscan at their expense and stored until they can be redeployed to other mission priorities within the government. Most of the backscatter units being removed will be replaced with millimeter wave units. The millimeter units will be moved from the inventory currently deployed at other airports and from an upcoming purchase of additional millimeter wave units. 

By June 1, 2013 travelers will only see machines which have ATR that allow for faster throughput.  This means faster lanes for the traveler and enhanced security. 

As always, use of this technology is optional.



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

TSA Week in Review: 26 Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week



6 loaded firearms.

 If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post from earlier this month. It’s a look at the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012.

 

Stun Guns –Seven stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Akron-Canton (CAK), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Fort Myers (RSW), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Juan (SJU), Washington Dulles (IAD) 

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 gate agent at Charlotte (CLT) asked a passenger what he was carrying in a box. The passenger replied: “I have a bomb.”


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…

Large knife.

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.  

4 loaded firearms.




33 guns discovered. 26 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 order to provide a timely weekly update, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.





 
Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Friday, January 11, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Black Powder, Grenades, Line Charge, Stun Guns, and More…



If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post from earlier this week. It’s a look at the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012.


Black Powder At Cleveland – Over nine ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Cleveland (CLE).
Black Powder (CLE)

Black Powder At ClevelandOver nine ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Cleveland (CLE).


A serrated wire garrote was discovered in the passenger’s carry-on bag.
Garrote (BOS)

Garrote Discovered After BDO Referral – Behavior Detection Officers at Boston (BOS) referred a passenger for additional screening. During the screening, a serrated wire garrote was discovered in the passenger’s carry-on bag. 


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. 

 

A bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF).
Bandolier Line Charge (ORF)


  • A bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF). It was determined that the item was inert and used by a contractor who conducts demonstrations for the military. As I’ve said before, we’re all too familiar with instructors and other people in this type of business needing these sorts of items for their jobs. As with all inert training items and replicas, we don’t know they’re not real until we’ve checked them out. This can include evacuated baggage areas and closed checkpoints which lead to delays and missed flights. People that need to travel with INERT items should plan ahead and contact their preferred shipper about mailing the training aids to their destination. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

  • Eight replica/inert grenades were discovered this week, one in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC), and five others in checked baggage – three at Harrisburg (MDT), three at Anchorage (ANC), and one at San Diego (SAN). The three grenades at MDT caused a 1-hour, 8-minute evacuation of the checked baggage area.


Eight replica/inert grenades were discovered this week, one in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC), and five others in checked baggage – three at Harrisburg (MDT), three at Anchorage (ANC), and one at San Diego (SAN).


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 knife was discovered in a laptop at Denver (DEN).
  • A saw blade was discovered under the sole of a shoe in a carry-on bag at Ellis (OAJ).

Stun Guns – Eight stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: One each at San Francisco (SFO), Sacramento (SMF), San Juan (SJU), Pittsburgh (PIT), Akron (CAK), Seattle (SEA), and two at Denver (DEN).

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 passenger at Miami (MIA) asked the gate agent: “What if I have a bomb?” 
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 firearms.
5 loaded firearms.




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 order to provide a timely weekly update, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.







Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.