Friday, January 18, 2013

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.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Do you cae to comment on this video?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4_xG-VIfuDE

I thought filming at the checkpoint was permitted? If it is permitted, why are these TSA employees going to great lengths to stop the filming and attempting to block the camera? Your website says that filming is permitted, but there are so many videos online showing TSA employees saying that filming is not permitted. Why isn't that policy clarified to the checkpoint workers?

Anonymous said...

No mention of the story to pull over 174 Rapiscan machines for airports across the country? The fact that these machines were ever deployed is a national disgrace not soon forgotten. Every time I pass through a US airport checkpoint I feel sad for our country.

SSSS for some reason said...

33 guns.... any terrorist yet?

Wintermute said...

Blogger Bob said...

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

And let me guess, because the gate agent isn't one of your highly trained BDOs, they didn't recognize that the passenger was being snide as they replied this way, and was not smart enough to realize that a terrorist, presented with the question "what's in the box," is smart enough to - oh, I don't know, LIE? - if there were, indeed, a bomb in the box.

Also, too busy to approve any comments, but not so busy that you can't post your weekly "pat ourselves on the back for doing absolutely nothing noteworthy" post of the week?

Yes, this comment is full of snark. But it falls within posted guidelines. Screenshot taken.

RB said...

So once again the much less expensive Walk Through Metal Detectors and Xray Baggage Systems would have found all threat items.

So why is the public being ripped off paying for TSA's extremely expensive and not needed Whole Body Strip Search Machines?

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said…
“Bob,
Do you ca[r]e to comment on this video?”

It was becoming obvious the screeners knew they were wrong and despite choosing their words carefully at times they did claim he did not have the right to film. Don't like it check the website, then the website confirms the traveler was right. This appears to be a clear example of what many of us have claimed repeatedly over the years. It may say on the website, on the blog, even from Bob himself that something is allowed but as we see at the checkpoint you will be intimidated until you comply. Many of us find that kind of mentality among your screeners unacceptable. Our rights should be posted at every checkpoint as well as your website. They should be easy to find at the checkpoint and on your site FAQ. I can't locate any page that corresponds to our rights. There are a lot of little things here and there about specific things but only external sites put it all together. TSA would say, and rightly so I might add, that you can’t rely on an external site to be correct.

What started this was he wanted to film his mother being patted down. There are so many posts here and pages on your site that claim AIT is optional. Half the time that causes an argument with the screener when I opt out. We all know why and I don’t expect an honest answer on here. The screeners don’t want to do the pat down and rightly so because there are legitimate legal ramifications. That’s clearly why they began intimidating him. That’s why they obscure their full names on their SIDA badges and even Bob confirmed in a recent post they don’t have to tell us their full name because THEY have the right not to be harassed. Not sure if the irony got lost when you posted it that we have rights too. If I complain the standard line is the screener is merely informing me of my options. I'm aware of my options but I will require a pat down anyway, though perhaps more limited, because I will alarm AIT in two places. I had three screeners once ganging up on me over this. That’s not explaining my options to me, that’s intimidation, unacceptable. Don’t I have the right not to be harassed? Then again I had to provide my full name and the screener doesn’t. Post our rights and post them conspicuously. Or are our rights constantly evolving too?

Anonymous said...

Filming and TSA, from their own website: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/taking-pictures-checkpoint

Anonymous said...

What are the full body naked scanners for again? You never find anything with them!

Anonymous said...

So why do you need full body scanners again??

Anonymous said...

I don't want to be on a plane with someone who has a loaded gun. Picture road rage at 30,000 feet.

If someone says, "I have a bomb," you really wouldn't check them out further? "Oh, ha ha sir, you go right ahead." Come on. If you're smart enough to not bring a bomb on board, then it seems like you should be smart enough to not joke about it.

Anonymous said...

I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports? These guy's/gal's that are performing their job is for our benefit! If someone wants to be stupid enough to say they have a bomb, then it's their fault, they know the ramifications, toss em in jail. Same thing with weapons, if it's not claimed while checking in, toss em in jail and take their right to own a weapon away. We have laws, processes and procedures we have to adhear to, it's that simple. If you can't follow them, shame on you!!!

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "No mention of the story to pull over 174 Rapiscan machines for airports across the country?"

Please see the next post for more info on this.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports? These guy's/gal's that are performing their job is for our benefit! If someone wants to be stupid enough to say they have a bomb, then it's their fault, they know the ramifications, toss em in jail. Same thing with weapons, if it's not claimed while checking in, toss em in jail and take their right to own a weapon away. We have laws, processes and procedures we have to adhear to, it's that simple. If you can't follow them, shame on you!!!
January 22, 2013 at 7:20 AM


Are you a TSA employee?

Please point out where someone seriously said in the comments that they wanted "no security." Take your time. We'll wait.

Shame on us? Because you think everyone should simply adhere (not adhear) to TSA rules (not laws) without criticism or comment? Criticizing or commenting is "not following" these "simple" rules?

Please point out how constantly changing rules are simple.

Please explain it is simple to adhere to rules when items that successfully pass through a TSA checkpoint five or six times suddenly are not acceptable the seventh time and the passenger is chastised for bringing it.

Please tell us how we must simply adhere to TSA rules that we object to for privacy, constitutionality, and security reasons without any criticism or comment.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports?"

When did you hear this and who stated it? You can't answer that, because no one has actually said it. Other than TSApologists who want to create an easy straw-man to attack.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I don't want to be on a plane with someone who has a loaded gun.

Too bad then. The TSA's own tests show they miss up to 70% of weapons/bombs. Thus, for every 30 they catch, up to 70 get through.

(Don't be fooled- yes, these results are a few years old, but the TSA hasn't released any newer ones, which they would if they showed an improvement.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports?

::sigh::

This is a very old, very tired, strawman argument. We don't want 'no security', we want useful, non-intrusive security. What we don't want is useless security theater.

Anonymous said...

About saying "I have a bob": Many passengers going through airports are foreigners, and may have difficulties with the language. For example, the words for "pump" and "bomb" in my language are the same, and sound a lot like "bomb" in English. I could easily see a fellow countryman get confused and answer that a pump is a "bomb" when questioned.

Extreme stupidity is the TSA making a big deal over a situation that certainly will never be brought on by a real terrorist (who would never admit to the real nature of a bomb).

Keith Cossey of Carey, Ohio said...

I cannot believe some of the lack of gratitude in the comments on this websites. Thank you for keeping us safe. Semper Fi, fellow warriors.

CliffOnTheRoad said...

This week's posting are direct and non-inflamitory. They deserve a response Bob, and even action on your part to correct the abuses in the future.

1. signage at the "show us your papers" entry with clear words, and a photo, "Guns in luggage will be forfit to the TSA and sold." "Humorous comments of having a bomb or gun will result in missing your plane while you are escorted to an interview room." "Photos are permitted here but you must cross over the yellow line after puting on your shoes." (yellow line desinates the official security area so as to not interfer with employees stealing stuff.)

Optional; Statements and actions which cause overzellous TSA agents to close security checkpoints WILL be charged real money for the delay of airplanes and passengers.

Anonymous said...

Where did the sense of 'right' entitlement come from? I'm a little confused, but I don't remember anyone every saying you have the RIGHT to fly in a plane. You have the option, opportunity and privilege to fly. If you don't like the screening, you don't like rules and you don't like the process find a different method of travel. That being said, the process should be effective and done properly. Just stop coming at these comment sections with 'MY RIGHTS ARE BEING ABUSED'.

Wintermute said...

Keith Cossey of Carey, Ohio said...
"I cannot believe some of the lack of gratitude in the comments on this websites."

The TSA is undeserving of gratitude.

"Thank you for keeping us safe."

Except, as has been pointed out many times, they don't doing anything to actually keep us safe. They do, however, give us a false sense of security. Which, arguably, makes us LESS safe.

"Semper Fi, fellow warriors."

You took an oath to defend our constitution?!

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Where did the sense of 'right' entitlement come from? I'm a little confused, but I don't remember anyone every saying you have the RIGHT to fly in a plane. You have the option, opportunity and privilege to fly."

Ummm... Check your facts. The right to fly has been codified in law.

"If you don't like the screening, you don't like rules and you don't like the process find a different method of travel."

What method keeps us out of the TSA's cross-hairs when the TSA can show up anywhere?

"That being said, the process should be effective and done properly."

Agreed. Something the TSA couldn't do if they wanted to because of all the bureaucracy.

"Just stop coming at these comment sections with 'MY RIGHTS ARE BEING ABUSED'."

Also, free speech is a right. ;)

Anonymous said...

Keith Cossey of Carey, Ohio said...
I cannot believe some of the lack of gratitude in the comments on this websites. Thank you for keeping us safe. Semper Fi, fellow warriors.

January 27, 2013 at 9:09 PM
..............

TSA doesn't rate a Semper Fi.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports? ]]

No anon, that is not what they are saying. What they are saying is that they want only THEIR type of security at airports. And only so much of that. Very few people have said they would rather have no security, most want the same thing we had on 9/11/2001 which failed so miserably. Some want less. Very few actually understand what security is or what it takes to achieve it. And then there are those who don’t want to know, and are very happy in their ignorance. That alone accounts for the vast majority of the posters here.

Anonymous said...

That 1911 looks like a Kimber.....I hope the guy
gets it back...$$$$$

SB said...

Hey Ron, how did the screeners at Portland and Newark fail so miserably 12 years ago?

If the TSA were in place at the time, what would the TSOs have done differently?

Nice of you to perpetuate the "9/11 was a checkpoint security" failure myth though.

Wintermute said...

TSAgent Ron mis-stated

"most want the same thing we had on 9/11/2001 which failed so miserably"

What, exactly, failed about the security on 9/11/2001? Two changes to security on that day would have prevented these attacks, and those two changes have been made and do not rely on the TSA's bogus layers of security (theater).

" Very few actually understand what security is or what it takes to achieve it. And then there are those who don’t want to know, and are very happy in their ignorance. That alone accounts for the vast majority of the posters here."

Ahh... there's the insults we've come to expect. I'll put my knowledge of security up against any TSO's knowledge any day, even though I'd hardly call myself an expert (just a geek with some interesting hobbies)... But don't trust me on this. Ask Bruce Schneier. He *IS* an expert. More so than someone who's a TSO.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Why is TSA employee "TSORon" allowed to insult American citizens on this gov't website?

" TSORon said...Anonymous said... [[I guess what I hear most people saying is, you don't want security at the airports? ]]No anon, that is not what they are saying. What they are saying is that they want only THEIR type of security at airports. And only so much of that. Very few people have said they would rather have no security, most want the same thing we had on 9/11/2001 which failed so miserably. Some want less. Very few actually understand what security is or what it takes to achieve it. And then there are those who don’t want to know, and are very happy in their ignorance. That alone accounts for the vast majority of the posters here.January 31, 2013 at 6:48 PM"

Brendan said...

so what kind of punishments do people get for bringing guns on the plane? If there were more serious punishments, then there wouldn't be cases like this, right?

TSORon said...

Brendan asked...
[[so what kind of punishments do people get for bringing guns on the plane? If there were more serious punishments, then there wouldn't be cases like this, right?]]

As with anything court related the punishments vary based upon each individual case. Some of the factors that are taken into consideration are: was the gun loaded, was there a round in the chamber, was it artfully concealed, was it lawfully possessed, and of course each state has different laws concerning guns. TSA may issue an administrative fine for these types of regulatory violations that could go as high as $11,000. Most do not of course, but in the case of repeat offenders it’s been known to happen. Punishment is determined by the court of jurisdiction, not the TSA. I have even know of a few who walked away from the incident with nothing more than a lengthy conversation with the local police.

TSORon said...

Anonymous asked...
[[Bob,

Why is TSA employee "TSORon" allowed to insult American citizens on this gov't website?
“And then there are those who don’t want to know, and are very happy in their ignorance. That alone accounts for the vast majority of the posters here.”]]

That my dear Anon is known as a demonstrated fact. You can take it as an insult if you like, nothing I can do will stop that, but obviously the comment is within the confines of the “Comment Policy” of the blog. I suggest that you read the policy, it’s got tons of good information about what is and is not allowed. There is a link to the policy right above the comments block, for your ease of use.

Wintermute said...

Still waiting for TSORon to answer what failed miserably on 9/11.

TSORon said...

Wintermute said...
[[Still waiting for TSORon to answer what failed miserably on 9/11.]]

Many things. Read the 9/11 Commission Report. I have, it’s very interesting. In it you will find where many government agencies failed on 9/11, and what the screeners missed. It’s pretty detailed, if you need a link to the report just ask. I’d be happy to provide you one.

TSORon said...

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/report/911Report_Ch1.htm
“We asked a screening expert to review the videotape of the hand-wanding, and he found the quality of the screener's work to have been "marginal at best." The screener should have "resolved" what set off the alarm; and in the case of both Moqed and Hazmi, it was clear that he did not.”
“The hijackers quickly gained control and sprayed Mace, pepper spray, or some other irritant in the first-class cabin, in order to force the passengers and flight attendants toward the rear of the plane. They claimed they had a bomb.”
“The hijackers attacked sometime between 8:42 and 8:46.They used knives (as reported by two passengers and a flight attendant), Mace (reported by one passenger), and the threat of a bomb (reported by the same passenger). They stabbed members of the flight crew (reported by a flight attendant and one passenger). Both pilots had been killed (reported by one flight attendant).The eyewitness accounts came from calls made from the rear of the plane, from passengers originally seated further forward in the cabin, a sign that passengers and perhaps crew had been moved to the back of the aircraft.”

You also might want to read the document at the link below. It is a document presented to the 9/11 Commission by the National Commission On Terrorist Actions which clearly states that Box Cutters and Mace were prohibited items according to FAA regulations active on 9/11/2001, yet were missed by the screeners at the various airports in question.

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/911/staff_statements/staff_statement_3.pdf

Wintermute said...

TSORon, since my last comment was apparently censored, you specifically cited sections 9.1, 9.2, and 13.5, which I read. Now, you are siting section 1, which I just briefly skimmed. While it may place blame on the screeners of 9/11 (I have not gone back and read it yet, so I'll take your word for it, even given your track record), how are TSA screeners any better when they have an approximate 70% failure rate? (please note, this number might be old, but we have a Nov 2011 report to back it up, which I've pointed out elsewhere and does not need debated on this thread as well.)

Cliff Stockton said...

Bob, Please comment on Kanye West and Kim K. not having to go through security. As a frequent flyer it irks me that first class passengers have their own line at some airports. But, entitled princesses and rap stars.

Cliff Stockton

TSORon said...

Wintermute said...
[[TSORon, since my last comment was apparently censored, you specifically cited sections 9.1, 9.2, and 13.5, which I read. Now, you are siting section 1, which I just briefly skimmed. While it may place blame on the screeners of 9/11 (I have not gone back and read it yet, so I'll take your word for it, even given your track record), how are TSA screeners any better when they have an approximate 70% failure rate? (please note, this number might be old, but we have a Nov 2011 report to back it up, which I've pointed out elsewhere and does not need debated on this thread as well.)]]

Guilty as charged, I did exactly the same thing you did, I skimmed it. I don’t mind admitting when I have made an error. But now you have the relevant passages, and still have not read them? An inconvenient truth maybe? Did you read the other document I provided a link to? Its only 2 pages or so, not a difficult read at all. Come on WM, make the effort to admit when you have made a mistake, and then move on as I have.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"Guilty as charged, I did exactly the same thing you did, I skimmed it. I don’t mind admitting when I have made an error. But now you have the relevant passages, and still have not read them? An inconvenient truth maybe? Did you read the other document I provided a link to? Its only 2 pages or so, not a difficult read at all. Come on WM, make the effort to admit when you have made a mistake, and then move on as I have."

Fair enough. And I already stated that I just skimmed it. I have not read it at this point (Time is a funny thing, there never seems to be enough of it.) AND TOOK YOUR WORD FOR ITS CONTENTS. That said, it does not address how the TSA is any better than pre-9/11 screeners. I'm sure some of you guys are great at your jobs. But I'm sure some of the pre-TSA screeners were great at their jobs too. I'm sure some of the pre-TSA screeners are now TSA screeners. All that speculation does not shed any light on whether or not the pre-9/11 screeners had a failure rate significantly different than the ~70% failure rate of the TSA.