Friday, February 22, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 24 Loaded Firearms, Blasting Caps, Stun Guns, and More



Loaded firearm.
Discovered at RSW

26 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 26 firearms, 24 were loaded and seven had rounds chambered. Here are pictures of some of the firearms. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Seven inert blasting caps used for training in the mining industry were discovered in checked baggage at Greenbrier County Airport (LWB).
Blasting Caps (LWB)
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 in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

  • Seven inert blasting caps used for training in the mining industry were discovered in checked baggage at Greenbrier County Airport (LWB).
  • Four inert/replica/novelty grenades were discovered this week. Two were discovered at Honolulu (HNL), and the others were discovered at Salt Lake City (SLC), and Wichita (ICT).

Four inert/replica/novelty grenades were discovered this week. Two were discovered at Honolulu (HNL), and the others were discovered at Salt Lake City (SLC), and Wichita (ICT)
 
Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.

Nine rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were detected concealed in the pull-handle stowaway compartment of a carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF).

  • Nine rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were detected concealed in the pull-handle stowaway compartment of a carry-on bag at Norfolk (ORF).
  • A 3½-inch double-edged knife was detected inside the sole of a shoe at San Diego (SAN).
A 3½-inch double-edged knife was detected inside the sole of a shoe at San Diego (SAN)
Knife Concealed In Shoe (RSW)

Stun Guns – Eight stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation at Atlanta (ATL), Jacksonville (JAX), Long Beach (LGB), Manchester (MHT), Midland (MAF), Orlando (MCO), Reno (RNO), and Salt Lake City (SLC).

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 learning that his luggage had made a flight that he missed, a Las Vegas (LAS) passenger told the gate agent: “Imagine there was a bomb in my bag. I’m not on plane, and it would explode.”

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.

26 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 26 firearms, 24 were loaded and seven had rounds chambered.
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.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Clarification on the Screening of 3-Year-Old Girl at Lambert–St. Louis International Airport


An incident involving a girl in her wheelchair has been getting a lot of attention. I’ve been reading a lot of articles, tweets, and posts about this and I feel some clarification is needed. First off, we regret that this happened and TSA has apologized directly to the family for their inconvenience at the airport. 

What we did:

  • Our officer did initially mention a pat-down. We admit this was confusing, and contributed to a stressful situation. Very quickly, a manager was able to step in and give guidance.
  • Also, our officer told the passenger that it was illegal to film at the checkpoint. This is not the case, and you can take a look at our filming policy here.
  • TSA’s Federal Security Director at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) reached out to personally apologize for the incident. He also offered to assist the family the next time they traveled through the airport.
What we didn’t do:
  • The child did not receive a pat-down. You can read our new procedures for children 12 and under here.
  • Neither the child nor the parent was detained. TSA does not have the authority to detain passengers. Only Law Enforcement Officers can detain passengers.
  • The child’s stuffed animal was not confiscated. It was screened and handed back to the child after being screened. All accessible property is screened prior to traveling to your departure gate. You may remember this stuffed animal from last year.

Incidents like this can trigger a lot of emotions, but please keep the TSA’s mission in mind. We are committed to maintaining the security of the traveling public. This will be addressed with our workforce so we can continue to treat all passengers with the dignity and respect they deserve.

We continue to receive overwhelmingly positive reports about our TSA Cares Help Line and strongly suggest that passengers with disabilities and medical conditions call this number if they have questions or are concerned about their upcoming travel through a TSA checkpoint.

From TSA.gov: 

TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel to for information about what to expect during screening.

Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares helpline are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. EST and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.

When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.

TSA recommends that passengers call approximately 72 hours ahead of travel so that TSA Cares has the opportunity to coordinate checkpoint support with a TSA Customer Service Manager located at the airport when necessary. 

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, February 15, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Concealed Non-Metallic Dagger Discovered Using Advanced Imaging Technology at SLC



Dagger (SLC)
Dagger (SLC)

Concealed Non-Metallic Dagger - A dagger was discovered on a passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). During the pat-down, a plastic dagger was found hanging by fishing line around his neck and under his shirt. 


Loaded firearm.
Discovered in a Carry-on Bag at DSM
30 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 30 firearms, 26 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered. Here are pictures of some of the firearms. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.  


Flare Gun (MDW)
Flare Gun (MDW)
Flare Gun – A passenger at Midway (MDW) had a flare gun and four flares in his carry-on bag. You know, if you want to signal a flight attendant, there is a little button above your head. You don’t need a flare gun. Flares and flare guns are prohibited items. 


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. 
 
PHX Novelty Bomb
PHX Novelty Bomb



  • Two novelty bombs looking like something Wile E. Coyote would lob at the Roadrunner were discovered at Phoenix (PHX).

  • Six inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this week: Two at Omaha (OMA), two at Las Vegas (LAS), and one each at Asheville (AVL), and Denver (DEN). 




Six inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this week: Two at Omaha (OMA), two at Las Vegas (LAS), and one each at Asheville (AVL), and Denver (DEN).


Stun Gun
Stun Guns – Nine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Minot (MOT), and the rest were found at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Denver (DEN), Fayetteville (FAY), Manchester (MHT), Sacramento (SMF), and San Diego (SAN).
 
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:

  • An individual approached a general aviation ramp at Knox County Airport (RKD) and stated that aircraft were buzzing his house and if it did not stop, he was going to shoot one down.

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…  

Fireworks Discovered at MYR
Fireworks Discovered at MYR


                                                     Firearms Discovered This Week

3 loaded firearms.


6 loaded firearms.

30 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 30 firearms, 26 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered.
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, February 8, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Disassembled Rifle Concealed in Two Bags at BOS



While resolving an alarm on checked baggage, officers at Boston Logan (BOS) discovered a fully disassembled 30-30 rifle concealed within the lining of the bag and taped to the straps.

Disassembled Rifle Concealed in Two Bags – While resolving an alarm on checked baggage, officers at Boston Logan (BOS) discovered a fully disassembled 30-30 rifle concealed within the lining of the bag and taped to the straps. Massachusetts State Police responded and ran a check on the serial number of the rifle, revealing that it had been stolen. Police arrested the passenger on state charges.  For the record, it is permissible to travel with firearms in your checked baggage as long as you have legal authority to possess the firearm and you adhere to these guidelines.
 

6 loaded guns.

28 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 28 firearms, 22 were loaded and five had rounds chambered. One passenger in San Francisco had three firearms in his carry-on bag - two loaded pistols (.38 and .40 caliber) and an unloaded .40 caliber. Here are pictures of some of the firearms. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.  


Grenade Discovered at LAS
Grenade Discovered at LAS
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.

  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS).

Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to check your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. 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 3¼-inch knife was detected concealed inside a comb in the carry-on bag at Charleston (CHS).
  • A sword cane with a 15” blade was discovered at Houston (IAH).

A 3¼-inch knife was detected concealed inside a comb in the carry-on bag at Charleston (CHS).

Stun Guns –13 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 Branson (BBG), Casper (CPR), Charlotte (CLT), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Jacksonville (JAX), Lebanon (LEB), Los Angeles (LAX), Minneapolis (MSP), and San Francisco (SFO). 

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 stated “I have a bomb in my bag” to one of our officers. She then went on to explain that she was just joking.

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

5 loaded firearms.
4 loaded firearms.


28 firearms discovered. Of those, 22 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. 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.