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.

49 comments:

SSSS for some reason said...

And what did the fancy scanners find this week?

And the tally of terrorist found so far?

Oh, what about the Behavioral Detection Operatives.... what did they find this week.

And all at a cost of $153 Million for the week.

Anonymous said...

Sooo...nothing requiring naked body scanners. Again. Why are you people so obsessed with those things again?

gary sunderland said...

what happens to all the guns collected? .. do owners have a chance to send them home, via FFL dealer?

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

Law Enforcement Officers decide what happens to the firearms and wether or not the passenger will be arrested. TSA Officers find the, Law Enforcement Officers do the rest.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Tony Clifton said...

These are all great finds by the "Officers". But wouldn't the metal detectors and security procedures in place prior to 9/11 and the TSA have caught all these?

Wing64d said...

Hey smart butts - by the presence of TSA and the airport LEOs - how many actions against air travel failed to happen or were ended in the early survallience stages because the TSA staff and LEOs were doing their jobs and showed that the particular airport was a hardened target and not worth the attempt? Since you folks have the answers - answer that question.
Appreciate the work that all the TSA folks do everyday and don't envy the crap that they have to put up with a smile on their faces.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, I'll be watching to see how many posts you'll be making the next 2 wks to see how fast (and atypically) you blog. We've seen it before. A flurry of unnecessarily fast posts to bump a hot topic article off the front page.

America watches.

Anonymous said...

To Blogger Bob: I appreciate so much you taking the time to clarify that Law enforcement is the only who decides what happens if someone inadvertently flies with firearms.

Now can you also answer this question:


You say you did not detain the family. So you are saying they could have walked away from security and continued on to their trip to Disney or could have left the secure area without repercussions?

Clarify what the family should have done instead of standing around the TSA check point in lieu of their detainment for 45 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Still nothing useful found with body scanners. Why do we need them again?

Anonymous said...

And how many of these things were found by making three year olds cry and lying about what the law is?

Anonymous said...

If you people don't like the job the TSA employees are doing to keep us safe.....just don't fly! Take the train or bus. Grow up!

Wintermute said...

Wing64d said...
"Hey smart butts - by the presence of TSA and the airport LEOs - how many actions against air travel failed to happen or were ended in the early survallience stages because the TSA staff and LEOs were doing their jobs and showed that the particular airport was a hardened target and not worth the attempt? Since you folks have the answers - answer that question. "

I assume you have proof this has happened?

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question below is: none. The TSA has never stopped, prevented, foiled, or otherwise had any affect on a terrorist attack. Do you have any more questions?

___________________________________
Blogger Wing64d said...

Hey smart butts - by the presence of TSA and the airport LEOs - how many actions against air travel failed to happen or were ended in the early survallience stages because the TSA staff and LEOs were doing their jobs and showed that the particular airport was a hardened target and not worth the attempt? Since you folks have the answers - answer that question.
Appreciate the work that all the TSA folks do everyday and don't envy the crap that they have to put up with a smile on their faces.

February 22, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"If you people don't like the job the TSA employees are doing to keep us safe.....just don't fly! Take the train or bus. Grow up!
February 23, 2013 at 9:28 AM"


1. We have the right to travel by any means we can pay for. This is codified in US law.

2. The TSA is invading train and bus stations with its "VIPR teams."

3. Yelling "Grow up!" to people who are engaging in critical discussions with a government agency actually makes you sound immature.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"If you people don't like the job the TSA employees are doing to keep us safe.....just don't fly! Take the train or bus. Grow up!"

The TSA does not keep us safe, and they are at the train depots and bus stations. They are even on our highways and at our sporting events. You cannot avoid the TSA sinply by not flying. Besides, despite what some may think, flying is a RIGHT (as codified in law).

Also, please take your own advice ;)

SSSS for some reason said...

"... how many actions against air travel failed to happen ...Since you folks have the answers - answer that question. "

I would think that if the TSA was successful in preventing a terrorist plot it would be headline news in just about every media outlet available.

While the TSA can't know of every possible success unless they actually have a terrorist in custody, the fact that in 10 plus years there hasn't been even the slightest hint of a terrorist plot prevented I am going to continue in my belief that there are not so many terrorists trying to take down airplanes and that the TSA is costing American Citizens great big piles of money while offering almost nothing in return.

Since the TSA can't produce even the reasonable suspicion of terrorist plot foiled the alternative is to provide a weekly police-blotter style post congratulating themselves on finding stuff that is their job to find. And the worst part of these weekly blotters is the hyperbole on the part of the TSA by implying that if it wasn't for their diligence we all could have died or something.

So, now that you have heard my particular answer to your question let me ask you one. TSA staff are encourage to answer as well....

How many terrorists has the TSA detained in any capacity since its inception?

How many terrorists plots has the TSA foiled in any capacity since its inception?

And lastly, how much money has the TSA Spent since its inception?

Do any of you as tax paying citizens feel you are getting your monies worth from the TSA?

ClliffOnTheRoad said...

Question posed: Do any of you as tax paying citizens feel you are getting your monies worth from the TSA?

Let's see. They confirmed my passport was still valid. Why an expired passport does not prove U R real is a head scratcher.

They confirmed my boarding pass was for the right date.

An employee held onto a wrist watch which was left during the x-ray process, unknown whatever happened to it eventually.

They made real the "1984" book and disspelled "the land of the free".

But NO, this taxpayer did not get his $153 million worth. Chump change for pollticans.

Anonymous said...

Where are my cuticle scissors?

Anonymous said...

Wing64d said...
"Hey smart butts - by the presence of TSA and the airport LEOs - how many actions against air travel failed to happen or were ended in the early survallience stages because the TSA staff and LEOs were doing their jobs and showed that the particular airport was a hardened target and not worth the attempt? Since you folks have the answers - answer that question. "

I assume you have proof this has happened?

Wintermute- I suggest you read the open source information available on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi.

RB said...

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...
Law Enforcement Officers decide what happens to the firearms and wether or not the passenger will be arrested. TSA Officers find the, Law Enforcement Officers do the rest.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

February 22, 2013 at 5:48 PM
..................
OK,a weapon is found, TSA calls the law and they take it from there.

So how is it that TSA seems to have pictures of all of these weapons if TSA never has custody of them?

Brandon Allred said...

Question posted: "Do any of you as tax paying citizens feel you are getting your monies worth from the TSA?"

Well... I bet you with all the added security the TSA has saved several lives over the past 12 years.

So I guess the real questions would be... is saving lives (even if it's just a few) worth our tax dollars?

Maybe all the metal detectors and fancy equipment don't detect everything, but I think the TSA does a great job. And yes it can be annoying to wait forever in line and take off all your metal. But is it really that hard for added security for everyone?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Wintermute- I suggest you read the open source information available on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi."

It doesn't appear that he was arrested by TSA (as they have no arrest powers, as Blogger Bob is constantly pointing out) nor airport police. Try again.

Wintermute said...

Brandon Allred said...

"Well... I bet you with all the added security the TSA has saved several lives over the past 12 years."

You have proof of this? Because I bet they haven't.

"is saving lives (even if it's just a few) worth our tax dollars? "

Yes. But not worth the loss of liberty.

"Maybe all the metal detectors and fancy equipment don't detect everything..."

I (and other anti-TSA folks) have nothing against metal detectors. They do a fine job of detecting weapons. The problem is with the health risks of the untested "fancy equipment" which violate our privacy as well. And aren't that particularly effective to boot.

"...but I think the TSA does a great job."

You can think that all you want, but the facts do not back you up.

"And yes it can be annoying to wait forever in line and take off all your metal."

Waiting to be screened has never been the issue.

"But is it really that hard for added security for everyone?"

If it added security, then maybe there would even be a "security vs liberty" debate. But the TSA does nothing to enhance security. So it's really a "loss of liberty for no good reason" debate.

Anonymous said...

Brandon Allred said...
Question posted: "Do any of you as tax paying citizens feel you are getting your monies worth from the TSA?"

Well... I bet you with all the added security the TSA has saved several lives over the past 12 years.

So I guess the real questions would be... is saving lives (even if it's just a few) worth our tax dollars?

Maybe all the metal detectors and fancy equipment don't detect everything, but I think the TSA does a great job. And yes it can be annoying to wait forever in line and take off all your metal. But is it really that hard for added security for everyone?

February 25, 2013 at 6:42 PM

-----------------------------

Actually the TSA and the airlines have likely caused more deaths because more people are choosing to drive than fly. I know people who will drive several hours rather than deal with the TSA and the airlines. Driving is the cause of 10 times the deaths of 9/11 every year.

I feel the TSA concentrates on the wrong things. Look at the liquids ban for example. One 500 ml botttle of water is dangerous, but once it is divided into five 100 ml bottles, it magically becomes safe. It's the same volume of liquid. Now medical marijuana is listed on the prohibited items list. The TSA will confiscate a legal in some jurisdictions substance that has been medically prescribed. How is this a threat to the plane?

RB said...

Brandon Allred said...
Question posted: "Do any of you as tax paying citizens feel you are getting your monies worth from the TSA?"

Well... I bet you with all the added security the TSA has saved several lives over the past 12 years.

So I guess the real questions would be... is saving lives (even if it's just a few) worth our tax dollars?

Maybe all the metal detectors and fancy equipment don't detect everything, but I think the TSA does a great job. And yes it can be annoying to wait forever in line and take off all your metal. But is it really that hard for added security for everyone?

February 25, 2013 at 6:42 PM
.......................

With the advent of TSA and its invasive feel downs, naked body scanners and other abuses heaped on the public many people are choosing to drive and that exposes them to far greater danger of accident or death by being on the highways.

TSA has resulted in thousands of additional traffic accidents and deaths so your premise is faulty.

The odds of a terrorist attack with or without TSA are near nil.

For 8 Billion Dollars each year we get to have TSA screeners feel our crotches?

I can find many better ways to have my tax dollars spent.

RB said...

Will the TSA Blog get shut down when the sequestoer kicks in?

If so I already see a positive outcome from less spending.

Susan Richart said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Wintermute- I suggest you read the open source information available on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi."

Mr. Anonymous, please tell us how this ties in with the TSA at all, even one tiny bit.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

It's the same thing every week, people on here pissing and moaning about TSA and body scanners. No, the TSA haven't stopped a terrorist attack, or even caught a terrorist.

Maybe, the increased security is an effective deterrent ?

Haven't you all got something more productive to do than complain week in, week out about something you can't do anything about ?

Anonymous said...

Flying is not a right...it's a *priveledge*.

jeff molek said...

so as long as i check the gun, in a locked case, unloaded, im good?

GSOLTSO said...

Jeff Molek asked - "so as long as i check the gun, in a locked case, unloaded, im good?"

The exat terminology from the TSA site is as follows -

"Travelers may only transport UNLOADED firearms in a locked, hard-sided container in or as checked baggage. All firearms, ammunition and firearm parts, including firearm frames and receivers, are prohibited in carry-on baggage."

You can read more on travelling with firearms and ammunition here:

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition

I hope this helps!

West
TSA Blog Team



Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
Flying is not a right...it's a *priveledge*.

Please do the minimal amount of research before repeating this myth. On this very blog, within the comments of the past couple of posts, there are citations of USSC cases and actual legistlation which codify flying as a right.

Anonymous said...

West or Bob,

Can you provide further clarification regarding proper procedures when dealing with gun part(s) and checked luggage?

As you noted, gun parts are not allowed in carry on containers, but are they required to be locked in a hard sided case and declared similar to a fully assembled gun?

Thanks in advance.

Jim Huggins said...

Anonymous writes: Haven't you all got something more productive to do than complain week in, week out about something you can't do anything about ?

It occurs to me that you're doing exactly the same thing ... :)

Anonymous said...

TSA preparing for sequester "slow down" in advance. Flying out of Ft. Lauderdale today, it took TSA personnel 30 minutes to screen 10 passenegers at Terminal 3. As usual many TSA personnel doing absolute nothing while passengers wait built.

RB said...

Noted on FlyerTalk is that TSA's Contact Us page has been down for several days.

http://www.tsa.gov/contact/index.shtm

Has performance at TSA improved so much that a complaint page is no longer needed?

William Steinhour said...

To Answer SSSS's question do I think we are getting our monies worth... Hell Yes!

TSA has an almost impossible job. They have to be 100% accurate in their searches. The terrorists only have to get lucky once.

Having said that, TSA employees are human. and humans make mistakes. But imagine what would happen to a TSA Agent if they were responsible for allowing a loaded handgun onto an aircraft and it was flown into another building, or packed sports venue with 70,000 fans in it...

If you ever visit New York, please feel free to visit the 9-11 memorial. Walk up to a Police Officer or Fireman in NYC and tell them how you think we are being stupid with airport security. I trust that you will experience New York Hospitality you couldn't imagine.

Best and safe wishes

Mr. Bill

William Steinhour said...

To Wintermute,

Yes, flying is a right. So is breaking the law... So we rely on law enforcement to keep those who would break the law from flying. There hasn't been a single hijacking of a US Flight since 9-11.

Deterrence is expensive, but I would rather pay the TSA Bill and stand in line, then to have a jet crashed into the US Capitol, Sears Tower in Chicago, Space Needle in Seattle, etc. I would much rather pay for TSA than some other ear mark spending like bridges to nowhere, airports that aren't used, VA hospitals where there are no vets, simply because some Senator or Congressperson rammed it through some unanimous consent request. Oh wait, they aren't calling them Ear Marks anymore, they are calling them "Special Projects"!

The fact is that the terrorists see we have tightened our airport security and have gone looking for softer targets. Trains, buses, Malls, Schools, are all vulnerable. Never doubt that they are still out there and still wish to cause maximum casualties.

Flying may be a citizen's right, but TSA has the right to deny getting on that aircraft to anyone who is carrying a freaking illegal item. Period. The other "citizens on that flight and the flight crew have the right to travel to their destination safely. Just check the week in review for how many guns and other items are confiscated each WEEK!

Speaking as one who has traveled armed in performance of official USG duties in the past, I LOVE that they have tightened the security protocols.

Mr Bill


Anonymous said...

I believe that the TSA is doing a necessary job with passengers, I fly frequently and don't have a problem. It is with the disregard they have for passengers checked luggage and the continuing theft that the checked baggage inspectors get away with there must be more scrutiny of them as you are advised by the airline counter agents make sure you dont have valuables in your checked luggage.
every time i travel i make a donation unwillingly to TSA employees

Anonymous said...

Think of how many millions of dollars it costs American tax payers every time the President of the United States or his family flies anywhere on Airforce One. Last I heard somewhere around 10-15 million dollars a pop. Now, if we follow all these very "intellectual" blog responders logic, we could simply question "How many times in the last ten years have the CIA foiled assassination attempts on the President?" None that we know of. But we don't hear anyone complaining about that.

To all those that subscribe to this line of thought let me explain one simple thing to you. When you have security present (i.e. law enforcement, federal officers, whatever) this is what is called "hardening the target." This deters many (yes I said many) idiots from attempting to do something stupid like blowing up a plane or hijacking one.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO way to measure how many idiots were GOING to do something but chose not to because of all the security measures. Wisen up people.

Every few weeks I read this wonderful blog and I still see the same logic challenged individuals are still wasting their time complaining about TSA. Why not do something more constructive with your time?

Keep up the good work TSA. You keep our travelers safe. Thank You!

Anonymous said...

IF you dnt like TSA checking your bags, then take a bus. drive or save up a bunch of money and take private jet so you dnt have to go through security, its tht simple

Wintermute said...

Mr. Bill,

I see where your misunderstanding comes from. No one has said they want no airport security. We want pre-9/11 levels of security, plus the two changes which prevent another 9/11, hardened cockpit doors and passenger/crew awareness. Those were the failures of 9/11, not the screenings themselves.

As for the anonymous who says take a bus/drive/whatever - sorry, can't avoid the TSA that way. And driving is much more of a risk than flying is, so the TSA has arguably caused more deaths than they could ever hope to save.

As for that New York hospitality, that's the problem. People, being people, respond emotionally to rare, catastrophic, events. The response, however, needed to have been logical. The two changes that make another 9/11 unlikely was a logical response. The stripping away of our rights to keep us "safe?" Not so much.

Anonymous said...

To all the people who think the TSA somehow presents some formidable barrier to terrorists, why are planes not falling out of the sky the world over, where TSA's egregious policies are not in place?

Anonymous said...

"To all the people who think the TSA somehow presents some formidable barrier to terrorists, why are planes not falling out of the sky the world over, where TSA's egregious policies are not in place?"

REALLY?? You are going with that argument?? Wake up and smell the coffee! Middle Eastern terrorists target Christian based countries (ie. Europe and U.S.) If you have flown out of any of these countries (which I highly doubt you have) you would quickly realize our airport security measures are somewhere in the middle. Some countries are more thorough and some are less. And for those countries that have little or no screening processes, well, the terrorists do not have an interest in targeting them. Simple as that.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday, I took a plane from Boston to Detroit and I was detained in line being questioned as if I was a criminal. The man even questioned why I was not coming home after my work related conference and about my mother's family members in California.

I don't mind having my ID checked, but I really don't appreciate being detained, questioned, and embarrassed in front of 100 people I have never even met.

I felt like I was a criminal or a citizen of the old Soviet Union or Hitler era Germany.

I am all for being safe, but not at the cost of my personal freedom, which seems to have been laid by the wayside.

Anonymous said...

"...But imagine what would happen to a TSA Agent if they were responsible for allowing a loaded handgun onto an aircraft and it was flown into another building, or packed sports venue with 70,000 fans in it..."

That scenario won't happen. Cockpit doors are now secured, and passengers will now fight back. Those two changes make it far too risky for a terrorist to try re-creating 9/1l.

Anonymous said...

one time my dad was walking through a metal detector and guess what. he had to take his jeans off in public

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Wintermute- I suggest you read the open source information available on Hosam Maher Husein Smadi."

It doesn't appear that he was arrested by TSA (as they have no arrest powers, as Blogger Bob is constantly pointing out) nor airport police. Try again.


Wintermute- TSA did not arrest him as that was not the point. It was target hardening, which was the comment you posted on. Smadi specifically stated that he moved his plan from DFW to a high rise building because he thought security was to difficult to bypass. Again READ the open post sources but then, that does not help your point.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous, please quote the "open source" information you're citing (also, please learn the definition of open source) and provide a link, as the FBI has this recent habit of creating plots, finding stooges to entrap within them, and then trumpeting their excellent police work. Was this one of those cases?