Friday, March 29, 2013

TSA Week in Review: A Look at Some of the More Interesting Items our Officers Found This Week



 
Replica Grenade (CLT)
Replica Grenade (CLT)
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.

  • There were two separate incidents this week at Seattle (SEA) where inert items used for training (not TSA) about explosives were discovered in checked baggage. Electric detonators were discovered in one incident, and a block of inert C4 with duct tape and wires protruding in another. These items are never permitted on commercial aircraft. Other preparations must be made to have your training aids at your destination.
  • A replica WWII German “Potato Masher” grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Charlotte (CLT). It was a gift for the passenger’s son. I would have loved to have had one of these when I was a kid. But… a commercial airliner is not the right place to transport anything that looks like a real grenade.

32 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 32 firearms, 27 were loaded and five had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Loaded Pistol (DEN)
Loaded Pistol (DEN)
Ammunition – Ammo is ok to be transported within checked baggage as long as you follow the proper guidelines, but it is never permitted in carry-on baggage. Here are a couple of photos of ammunition our officers found in carry-on bags this week.

Ammunition

Stun Guns – Ten stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation.  Two were discovered at San Francisco (SFO), and the others at Atlanta (ATL), Burlington (BTV), Denver (DEN), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Kansas City (MCI), Mercedita (PSE), New York LaGuardia (LGA), 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:

  • A passenger flying out of San Juan told the ticket agent that her bag contained a bomb and she was going to blow up the plane. After it was all said and done, her bag didn’t have a bomb, but as a result of her threat, the ticket counter, checkpoint, and terminal were closed for nearly an hour. There were consequences.


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.
2 loaded firearms.

6 loaded firearms.
 


32 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 32 firearms, 27 were loaded and five 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. The 2011 list can be found here.



35 comments:

Anonymous said...

none

Anonymous said...

How stupid can some people be! TSA Agents are not stupid people. They are trained to look for the illegal that people try to carry on a plane. And, it's all for the safety of ALL of the passengers. Smarten up people, and stop wasting our time!

memery266643 said...

The weekly installments of "what not to say at an airport" are probably my favorite!

Anonymous said...

Don't think the people forgot they had the "weapons". Everyone packs their own bags, don't they? Or someone else put it in there that they're traveling with.

Anonymous said...

As always, more non-issues.

two separate incidents... inert items... discovered in checked baggage.

So, inert (fake, not real, thus NOT A THREAT) items in CHECKED luggage (thus, passenger has no access to them so, NOT A THREAT).

replica WWII German “Potato Masher” grenade was discovered in checked baggage

Same here- it wasn't real (NOT a threat), and was CHECKED (NOT a threat).

There were consequences

Not for the TSA, who continues to ignore issues with theft and other bad behavior in its ranks.

SSSS for some reason said...

OK, you are back up to your regular 30~ish guns.

Too bad you didn't find any terrorists. Or anything with the fancy nudie-scanners either. Bummer on that.

Anonymous said...

RE: As always, more non-issues. two separate incidents... inert items... discovered in checked baggage. So, inert (fake, not real, thus NOT A THREAT) items in CHECKED luggage (thus, passenger has no access to them so, NOT A THREAT). replica WWII German “Potato Masher” grenade was discovered in checked baggage. Same here- it wasn't real (NOT a threat), and was CHECKED (NOT a threat). There were consequences. Not for the TSA, who continues to ignore issues with theft and other bad behavior in its ranks.
_________________________________
And before they open the bag to conduct screening the TSA somehow knows they are already fake? Really that is some highly advanced technology the TSA has? Come on man find something legitimate to gripe about, please!
The TSA ignores issues with bad behavior? Nobody is held accountable for their actions? Geez man the TSA needs a crystal ball so they can tell who is going to commit bad behavior next. Well in fact if they get that crystal ball pass it on to every other government and private entity!

Anonymous said...

SSSS for some reason said... OK, you are back up to your regular 30~ish guns. Too bad you didn't find any terrorists. Or anything with the fancy nudie-scanners either. Bummer on that.
_________________________________
The TSA can thank you I guess for the commendations on finding 30-ish, I personally think one is enough! Those scanners at the airport, do humans still see the image produced? NO! LOL! I am glad the deterrent is working, keep up the good work TSA!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the story about 3 TSA screeners fired and 23 suspended at Newark Airport. According to the news story..."The alleged screening failures were uncovered late in 2011 after surveillance cameras were installed in one of the airport's 25 screening rooms to check for possible thefts."

If a local business fired or suspended that many employees at once, that business would loose all credibility. Moreover, it took well over a year to take action with these employees.

Does the TSA really hold its employees to the highest ethical standards? Why would any taxpaying American trust the TSA with their personal privacy or private property?

Anonymous said...

What? No mention of the laser pointer, er pepper spray, one of your totally awesome mind reading officers found and used to assault 5 of his colleagues and send to the hospital?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... What? No mention of the laser pointer, er pepper spray, one of your totally awesome mind reading officers found and used to assault 5 of his colleagues and send to the hospital?
________________________________
You say purposely assaulted, I will be to differ?
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085K0BVU?&tag=shopwiki-us-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325
Do you think about what the pepper spray container may look like? Or has critical thinking gone out the window and you only look to vilify?

JG said...

I understand the procedure for transporting a firearm in checked baggage but what is the correct procedure for transporting an air soft gun or a bb gun that looks like a firearm but isn't? Do you declare it as if it were a firearm or do you say nothing?

ARS said...

I am glad you are continuing to be tough about this. It makes us all safer, even the Not a Threat things need to be carefully checked! Thank You. ARS

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
And before they open the bag to conduct screening the TSA somehow knows they are already fake?

Of course not. But once they open it, and find the item is a fake, they should simply close the bag back up and let it on board.

No crystal ball required, just common sense.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Those scanners at the airport, do humans still see the image produced? NO! LOL!

YES, LOL. It's only SOME of ONE TYPE of the machines that have the 'gingerbread man' display. The other type of machine is... slowly... being removed from use.

And that's assuming you can actually trust the TSA's word, of course. They have been known to outright lie in the past.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
What? No mention of the laser pointer, er pepper spray, one of your totally awesome mind reading officers found and used to assault 5 of his colleagues and send to the hospital?

They also don't mention notable events such as screeners getting arreste.... er, fire.... er, 'allowed to resign' for theft.

Anonymous said...

Another issue for you to ignore for this week, Bob:

http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/21802710/exclusive-hnl-tsa-manager-fired-twice-gets-his-job-back

Evidently, the TSA fired Raymond Ware back in 2003, "claiming he failed a certification test, but managers refused to show him the results of the test". So, he sued and got his job back. Along with a half-million dollars of back pay. Good going, TSA- you're not just satisfied with making up stuff about passengers, but you actually make stuff up about your own employees!!

But it gets better!

He "was let go along with 35 other TSA employees in 2011 after an investigation revealed that for several months, some officers failed to hand-screen checked baggage for explosives at Honolulu International Airport."

35 "officers" at ONE airport? Makes one think the "we only fired 400 screeners, nationwide, in 10 years" thing is... a lie. But whatever. At least the TSA was doing something, Right?

Unfortunately, it was the wrong thing:
"He was the only one of 36 TSA employees fired in the baggage-checking case who was denied unemployment because the TSA contested it." (He was also the only Black.)

"An administrative judge with the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board ruled earlier this month Ware should be reinstated to his $89,000-a-year job." ... and be given back pay, again, no doubt.

"Before an employee is fired, you need to know that that employee actually engaged in misconduct or knew of misconduct. Don't just decide that 'Oh, I'm gonna fire from the top up and make a big splash in the news and the media and show that we're really tough at TSA,'" his lawyer said.

Nice going, TSA. Just like with passenger screening, you go and do what you shouldn't, in order to APPEAR to be 'doing something', and fail to do what you should.

Anonymous said...

Once again, absolutely nothing found using full body scanners. These machines are useless.

Anonymous said...

Where's the blog post about the DHS/TSA accepting public comments on the naked pic scanners? Isn't this government blog supposed to provide information to the American public?

http://www.ofr.gov/(S(uvccm5g4w2uc3c1mypxwzff2))/OFRUpload/OFRData/2013-07023_PI.pdf

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=TSA-2013-0004-0001


I hope the links work correctly. If not, search the Net for "DHS comments AIT".

Anonymous said...

There were consequences...

There sure were! With one simple statement, this person was able to "shut down the ticket counter, checkpoint, and terminal were closed for nearly an hour."

Why go through the trouble of actually making a bomb, when the always-falls-for-it TSA reacts to the mere word "bomb" the same as an actual bomb?

The TSA shut down the entire terminal, inconvenienced hundreds (thousands?) of people, and they brag about in this site as some kind of victory?

But of course, it is a victory.

For the terrorists.

Now, we know that there aren't really any terrorists. That there simply is no group of bloodthirsty killers out to down our planes (because sure as heck the TSA couldn't stop them if there were).

But let's pretend there are terrorists. What does a terrorist do? Most people think a terrorist is a bomber. Or a killer.

But terrorism isn't about killing your enemy. That's not necessarily the goal. Terrorism is about harming your enemy. And what better way to harm your enemy than to force them to create the TSA?

Think about it. One person, uttering one statement, caused the shutdown of an entire airport terminal. That's what we call a force multiplier! They didn't even need to build a real bomb to make the TSA overreact. They didn't even need to make a fake one! Just say the word, and the TSA keystone cops go into panic mode.

How many man hours lost, this time? How many productive hours were destroyed because the TSA treats every possibility like a RED MODE threat?

So what should the TSA have done, when someone declares they have a bomb in their bag? Arrest them. Cart that person and their belongs into a bombproof room. Charge them, if they really do have something.

But shutting down an entire terminal plays right into their hands. TSA yet again is fooled, and all of us are just a little bit worse off.

There are no terrorists trying to destroy our country. But if there were, they could ask for no better friend than the TSA.

Steve Scottsdale said...

Since when is "fake/not real" item not a threat???

Suppose a bad guy stands up in the front of the plane with a fake/not real but certainly real-looking hand grenade. Are you going to be the one to rush him to call his bluff?

If it's in checked baggage, maybe it'll be used at the destination away from the airport.

And....how do you know there were no terrorists? Take a loaded gun away from a terrorist and he decides not to be a terrorist so nothing happens.

While I don't into everything TSA does/says, some of you folks just like to complain no matter what.

Steve Scottsdale said...

C'mon you guys! Just because it's a "fake/not real" item it's not a threat??

Suppose a bad guy stands up in front of a plane waving a fake/not real but certainly real-looking WWII grenade. Are going to be the one to rush him to call his bluff?

If it's in checked luggage, how do you know it won't be used at the destination to rob a bank or something else?

And suppose a loaded gun is taken away from a terrorist so he decides to take the trip without incident & nothing happens.

Is that bad?

SSSS for some reason said...

".. Geez man the TSA needs a crystal ball so they can tell who is going to commit bad behavior next. "

Don't be absurd, crystal balls are so 15th Century in regards to technology.

You know what does work? Assuming that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Assuming that these finds, in checked baggage no less, are not terrorists 'testing the system' but are in fact someone taking items of interest (historical or otherwise) home after their trip.

If you have one of these grenade looking things in your carry-on then the TSA should give you some grief, but in checked bags? It is only in the movies that someone can take the elevator down to the luggage bay and retrieve their stash of grenades to try and hijack the airplane.

Anonymous said...

What? No mention of the laser pointer, er pepper spray, one of your totally awesome mind reading officers found and used to assault 5 of his colleagues and send to the hospital?

Please post a link to this story.

RB said...

Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is Federal Law. Seems TSA fails to comply with this law among others.

Who determines is a medical liquid is necessary for a persons travel? TSA or the individual? Apparently at SFO is is not the individual but a FSD who chooses to not reveal themselves and sends out sock puppets enforce illegal TSA decisions.

If anyone needs to see the cowards of TSA then I ask that you view the video at the link below. Then ask TSA when detentions, medical decisions, and refusal to follow TSA policy became treating people with dignity and respect.

What say you Blogger Bob, was TSA policy followed?

TSA MANAGER PRACTICES MEDICINE


Anonymous said...

I am so amazed and shocked at the un-intelligence level of those individuals that think these are acceptable items to travel with?? Everyone of these people that are caught with these items should all be arrested and pay hefty fines for possibly subjecting the better public to this very serious global issue we have in today's times. TOTALLY UNEXCEPTABLE!

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

JG - I'm looking into this. Stay tuned.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Adrian said...

Is there any plan to announce on this blog that the TSA has finally (more than 18 months after being ordered to by a judge) begun the notice of rulemaking and public comment procedure the law required of the TSA before putting the whole-body imaging devices into service as a primary means of screening?

The notice is in the Federal Register here: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/03/26/2013-07023/passenger-screening-using-advanced-imaging-technology

And one of the ways for the public to provide comments is to fill out this form: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=TSA-2013-0004-0001

This should rate a front-page post soon.

Anonymous said...

Steve Scottsdale said...
Suppose a bad guy stands up in the front of the plane with a fake/not real but certainly real-looking hand grenade. Are you going to be the one to rush him to call his bluff?

Not now, NO. Because the TSA does a cra... really poor... job, and there's a good possibility it IS a real grenade.

If, on the other hand, the TSA was 'on the ball', professional, and actually had a good record of catching weapons/bombs, then YES, I would rush him... because it couldn't be real, or the TSA would have caught it.


If it's in checked baggage, maybe it'll be used at the destination away from the airport.

1) That's not the TSA's business
2) ANYTHING in my luggage could, maybe, possibly, might be, used for illicit purposes away from the airport. Can the TSA then confiscate ALL my luggage??

some of you folks just like to complain no matter what.

And some people just like to 'feel' safe, despite whether or not they actually 'are' safe.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely nothing found by the machines.....maybe that's because people carrying guns, knives and other weapons think they have a better chance hiding them in luggage.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely nothing found by the machines.....maybe that's because people carrying guns, knives and other weapons think they have a better chance hiding them in luggage."

Or maybe in the scanner's blind spot... The TSA has about a 70% failure rate, after all...

Anonymous said...

JG - I'm looking into this. Stay tuned.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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

Still looking?

Leon said...

Anonymous said, "...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0085K0BVU?&tag=shopwiki-us-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325
Do you think about what the pepper spray container may look like? Or has critical thinking gone out the window and you only look to vilify?"


When you posted this link in a comment on another blog entry, I pointed out that that device has a label on it that says Pepper Spray. I'm not sure why you don't research the things you post.

Anonymous said...

As an occational reader of this blog, I'm always surprised at how many rude, pointless,and immature jabs are posted.

However distasteful, I am GRATEFUL for freedom of speech.

:)

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
As an occational reader of this blog, I'm always surprised at how many rude, pointless,and immature jabs are posted.

Unfortunately, both sides of the TSA debate sometimes stoop to levels lower than the debate deserves ;)

However distasteful, I am GRATEFUL for freedom of speech.

Agreed. That's why I exercise it regularly on here, less it be taken away too.