Friday, March 15, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Smoke Grenade, Flare Gun & More



Flare Gun (HOU)
Flare Gun (HOU)

Flare Gun – A passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU) had an unusual item in his carry-on bag: A flare gun and six loose flares! 



21 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 21 firearms, 20 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.

Loaded Gun (FLL)
Loaded Gun (FLL)
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.

Live Smoke Grenade (IAD)
Live Smoke Grenade (IAD)

  • A live smoke grenade was discovered under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).
  • Three inert/replica/novelty grenades were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Medford (MFR), El Paso (ELP), and Harrisburg (MDT).

Two inert grenades.

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.

  • A 3-inch belt buckle knife was discovered at Newark (EWR).
  • A 3-inch knife was discovered in a passenger’s belongings at Boise (BOI). The TSA Officer allowed him to exit the checkpoint so he could give the knife to a non-traveling friend. When the passenger made his return trip through the checkpoint, the knife was discovered concealed inside his shoe.

Belt Buckle Knife (EWR)
Belt Buckle Knife (EWR)


Stun Guns – Nine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Baltimore (BWI) and six others were discovered at Charlotte (CLT), Lincoln (LNK), Los Angeles (LAX), Northwest Florida Beaches (ECP), Seattle (SEA), Savannah (SAV), and 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 passenger at San Juan (SJU) told the gate agent that she had an atomic bomb in her bag. She had to explain to Puerto Rico Port Authority Police, FBI, and TSA 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…



8 large knives.

                                                    Firearms Discovered This Week


3 loaded firearms.
6 loaded firearms.


21 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 21 firearms, 20 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.

25 comments:

american patriot said...

Just curious as to the top 5 or 10 airports where loaded guns are discovered.

american patriot said...

Do you have a list of the top 10 airports where guns were discovered in carry on bags?

american patriot said...

Do you have a list of the top 10 airports where guns were discovered in carry on bags?

RB said...

No mention of the stun gun TSA missed at Newark.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that a US senator tweeted about an "uncomfortable" aggressive TSA patdown in a private screening room. Taxpaying American families should clearly understand the "agressive" patdown procedures their families may be subject to at airports. The TSA is a national disgrace.

Anonymous said...

So STILL no findings of any relevance whatsoever using the expensive, slow and invasive full body scanners.

Again, the fact they never find anything indicates they make us less safe.

And why was my comment on the last post not approved??

Fishstick said...

A list of the top 10 airports would give people a list of airports to avoid when trying to sneak a gun onto a plane so I dont think TSA will release that.

Relating to the liquid ban, and one of the reasonings for using the people scanners; Here is a BBC article about using liquid bombs which appear to be unopened. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7564184.stm

Anonymous said...

I like toy guns

Anonymous said...

Why is it taking so long to implement the new policy on taking knives aboard? I think the knives are shown this week would be too large, but I think most states allow three inch blades to be carried in public. If they are the allowed size, what makes them dangerous this week but not on 4/25?

Liquid restrictions should be relaxed. You can test suspicious liquids or just randomly test at the checkpoint and allow people to carry their shampoo and water on board. If these substances are so dangerous, why are they simply thrown away into a garbage can at the checkpoint?

tramky said...

INERT hand grenades, or INERT anything else, are NOT weaponry. They are highly-designed paperweights. Period. Anything else that occurs with them is a product of TSA action, including questioning and/or detention of the 'passenger' associated with the item(s), or delays at checkpoints, and the evacuation of concourses and airports. But in the end, they were, and remain, inert, highly-designed paperweights.

As for the passenger's comment about having an 'atomic bomb' in her bag, what did TSA agents find in her bag? If there was no atomic bomb in that bag, then the TSA agent might have said to the passenger "You are an idiot." And then GET ON WITH IT!. The idiot need NOT explain to 3 or 4 agencies why she said it. Geez. Get a clue. Get a grip! A continuation, ad infinitum, of TSA nonsense.

Anonymous said...

How would you feel if you were on a plane and the person next to you pulled out one of those highly-designed paperweights? I'm almost positive you'd think it was the real thing and think the worst was about to happen. So how about you actually put some thoughtinto things before you make comments on things you clearly know nothing about.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said

"If they are the allowed size, what makes them dangerous this week but not on 4/25?"

This is a major policy change and more bad publicity would result if was implemented on short notice with mixed signals from the top. Unfortunately TSA does continually demonstrate they have trouble educating their workforce on current policies as is. We’ve seen many recent posts that screeners haven’t gotten the word that filming is allowed at the checkpoint and has been for years. Also remember some countries require a secondary inspection for flights bound to the US because our rules are different than theirs. It is important that everyone be on the same page. I suspect though that we’ll continue to read stories on here after 4/25 that someone in TSA blue didn’t get the word.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Bob. Adding exclamation points didn't make any of the items you listed scary!

Anonymous said...

"How would you feel if you were on a plane and the person next to you pulled out one of those highly-designed paperweights? I'm almost positive you'd think it was the real thing and think the worst was about to happen. So how about you actually put some thought into things before you make comments on things you clearly know nothing about."

I doesn't matter what I think about it. The paperweight is no threat to the plane.

Way to keep it classy with your last sentence.

Anonymous said...

Still absolutely nothing of use found with the full body scanners. Notice that more was found with cheaper, faster and less invasive metal detectors!!

Anonymous said...

" INERT hand grenades, or INERT anything else, are NOT weaponry. They are highly-designed paperweights. Period. Anything else that occurs with them is a product of TSA action, including questioning and/or detention of the 'passenger' associated with the item(s), or delays at checkpoints, and the evacuation of concourses and airports. But in the end, they were, and remain, inert, highly-designed paperweights."
So, you're able to tell-just by looking-that a grenade is inert? Are you willing to take that chance?

"I doesn't matter what I think about it. The paperweight is no threat to the plane."
I have to disagree. See, while you might have the ability and experience to tell that it's a highly-designed paperweight, the person 2 seats over from you may not. They may see it and think "This idiots gonna blow up the plane" and decide to try and stop it. ( Remember, passenger reaction is why there should be minimal screening done-after all a plane load of people is the first, best line of defense.) Any disturbance in the cabin can become a threat to the plane.

Anonymous said...

" You forgot to mention that a US senator tweeted about an "uncomfortable" aggressive TSA patdown in a private screening room..."

WOW-a member of Congress getting upset about being treated like everybody else-who wouled've thought it?

RB said...

"The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500.00.:

What happened to the $11,000 fine TSA has been using as a threat to travelers?

SSSS for some reason said...

Uh oh.... the count is down again TSA. What are you going to post if the number of guns gets too small?

Still.... you only spent an average of $7million per gun find so its not all bad on your part.

Anonymous said...

How is a disturbance a threat to the plane?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

... Any disturbance in the cabin can become a threat to the plane.

March 18, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...... Any disturbance in the cabin can become a threat to the plane.

No, that is incorrect. Crying babies on a plane can be very disturbing, but are not a threat to a plane.

A couple having an argument can be a disturbance, but if they want to arrive at their destination, they aren't a threat to a plane.

Going the "anything can cause a plane crash" routeisn't going to get you anywhere.

Anonymous said...

"Any disturbance in the cabin can become a threat to the plane."

"Any"? I daresay drunk passengers cause more disturbances than any items brought on board. Shall we administer breathalyzer tests at the gate?

Anonymous said...

Quote:"Anonymous said...
"Any disturbance in the cabin can become a threat to the plane."

"Any"? I daresay drunk passengers cause more disturbances than any items brought on board. Shall we administer breathalyzer tests at the gate?

March 19, 2013 at 10:13 AM"
-----------------------
Uh, which is exactly why so many planes are met at the gate by PD when flight crew requests them due to unruly passengers.

Anonymous said...

"Uh, which is exactly why so many planes are met at the gate by PD when flight crew requests them due to unruly passengers."

Ah, but these planes *do* make it safely to their destinations, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone try to bring anything like this onto a plane?! Are they out of their minds? It just seems like common sense to me.