Friday, May 3, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 24 Firearms Discovered This Week – 21 Loaded



Loaded gun (ATL)
Loaded Gun (ATL)
24 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 25 firearms, 21 were loaded and six had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post. 

.45 Caliber Pistol and four Magazines Concealed in Cassette Deck - It’s permissible to travel with firearms and ammunition in checked baggage as long as the proper guidelines are followed. Pro-tip: Concealing your firearm in a cassette deck isn’t one of the proper guidelines.
A gun and four magazines were concealed inside this tape deck.
A Gun and Four Magazines Were Concealed Inside This Cassette Deck

Stun Gun
Stun Gun (ICT)
Stun Guns – Nine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Four were discovered at Denver (DEN), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the others at Lincoln (LNK), Phoenix (PHX), 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.

  • Two hairbrush daggers were discovered this week at Kahului (OGG) and Phoenix (PHX). These daggers might come in handy if you find yourself in a “tangle”, but there’s no need to bring them into the cabin of an aircraft.

Brush Daggers
Brush Daggers
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…


Knives and Throwing Stars
Push Dagger (PHX), Hunting Knife (AUS), Throwing Stars & Knives (SAN)

Firearms Discovered This Week
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R)IAD, IND, BHM, IAH, IND, AUS, SHV
 
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) HOU, GPT, FLL, RDM, PBI, CPR

24 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 25 firearms, 21 were loaded and six 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. 

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.

18 comments:

Cassandra said...

I've wondered more than once... are these real travelers, really trying to bring guns on planes? Or are these inspectors working for the TSA, checking whether the gate agents will catch them?

SSSS for some reason said...

Annnnnnddddd...... No.

No terrorists attached to any of those weapons. Better luck next week. I'm sure you'll find a terrorist eventually.

By the way.... how did you discover those two hairbrush daggers? Those are made from fiberglass. Did your fancy scanners find them?

Anonymous said...

I thought knives were allowed on planes now. Why were the hairbrush daggers confiscated then? I don't think they should be confiscated at all at any time. How is somebody going to be able to take over a plane with a knife these days? The only thing that is going to happen is that the knife wielder will be brutally beaten by the other passengers.

Anonymous said...

So why are stun guns not allowed? No danger to the plane, and if someone uses it the other passengers will stomp them into a greasy spot.

Anonymous said...

" SSSS for some reason said...

By the way.... how did you discover those two hairbrush daggers? Those are made from fiberglass. Did your fancy scanners find them? "


Probably found them because every knife comb/brush looks the same. See a black round hair brush? Check it out. If the companies that make them offered different colors and styles TSA would never figure it out.

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

Cassandra, we don't report testing items in the weekly report. All of the items are things that passengers attempted to bring on board.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Again, nothing, absolutely nothing, found using the slow, invasive, expensive and completely ineffective full body scanners.

When are you getting rid of them?

Brandon Allred said...

To answer your questions:
"Again, nothing, absolutely nothing, found using the slow, invasive, expensive and completely ineffective full body scanners.

When are you getting rid of them?"

The expensive "full body scanners" actually do detect a large number of the dangerous objects. Most of these items were found because people had them in there luggage. NOT on their body.

Having full body scanners and metal detectors do a great job with objects on the body. What happens when someone sticks a small pistole in their mouth? THAT is why we need these.

RB said...

TSA, under what exemption to the United States Constitution, First Amendment, does TSA claim the right to censor or prohibit the posting of comments submitted by readers of this blog?

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I flew from Heathrow to Boston and did not have to remove my shoes at Heathrow's checkpoints.

Why are my shoes a potential bomb if I fly from California to Boston but entirely safe if I leave on a plane from London that will be over Boston around the same number of hours later?

Why for that matter does no other country make passengers walk barefoot through checkpoints?

Anonymous said...

So if TSA missed these 23 guns it wouldn't be a big deal because they're not tied to terrorism, right? Yeah, I didn't think so.

RB said...

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...
Cassandra, we don't report testing items in the weekly report. All of the items are things that passengers attempted to bring on board.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

May 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM
...................

Is that because TSA screeners fail to detect Red Team test items 70% of the time or like in Dallas missed a handgun Five out of Five times?

Anonymous said...

I have often said I would never travel via air unless absolutely necessary but a situation arose that required me to fly with expected results. On May 5 at approximately 3:20 PM I went through TSA's enhanced scanner, line 11, at the Atlanta airport. Once the scan was complete the TSA employee yelled at me to move out of the scanner. When I asked him to not yell at me he just blew me off and told me to have a nice day. This rude, arrogant behavior is purely representative of what I have previously experienced when flying. To make matters worse my traveling companion's checked baggage was inspected and both TSA approved locks were broken. I fail to understand why TSA employees are so intent on being rude and discourteous and show such lack of respect for traveler's personal property. I started to speak to a TSA supervisor about my experience but the line for processing was heavily backed up plus I didn't expect much to come from my complaint. I guess the whole purpose of my post is to document the continued rude, arrogant, and discourteous attitude of many, many TSA employees. Any comment Bob?

SSSS for some reason said...

Anonymous said..."So if TSA missed these 23 guns it wouldn't be a big deal because they're not tied to terrorism, right? Yeah, I didn't think so."

No, it would not be a big deal. Owning a gun is not an illegal act and carrying a gun does not automatically you are a criminal with intent to do harm.

Yes, these folks are irresponsible, but they are not criminals. If they were there would be news reports indicating arrests were made of any of these people. Seeing as I find no reports of arrests I am going to stick with the innocent until proven otherwise and say these people, with or without a gun, were not a threat to aviation.

SSSS for some reason said...

RB said..."TSA, under what exemption to the United States Constitution, First Amendment, does TSA claim the right to censor or prohibit the posting of comments submitted by readers of this blog?"

As much as it pains me to agree with the TSA on anything, the TSA has the authority here to remove posts. They have a reasonably clear policy on what is and is not allowed as far as posting is concerned. The question is not how do they get away with violating the First Amendment, the question is are they following their own policies regarding what is and isn't allowed to be posted. Many of us suspect, but can not prove, that Blogger Bob is allowing his personal opinions dictate which posts make it and which don't. And this suspension is exaggerated when "yeah tsa" posts are allowed to show up hours or even days before more negative posts are approved for public view. Or worse when a pro-tsa poster is allowed to violate the standards but a more negative point of view is blocked by those same standards.

Long story short (too late) Blogger Bob does have the authority to deny posts, but is he using or abusing that authority?

Wintermute said...

Brandon Allred said...

"The expensive "full body scanners" actually do detect a large number of the dangerous objects. Most of these items were found because people had them in there luggage. NOT on their body. "

However, they have a HUGE blind spot, and have something on the order of a 52% false positive rate to boot. So if someone were artfully concealing an item, they only have a 48% chance of making it through, not because the machine detected the item and alarmed, but because the machine alarmed on something else. Then the grope, while degrading, is not effective, either.

"Having full body scanners and metal detectors do a great job with objects on the body."

But passengers are directed to one or the other, not both, rendering that argument meaningless.

"What happens when someone sticks a small pistole in their mouth?"

Ummm... The machine cannot detect items inside the body. I would assume this includes the mouth. If not, then there are other body cavities which could conceal items much more dangerous to an aircraft than a small pistol.

"THAT is why we need these. "

I believe I've demonstrated why we don't, even before bringing up the Constitutional issues.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"So if TSA missed these 23 guns it wouldn't be a big deal because they're not tied to terrorism, right? Yeah, I didn't think so."

TSA *does* miss 70% of items, though, so, since they find an average of 30 per week (why's the number down this week?), they average missing about 70 per week. I don't find that a huge deal, as using the average number of finds per week and the known failure rate gives us, what? Roughly 15,000 undeclared guns which have flown since 9/11? And not a single gun incident on a plane.

Daniel said...

Hi Bob, were all those items found on checked bags or did anyone try to actually board the plane with a gun in a carry-on bag?