Friday, May 31, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 29 Firearms Discovered This Week (26 Loaded)


Loaded Gun (SAV)
Loaded Gun (SAV)

29 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 29 firearms, 26 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post. 
CO2 Cartridges – A total of seven CO2 cartridges were discovered this week, so I thought that it would be appropriate for me to explain when they are permitted to be carried with you. The FAA prohibits CO2 cartridges in both checked and carry-on bags unless they are with an inflatable life vest. You can have up to two in the life vest and two spares. The spares must accompany the life vest and be presented as one unit. CO2 cartridges are also permitted for operating mechanical limbs, along with spare cylinders to ensure an adequate supply for the journey.
Inert Grenade (LAS)
Inert Grenade (LAS)
Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on a 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.

  • Two inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), and Houston (IAH). The novelty grenade at IAH was in the passenger’s carry-on bag.

Stun Guns – 12 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Three at San Diego (SAN), two at Atlanta (ATL), two at San Juan (SJU), and five others at Baltimore (BWI), Denver (DEN), Honolulu  (HNL), LaGuardia (LGA), and Oakland (OAK).
Stun Gun Cell Phone (ATL), Stun Torch (SAN), Stun Gun (ATL), Stun Torch (SAN)
Stun Gun Cell Phone (ATL), Stun Torch (SAN), Stun Gun (ATL), Stun Torch (SAN)
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 belt buckle knife was discovered at San Jose (SJC).

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:

  • When asked if she had any hazardous materials, a passenger at San Juan stated that she had a bomb.
Knives - Discovered at (L-R) LGB, SJC, SAN, SLC
Discovered at (L-R) LGB, SJC, SAN, SLC

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… 
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags
 
7 loaded guns.
Discovered at (L-R) ILM, DAL, RIC, BHM, SDF, ATL, PBI
6 loaded guns.
Discovered at (L-R) FAY, AMA, PNS, DTW, CLT, TPA
3 loaded guns.
Discovered at (L-R) JAX, SDF, FLL
2 loaded guns.
Discovered at (L-R) RDU, IDA
Firearm improperly packed in shoe. Checked baggage AEX.
Example of Improper Way to Pack  A Firearm in Checked Baggage (AEX)
29 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 29 firearms, 26 were loaded and 13 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.



If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Guys ( Gals) for keeping it safe out there. "We " have to be right EVERYTIME, " they" only have to be right once! Great Job!!

Anonymous said...

30 loaded firearms a week seems to be the average, doesn't it? Why is that?

I think it's time that the TSA try my suggestion of posting BIG signs at the point where you come up to the screening queue that says:

"NO GUNS! NO KNIVES! NO! BAD! NO!"

and silhouettes and pictures of prohibited items. I post this comment at the end of every week's TSA blog (don't I Bob?)

People just aren't getting the message! What's it going to take? Commercials on tv? Singing commercials on radio? TSA-sponsored pages on airline ticketing and hotel and car reservation web sites that you have to click through? How about making an example of the next idiot that tries to smuggle contraband through a TSA checkpoint? Put the so and so away for five years and make a really big deal about it. Anything so that people get the picture.

Petaluma1 said...

From one of your brethren on FlyerTalk:

"Everything that is done is scrutinized and no one can do it perfect 100 percent of the time."

""We " have to be right EVERYTIME, " they" only have to be right once!" Nothing but a slogan to try to keep up your morale.

Slogan, definition from Wiki:

"A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious, and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose."

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Anonymous said...

If the TSA has to "be right every time", then they're in trouble. Even John Pistole, head of the TSA, admits they have at best a 30% capture rate.

Consider that. The head of the TSA himself admits that in tests they conducted, they missed 70% of items. Items like bombs, guns, knives, etc.

They miss 70%. And yet, no hijackings.

And to the sign-making anonymous poster, let me ask you a simple question. What law does one break when accidentally carrying a gun to the airport? Not what government regulation. What law is being broken?

Considering that 30 guns were confiscated, and zero arrests happened, maybe that answer is more complicated than you think.

Anonymous said...

The TSA was, and continues to be, a national disgrace.

Anonymous said...

Still nothing that requires the slow, invasive, untested and obviously ineffective full body scanners.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for a comment or explanation from TSA concerning the lady who was bitten by a TSA canine while waiting for her baggage at the Atlanta airport. How long does it take TSA to do an investigation?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that if I buy a can of soda pop in the secure area of one airport to drink later that it is 'required to be surrendered' to the TSA when I get to the next airport? Detroit, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco - I'm talking to you!

Can we PLEASE get a review of the layouts of some of these airports and figure out why you have to go through TSA screening after having been previously screened by the TSA at a different airport?

Anonymous said...

Bobby--

It has been over two months since the story broke, and three since the incident occurred. Yet the TSA blog is still resolutely refusing to answer any questions or make any statements about the mistreatment of Sai by the SFO TSA personnel who felt themselves more qualified to determine Sai's medical needs than his own doctor. These TSA personnel ignored TSA policy, violated the ADA by illegally refusing him access to his (legal and policy-compliant) medical liquids, and then refused to allow him to travel with his medical liquids.

For what feels like the hundredth time, I am asking for you, Bobby, to comment on this. I understand that it doesn't fit into your normal "blame the passenger" narrative, especially since the TSA personnel involved were caught on video violating Sai's rights. I also realize that it doesn't fall into your fallback "the TSA personnel were just following policy" narrative, since Sai has very carefully documented the TSA policies that the TSA personnel felt compelled to disregard.

So I know it's hard for you. It's not the passenger's fault. The TSA personnel involved were clearly violating policy. They violated his rights and deprived him of access to his medical liquids-- there's no side-stepping it. You don't want to admit that the TSA can ever be wrong, so you're hoping it will go away.

But it will NOT go away, Bobby. I will continue to demand a response from the TSA blog on this matter until you finally muster up the courage to actually address an instance in which the TSA is blatantly, unquestionably, and undeniably WRONG.

Stop acting so cravenly and make a statement, Bobby.

Submitted at approximately 1350 central time, 2 June 2013.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for a comment or explanation from TSA concerning the lady who was bitten by a TSA canine while waiting for her baggage at the Atlanta airport. How long does it take TSA to do an investigation?

Good luck with your wait. Bobby seems to have three policies with regards to statements:

In the first case, if the passenger has done absolutely anything wrong-- perhaps he filled out a form incorrectly, or he didn't comply with a TSO's "orders" quickly enough-- then Bobby will immediately react, loudly denouncing the disruptive scofflaw of a passenger for besmirching the good reputation of the noble TSA. If Bobby is feeling particularly magnanimous that day, he might concede that the passenger didn't have ill intent, but his actions were still surely dangerous and disruptive.

In the second case, if the passenger hasn't done anything wrong, but people are upset at TSA personnel blindly enforcing an obviously ineffective and pointless policy (like when they used to pat down toddlers, or when they force 90-year-old cancer patients to strip out of their adult diapers), Bobby will spring to the defense of all the TSA personnel involved. After all, they're "just following policy". That the policy is utterly indefensible will not be discussed.

In the third case-- like when a TSA-trained, TSA-owned dog handled by a TSA employee bites an innocent person, or when the TSA is caught on video blatantly violating its own policies by preventing a man from having access to his medical necessities-- Bobby will simply remain quiet. He can't blame the passenger. He can't claim that the TSA folks didn't do anything wrong. So he pretends that nothing like that has ever happened, and outright refuses to address the issue, either in the comments or in a post.

So good luck on getting a comment on the dog bite issue. Bobby will ignore you like he ignores every other major issue.

(As an example: notice that Bobby barely said anything about the open comment period for the "proposed rulemaking" dealing with the AIT scanners. He wrote a pipsqueak of a post without mentioning that the comments on the rules are only being solicited years after the rules were put in place, or that the TSA illegally refused to follow two federal court orders requiring them to have such a comment period.)

Submitted at approximately 1620 Central time, 2 June 2013.

Susan Richart said...

As most of us have know all along, the scanners are useless:

"...we TSA screeners on the floor-level soon learned that the scanners essentially did not work."

http://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/confession-9-i-was-a-current-tsa-employee-not-a-former-tsa-employee-all-along/

Whoever this person is, he is a new Amerian hero!

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Sedamorphigneous said...

To the pesimistic "Anonymous": what "law" was broken?... the law that Congress mandates TSA's mission. Concerning "zero" arrests... that statement is false. Obviously you conducted no follow-ups.

Anonymous said...

anonymous--what's up with the hatred of dogs? I'm not sure that we will ever know why the dog bit the passenger since dogs can't talk. Do you recommend hypnotherapy or even yet, waterboarding? I bet you with enough torture we can get an answer out of that dog. The reality is that the dogs have to get near the passengers to be effective, so there will always be some risk of dog bite. I got bit in the back of the neck by a German Shephard when I was a kid. That dog never told me why he bit me.

Anonymous said...

" Still waiting for a comment or explanation from TSA concerning the lady who was bitten by a TSA canine while waiting for her baggage at the Atlanta airport. "

According to CNN " Dubitsky says an Atlanta police officer was with the animal, which bit her on the stomach. " Since the Handler was an Atlanta Police Officer and not a TSA Agent, I would assume that the dog belongs to either the City Of Atlanta or Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport-not TSA.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/05/14/woman-claims-tsa-dog-bit-her-at-atlanta-airport/2158249/

June 2, 2013 at 8:03 AM

RB said...

The term "Splitting the Up Rights" has come up in conjunction with TSA Pat Downs. Would you TSA Bloggers mind explaining what exactly this means and why is it happening?

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, what did TSA recently do to Peter Mayhew? Don't you guys know it's never a good idea to anger a Wookie??

Sergio said...

I think it is an enourmous responsibility, that shouln'd have a sucess rate, I mean It should be 100% accurate. I knew about a passenger that was found with his concealed/forgotten to remove gun on his suitcase arriving to another country from the US, and was immediately taken under custody and improsoned for possesion. Next time he will not forget to check his bags contents!

Anonymous said...

Everything you need to know about TSA Patdowns.

Anonymous said...

TSA employees do realize lightsabers aren't real, right?

Then why did the TSA attempt to confiscate Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew's lightsaber-shaped cane?

The guy needs a cane to walk and screeners thought it was OK to take it from him simply based on the SHAPE?

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Anonymous said...

Folks: If you want to travel with your pistol, pack 'em properly and declare them at the counter as an 'item.' It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

TSA: Can we PLEASE get "Here's how to do this" signs in the airports for the people who don't understand this basic principle?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
anonymous--what's up with the hatred of dogs? I'm not sure that we will ever know why the dog bit the passenger since dogs can't talk. Do you recommend hypnotherapy or even yet, waterboarding? I bet you with enough torture we can get an answer out of that dog. The reality is that the dogs have to get near the passengers to be effective, so there will always be some risk of dog bite. I got bit in the back of the neck by a German Shephard when I was a kid. That dog never told me why he bit me.

So much wrong with this statement... First and foremost, the straw man.. Because Anonymous wants an explanation, he must hate dogs? Really? *I* would like an explanation, and *I* OWN dogs. Second, the lady who was bit was waiting for luggage, not going through security. There was NO reason for a TSA dog to be in that area of the airport in the first place, which is what needs explained. Finally, you end with a bunch of nonsense about talking dogs. Of course we all know dogs don't talk. And properly trained service dogs do NOT bite unless on command or over-worked. So the explanations are that this dog was not well trained, this dog was commanded to bite, or TSA abuses its dogs by over-working them. Until Bob sets the record straight, those are the three most likely explanations that I can think of.

Anonymous said...

I knew about a passenger that was found with his concealed/forgotten to remove gun on his suitcase arriving to another country from the US.

He broke the law of the receiving country. Not the TSA.

And while were at it, how exactly did he LEAVE the country with a gun in his bag? Why didn't the TSA catch it in the first place?

Mike Toreno said...

"TSA: Can we PLEASE get "Here's how to do this" signs in the airports for the people who don't understand this basic principle?"

Clerk Anonymous, there are millions of travelers every week; there will always be anomalies in a population that large. The 30 guns caught by your and your fellow clerks, plus the 70 guns that were missed, is not an inordinately large number. Considering that there was no use of guns on planes, there was no actual threat from those guns - even when one considers that you and your fellow clerks missed approximately 100% of the guns that were deliberately concealed.

You should pay more attention to the fact that out of a population of 65,000 clerks, approximately none of you know or follow the rules of your job. Why are you concerned with something that is out of your control, while unconcerned with something that is completely within your own control - learning and following the rules of your job?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"And while were at it, how exactly did he LEAVE the country with a gun in his bag? Why didn't the TSA catch it in the first place?"

Just a part of that 70% failure rate the TSA continues to deny exists. Good thing it was an honest passenger, not one of them rare "terrorists."

RJD said...

I can't believe taht people want to travel with these items.