Friday, May 10, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Record 50 Firearms Discovered This Week (45 Loaded) – Plus Other Items of Note



Loaded Gun (SAN)
Loaded Gun (SAN)
Record 50 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 50 firearms, 45 were loaded and 15 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.



Two One-pound Cans of Black Powder – While resolving an alarm in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL), a TSA officer discovered two one-pound cans of black powder. This goes without saying, but black powder is a prohibited hazardous material. 

Black Powder (HNL)
Black Powder (HNL)
3-ounce Can of CS Teargas in Carry-on at Atlantic City (ACY)
3-ounce Can of CS Teargas in Carry-on at Atlantic City (ACY) – Compressed gas – especially teargas – is prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags.  





Seven Undeclared Firearms Concealed in Checked Toolbox - It’s permissible to travel with firearms and ammunition in checked baggage as long as the proper guidelines are followed. Not only do you have to pack the firearms in accordance with the guidelines, you also have to let the airline know you’re traveling with them. (These guns are not included in this week's record number)

Undeclared Guns (MIA)
Undeclared Guns (MIA)
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.

Tobacco Grinder Grenade (DAY)
Tobacco Grinder Grenade (DAY)

  • A passenger at Dayton (DAY) had what appeared to be a grenade in his carry-on bag. During the secondary bag search, officers found a grenade-shaped tobacco grinder and a soda can with a false bottom that was filled with marijuana.
  • Two inert grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Fort Wayne (FWA). The items belonged to an instructor.

Inert Grenades (FWA)
Inert Grenades (FWA)
Stun Baton (ISN)
Stun Baton (ISN)
Stun Guns – 10 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation.  Two were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), and the others at Atlanta (ATL), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Jacksonville (JAX), Mercedita (PSE), Phoenix (PHX), Reagan Washington National (DCA), and Williston (ISN).

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 sword was discovered this week inside a cane at Denver (DEN). Who knew that a 20-inch blade was hiding inside… Not the passenger, that’s for sure. She presumably was just as shocked as we were.
  • A 2½-inch knife was detected concealed in a cane at Washington-Dulles (IAD).
  • Two belt knives were discovered this week at Denver (DEN), and Los Angeles (LAX).

Various types of knives.
Discovered at (L-R) IAD, DEN, LGA, SLC, DEN, AUS
Flare (JNU)
Flare (JNU)

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

Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) MFR, FLL, MCO, MCO, BHM, BNA,BHM, CLT, JAX
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) ATL, ATL, SJU, OAK, SEA
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) SAF, SMF, MCO, DTW, FLL, BMI, LAX
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) DFW, SHV, CLE, AUS, ATL, IND, DAL
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (Top to Bottom) PDX, IND


Record 50 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 50 firearms, 45 were loaded and 15 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.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do any of these firearms belong to law enforcement people who are traveling?

Anonymous said...

On a return trip from Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) to Seattle, Washington (SEA) in early March of this year, I was treated with courtesy and sensitivity by the TSA screeners at the Ted Stevens International Airport. I'm an older guy and work as a cable installer in data centers, and my carry-on bag is full of tools and computer-related equipment. It passed through the scanner with only a brief delay, and when I took my boots off, I was assisted to the machine that takes your picture (or whatever) because I have some injuries that make it difficult for me to walk in stocking feet on a hard floor. At no time did I feel that my civil rights were violated nor was I treated with anything else but courtesy, sensitivity and kindness. Bravo! TSA screeners!

I have a suggestion for all the idiots - excuse me, "thoughtless passengers" (50+ this week, up from the usual 30+) who insist upon trying to smuggle loaded firearms, inert grenades, knives, swords and the like aboard an aircraft: The TSA should put up large posters at the first screening station where you present your boarding pass and identification with pictures of handguns, rifles, knives, swords, inert grenades and other contraband with the words "BAD!" "NO!" "VERY BAD!" "NO!" in large, red letters on them. Do you think that would work towards reducing the number of loaded guns and so forth that passengers attempt to board with? I do!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you censored my comment regarding your continued persecution of John Brennan. I'm glad you are listening to the public that you serve.

SSSS for some reason said...

Yeah..... oh wait....

Nope.

No terrorists this week.

And nothing found with the fancy scanners either.

Chin up TSA.... you'll find a terrorist eventually. Keep trying.

Anonymous said...

You've done nothing that the airlines couldn't do themselves. How does it feel to be redundant?

Susan Richart said...

To the anonymous poster who has difficulty walking without shoes:

You do not have to remove your shoes at a TSA checkpoint. Just advise the clerks that for medical reasons you will not take off your shoes.

End of story; no further explanation required.

There is no reason on earth that any passenger should have to suffer pain in order to go through the screening process when it can easily be avoided.

screen shot

Adrian said...

Why is the TSA wasting taxpayer money fighting in court to fine John Brennan for a peaceful, non-obstructive protest of the TSA's policies and procedures?

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said...

"I was treated with courtesy and sensitivity by the TSA screeners at the Ted Stevens International Airport."

I'm glad you had a good experience with TSA staff that were professional and took the time to assist you. If TSA had more screeners like that they wouldn't be their own worst enemy. A wounded warrior at my home airport was recently treated so poorly by that despite insisting publicly TSA did nothing wrong the procedures have been changed. I wish all of my experiences were as pleasant as yours. Most are but definately not all. Lately they seem to be getting worse in some cities without Pre Check that I never used to have problems in before that program existed. You don't have to search to hard to find more cases than I can count of TSA staff abusing their authority with special needs passengers. I'd like to say hopefully they're getting better but depending on which airports you use your experience will vary.

(Funny how my posts with an unfortunate incident that list the airport hit the delete-o-meter)

@SkyWayManAz said...

Adrian said...

"Why is the TSA wasting taxpayer money fighting in court to fine John Brennan for a peaceful, non-obstructive protest of the TSA's policies and procedures?"

Simple and yet surprisingly correct answer is because the criminal system found he did nothing wrong. TSA is incapable of admitting they made a mistake, even in cases where they blatantly have, so they will continue to pursue this insisting they were right. Personally I think they should have let this one go. Everyone forgot about it already but TSA clearly feels the need to tell the public not to mess around with them. Not sure this is the right case to send that message to the public.

RB said...

A TSA dog bites a woman on May 2, 2013 but not one word from TSA in the weeks recap.

Why is that Bob?

Did the dog bite out of an abundance of caution?

Or were proper procedures follow and it was the ladies fault that a TSA dog attacked the woman?

How much reteaining for vicious TSA dogs?

Seems TSA would finally learn that getting ahead of these stories that prove just how incompetent TSA is would be the smart move, but I forget, it is TSA and any claim to smart would be wrong.

CliffOnTheRoad - better than anoymous said...

Having a poster with pictures of yes/no items at (more?) specific places sounds like a VERY GOOD IDEA.

Of course, if there were zero guns found, this blog would be pointless and someone would be out of a job.

With the increase of guns found last week, instead of a reduction, another company would be replaced by a more efficient one but there is no incentive to inform the traveling public to wise up.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of scanners finding or not finding prohibited items, there is still time for members of the public to comment on "whole body scanners" (aka AIT) at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=TSA-2013-0004.

SSSS for some reason said...

Susan Richart said..." To the anonymous poster who has difficulty walking without shoes:

You do not have to remove your shoes at a TSA checkpoint. Just advise the clerks that for medical reasons you will not take off your shoes."

Placing the passenger in the position of getting the full-body-rub-down for opting out.

This is one of the bigger problems with the TSA's one-size-fits-everyone screening methodology. The passenger in question has an issue with shoes and their removal. That would mean, to me at least, that the passenger has some sort of medical issue with their feet and/or legs. That would indicate the passenger may have difficulty standing for more than a few minutes. So why does the answer become "Stand Here While We Group You?"

Grab the magic wand that was so common a dozen years ago and go over the passenger. Yes, the passenger has indicated an issue and yes it could be a terrorist attempt so use the magic wand very thoroughly. Use the magic swabs as well to test for whatever those things test for.

There are two possible options in this kind of situation... First, a passenger has a medical issue. Or, second, and this one is the least likely scenario, the passenger is really a terrorist and the shoe thing is an attempt to get past security.

Either way, the TSA could do something intelligent and effective, or the could do what they already do and waste everyone's time and give the passenger the full rub-down and still not discover the person is a terrorist even if they really were a terrorist.

Kevin said...

I travelled roundtrip from IND to RDU with a properly checked handgun. IND handled it well no complaints.. However RDU was different. After being asked by the Delta agent to OPEN THE BOX WITH FIREARM in it, which I declined stating that I was told by TSA and Delta to NOT do this and I did not think it would be a good idea to visibly produce a firearm 30 min after the bomb explosion in Boston the RDU staff sent me to meet TSA and made me stand in front of 3 baggage handlers and wait for a TSA agent to x-ray the box the weapon was in. The tag for the outer luggage was marked in a way that would have let anyone know the bag had a firearm in it. While most of my issues involved the RDU Delta staff I question why a TSA agent would allow a distinctive mark on a luggage tag. I thought the point was to NOT mark the luggage. And yes, Delta did flag me in the computer as having a Firearm in such a way that every person at RDU who looked at my ticket in the computer commented out loud that I was travelling with a firearm

Susan Richart said...

SSS for some reason wrote:

"Placing the passenger in the position of getting the full-body-rub-down for opting out."

Actually, they aren't.

From FT TS/S:

"I do wear orthopedic shoes thanks to my ankle surgery some 10 years ago and I tell the "gatekeeper" just that (with sometimes telling them it's because of my surgery) and 8/10 times I proceed thru with just an EDT swab of my shoes and I'm on my way, 1/10 times I might get a full body pat down and 1/10 times I have to explain to the gatekeeper what orthopedic shoes are"

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/20639381-post7.html

screen shot

RB said...

Of course, if there were zero guns found, this blog would be pointless and someone would be out of a job.

.................
Actually this blog is already pointless since it is suppose to be a dialog of the screening process.

"This blog is sponsored by the Transportation Security Administration to facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process."

The TSA Blog is a one way conversation and nothing said by the public is acted on by TSA.

With the budget constraints we are facing I don't know why TSA would waste money on this blog or the people to operate it. Put them all on a checkpoint in some nice airport like outer Mongolia and let them actually earn a living.


Anonymous said...

Why has the TSA attempted to fine John Brennan, who was acquitted of all criminal charges in relation to an incident with the TSA, and why have they attempted to black out all media coverage of the administrative law court?

http://jonathanturley.org/2013/05/13/oregon-man-acquitted-after-arrest-for-stripping-before-tsa-tsa-responds-by-bringing-its-own-charge/

Anonymous said...

We are told to assume that TSA only finds 1% of restricted items at any time.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, any comment on the TSA bomb dog that bit the woman at ATL?

Anonymous said...

"Record 50 Firearms Discovered "

Is the TSA getting better at finding them, or is the TSA's education campaign failing?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Can't wait till Friday...

LOL

Chris Boyce said...

Hey, Bob,

Remind us U.S Citizens again what exactly possession of marijuana has to do with civil aviation security?

Why did you feel compelled to mention the confiscation of marijuana at Dayton last week and why did you feel compelled to specifically identify medical marijuana on your prohibited list?

Is the TSA now admitting that they are engaged in the War on Drugs?

Wintermute said...

Chris Boyce said...

"Why did you feel compelled to mention the confiscation of marijuana at Dayton last week and why did you feel compelled to specifically identify medical marijuana on your prohibited list?

"Is the TSA now admitting that they are engaged in the War on Drugs?"

Chris, it's been obvious from the start that the TSA is more concerned about the War on Drugs than it is about the War on Terror. This is the closest it's ever come to admitting that fact, as admittance of it would cause some major issues in the court cases they're involved in regarding the illegal search and seizure that is part of their SOP.