Friday, June 7, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 24-Pounds of Black Powder, 32 Loaded Firearms Among Things Discovered This Week

24-Pounds of Black Powder
24-Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)
24-Pounds of Black Powder – Ten canisters containing 24-pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway (MDW). While properly packaged ammunition is permitted in checked-baggage, black powder is not. Especially not 24-pounds of it…

34 Firearms Discovered This Week –Of the 34 firearms, 32 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Loaded Gun (ONT)
Loaded Gun (ONT)
Airbag – An airbag for a motorcycle was discovered in a carry-on bag at Islip (ISP). Airbags are prohibited from both checked and carry-on bags. Take a look at this post from 2010 on airbags.

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 in checked bags this week at McAllen (MFE), and Phoenix (PHX).
Two inert grenades.
Discovered at (L-R) PHX, MFE
Stun - Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) ATL, DEN, LAS, DTW
Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) ATL, DEN, LAS, DTW
Stun Guns – 11 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Denver (DEN), and the other nine were found at Atlanta (ATL), Branson (BBG), Baltimore (BWI), Detroit (DTW), Las Vegas (LAS), Minot (MOT), Phoenix (PHX), San Francisco (SFO), and St. Louis (STL).
 
Fireworks
Fireworks (CLE)
Knife in Shoe (LAX)
Knife in Shoe (LAX)
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 fireworks were found in the back pocket of a Cleveland (CLE) passenger while receiving a pat-down after alarming advanced imaging technology.
  • An eight-inch butcher’s knife was discovered concealed under the lining of a carry-on bag at Houston (IAH).
  • A handmade knife was discovered under the sole of a shoe at Los Angeles (LAX).
Knives Discovered at (Top - Bottom) LAX, DEN, EWR, EWR, IAH
Knives Discovered at (Top - Bottom) LAX, DEN, EWR, EWR, IAH
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:
  • During a secondary search at New York Kennedy (JFK), a passenger stated: “I’m carrying an IED in my carry-on.” While he didn’t have an IED, he was arrested by Port Authority police on a state charge.
  • After being informed by the ticket agent that he wasn’t going to make his flight, a San Francisco (SFO) passenger stated: "I will throw a bomb here in your face."
Throwing Star (LAX)
Throwing Star (LAX)

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) TRI, BUF, DAL, SJU, IAH, CLT, FSM, PIT
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) CRP, ATL, SAN, IAH, BNA, BNA, TLH
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (Top - Bottom) BNA, IAH
Loaded Guns

Discovered at (L-R) MCO, CLL, DAL
Loaded Guns
Discovered at (L-R) RDU, CLT
34 Firearms Discovered This Week –Of the 34 firearms, 32 were loaded and 10 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...

Still nothing you need those horrid full body scanners to find. Week after week, you prove how useless they are.

Anonymous said...

I've been subscribed to the TSA Blog for only a few weeks in anticipation of impending international travel, and I am amazed that people are such fools and cannot seem to get it into their thick skulls that they slow up air traffic, create diversions, and make travel miserable for you and for us. We are a selfish and entitled society who refuse to think beyond our own opinions. Shame on us! And thank you for keeping us safe as often as you do.

Anonymous said...

give taken it teach me thanks

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the poster who stated "still nothing you need those horrid full body scanners to find.....". While I was awaiting to be scanned at a Miami Airport, the person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area and the Miami-Dade Police were promptly alerted. I applaud TSA for what they do to help the traveling aviation public!! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

The containers described as "black powder' are smokeless powder. Why are they mis-identified?

Anonymous said...

"the person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area "

- and this is dangerous to you?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I disagree with the poster who stated "still nothing you need those horrid full body scanners to find.....". While I was awaiting to be scanned at a Miami Airport, the person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area and the Miami-Dade Police were promptly alerted. I applaud TSA for what they do to help the traveling aviation public!! Thank you!!

June 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM

How is cocaine a threat to aviation security? I could care less what drugs someone carries on a plane.

I'm travelling internationally later this year. I'm looking forward to more polite security, less barking, no body scanners, and getting to keep my shoes on. I'm hoping they use the hand held metal detector wands too. They always seemed to be a fast and non-invasive way to clear alarms. I'm not sure why they aren't used more in this country since the last two airports I went through didn't have body scanners. However setting off the metal detectors got me full body patdowns with extensive groin contact.

Susan Richart said...

Lots of white space.

That aside, "...person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area..."

And that cocaine was a threat to your flight how?

Remember, the TSA is charged with finding weapons, explosives and incendiaries, NOT drugs.

screen shot

P.S. How do you know it was cocaine?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 11:24 am: TSA is not law enforcement -- their job is to screen for weapons, explosives, and incendiary devices, i.e. serious threats to the safety of an aircraft. Cocaine is not a threat to the safety of an airplane. In fact, a guy with cocaine in his pants very much wants to get to his destination, so you can rest assured he will not be highjacking the airplane. TSA has a dismal record for finding actual weapons, so they should let the real police look for drug traffickers and focus on their actual objectives.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter at June 8, 2013 at 11:24 AM:

What threat to the plane and its passengers did that cocaine pose?

None.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first of many to congratulate you on the Star Wars Light Saber Cane disaster. Please tell me how a cane that has a handle and is made from blue plexiglass is dangerous weapon. As long as it clears the x-ray machine what was the problem?

Looking forward to your usual excuses of retraining staff who did nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

Please explain how a blue cane with a silver handle is a threat or considered a weapon? Peter Mayhew is 69 years old and needs it more than the TSA.

The TSA should return his cane and have an in person apology for treating him in this manner.

Anonymous said...

Though it is neat that the screeners found some cocaine on a passenger, that has nothing to do with aviation safety.

Whether it's a screener or the guy cleaning the toilets, a government worker is required to report finding something like coke to law enforcement.

I too am glad the drugs were found, but searching people specifically for drugs is beyond the allowed scope of TSA's searches of flyers.

Despite many screeners acting like wannabe cops, they are only allowed to search for weapons, incendiaries, and explosives.

Finally, a rare, lucky find of cocaine does not justify the intrusive and unconstitutional searches and assaults forced upon 1,500,000 people every day by the TSA.

Anonymous said...

The reason Bob misidentified smokeless powder as black powder is the same reason he misidentified a camping saw as a garotte and refused to correct it, despite over a dozen comments letting him know about his mistake.

"Black powder" and "garotte" make better headlines and he hopes no one will read the comments pointing out the error.

My apologies to you, Bob, if it was one of your co-workers who acted so arrogant in this matter, and not you.


screenshot

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said...

"[T]he person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area..."

That person could have been a low level idiot or he could have been set up to get caught so another shipment goes through or both. Perhaps he was the shipment that was supposed to have the skids greased for him already. Unfortunately we've seen at other airports around the country where TSA screeners were on the take to look the other way for drug smugglers. The incident you witnessed raises some serious questions that should be looked into to reassure the public.

Btw TSA I'll be in Iowa City this week if you want to keep an eye out. DHS agents along with Iowa City PD and a drug dog ransacked an investment banker and his husbands plane there on May 5th looking for drugs. Their probable cause appeared to be they left Colorado, where marijuana is now leagal, and he had an Orthodox look to him must have profiled as hippie. He was told to cooperate or be arrested. Nothing was found though. Officially TSA may not be looking for drugs on planes but your department clearly is.

Becky said...

I just wanted to say thank you to the TSA. I've never had any problems and all officers I've encountered have been very polite. I can't believe so many people make such foolish choices!

I also wanted to commend the writers of this blog. I never thought I'd read multiple posts about airport security for the hilarious writing along with the informative content. Thank you for the many giggles I've had over the last posts! Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

Also, one light-saber cane.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
I disagree with the poster who stated "still nothing you need those horrid full body scanners to find.....". While I was awaiting to be scanned at a Miami Airport, the person in front of me had a substantial amount of cocaine in his groin area and the Miami-Dade Police were promptly alerted. I applaud TSA for what they do to help the traveling aviation public!! Thank you!!

So, what you're saying is is that the TSA is using the virtual strip search for illegal search and seizure, not an administrative search? Drugs are outside the scope of TSA's mission, and if that's the real reason for these invasive machines, then the TSA is violating the Constitution of the United States as well as lots and lots of case law regarding administrative searches.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, looks like I was ahead of the curve in calling out the TSA for trying to steal Peter "Chewbacca" Mayhew's cane. Your screeners couldn't figure out why an older 7'2" man might need a cane to walk? And though a lightsaber cane is unusual, lightsabers are not real weapons and therefore not a threat to aviation safety.

I don't care if it was Mr. Mayhew or a Star Wars fan. Taking someone's medically necessary device because of it's custom design that poses no threat to aviation safety is stupid and wrong.

Anonymous said...

What is going on, Bob? TSA Pick On Big Guys Week?

Now your screeners can't figure out why NE Patriot Donte' Stallworth's cleats might have fertilizer on them?

You don't need to know who Mr. Stallworth is, though the screeners standing around with their cell phones could've Googled him, but once it became clear that his cleats obviously spend a LOT of time on highly maintained grass, do a quick swab with your pointless machine, say, "Ah! A logical explanation!" and send him on his way with an apology for the short delay.

Don't make a guy almost miss a plane because the TSA views every single passenger as a "terrorist waiting to explode."

And don't treat people from farms or who work around fertilizer like terrorists, say like a young girl in a wheelchair from a few months ago.

Anonymous said...

I no longer have confidence in TSA after their reversal of carrying knives. I would that thought that they did a careful analysis of safety versus connivance before announcing that knives would be allowed. But their reversal indicates that they either did not do a careful analysis or they bend with pressure from lobby groups. Either way it doesn’t look good to me.

RB said...

How many Light Sabers has TSA confiscated this week?

Good job TSA, protecting America from imaginary threats.

RB said...

I see from the TSA Delete-O-Meter that TSA is not posting almost 40% of all comments that are submitted to the blog.

Why not put those unacceptable comments in there own thread and let the public see exactly what is being censored.

Surely TSA has nothing to hide about its massive free speech censorship operation.


Anonymous said...

Annonymous at 11:24: Since when is cocaine a threat to air travel?

Anonymous said...

"While these are cool novalties"

Who writes this stuff? Eighth graders?