Friday, September 27, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Blasting Cap Discovered, 30 Loaded Guns, and Other Notable Items



Blasting Cap Discovered at MHK
Blasting Cap Discovered at MHK
Blasting Cap Discovered – A blasting cap was discovered along with an M60 fuse lighter in a passenger’s checked bag at the Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) in Kansas.



Loaded Gun Discovered at HOU
Loaded Gun Discovered at HOU
33 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 33 firearms, 30 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.



Bag Catches Fire in Atlantic City - This week at Atlantic City (ACY) a traveler’s checked bag blew open with three foot high flames and smoke. The cause? A large leaking can of hairspray was ignited by the spark of a lighter when the bag was loaded onto the rollers. No one was injured.


Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – 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 or on your body, 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 by our officers in strange places.

  • A 16-inch sword was found concealed inside the cane of a traveler at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
  • A 2-foot sword was detected concealed in the cane of a Long Beach (LGB) passenger.
  • A brush dagger was discovered at Philadelphia (PHL)

(Left to Right) Stun Guns Discovered at ATL, JAX, AXA, LAS, SAN, TUL, ATL, SGF
(Left to Right) Stun Guns Discovered at ATL, JAX, AXA, LAS, SAN, TUL, ATL, SGF
Stun Guns –Nine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), and one was discovered at each of the following airports:  Baltimore (BWI), Phoenix-Mesa (AZA), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN), Springfield-Branson (SGF), and Tulsa (TUL).



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. While they may be novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • A large plastic bag containing two inert smoke grenades and a six ounce inert container of police mace was discovered in checked baggage at Denver (DEN).

Inert Grenades (DEN)
Inert Grenades (DEN)
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…


(Left to Right - Top to Bottom) Cleaver (BWI), Brush Dagger (PHL), Large Knife (SAN)
(Left to Right - Top to Bottom) Cleaver (BWI), Brush Dagger (PHL), Large Knife (SAN)

 (Left to Right - Top to Bottom) Three Knives (PHL), Multiple Knives (BWI), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Throwing Knives (SAN), Switchblade (BWI)
(Left to Right - Top to Bottom) Three Knives (PHL), Multiple Knives (BWI), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Throwing Knives (SAN), Switchblade (BWI)
Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Appleton (ATW). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling With Airsoft Guns





Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags


(Top to Bottom - Left to Right) Firearms Discovered at AUS, AUS, ATL, DTW, FLL, MAF, SMF, OKC, STL
(Top to Bottom - Left to Right) Firearms Discovered at AUS, AUS, ATL, DTW, FLL, MAF, SMF, OKC, STL
(Top to Bottom - Left to Right) Firearms Discovered at JAX, ATL, DTW, HOU, IND, SJU, FLL
(Top to Bottom - Left to Right) Firearms Discovered at JAX, ATL, DTW, HOU, IND, SJU, FLL

33 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 33 firearms, 30 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered

 *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.


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.



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.



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

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, look. Absolutely nothing found with your naked body scanners. Again. When will you end this pathetic farce?

james moore said...

FYI that's a welding hammer not a pick axe

Anonymous said...

That "pickaxe" is a welder's tool. Why is it prohibited?

Robert said...

uh, that "pick axe" is a slag tool for welding, relatively harmless as it's not sharp in any way. It's used to knock off the slag from a weld so you can see the integrity. Kinda odd to bring on board anyway.

Don Cochron said...

Are small keychain knives still allowed

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
Lets comment on the pick axe,
why is it prohibited?
I would think anybodys head if hit with it would do some damage, including yours!
What does relativly harmless mean?

brian mccarthy said...

Let me start by first saying the TSA is changing all the scanners to the newer machine where nobody sees the images of bodies. Second you all focus on the small stupid things on this blog if I Was going to take that welding tool and hit you in the head would you say it still wasn't a threat. And lastly before you make comments about the policies of the TSA do your homework . They are not letting knives of any size thru the checkpoints. That policy never started.... People like you on the blog really make me wonder if you would rather take a plane that wasn't checked over a plane that was knowing that the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day. It is so easy to get complacent and forget the reason why they are there in the first place .... Do your research....

bubba said...

Why are you still using the full body scanners when, week after week, you never list anything dangerous that requires them to be found? These machines are slow, expensive, invasive (even with AIT, everyone with a prosthetic or ostomy gets singled out) and obviously ineffective. Scrap them!

Anonymous said...

"People like you on the blog really make me wonder if you would rather take a plane that wasn't checked over a plane that was knowing that the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day."

I would pay extra to take the second flight. Not a single item listed since Curtis started these sad little fear-mongering "police blotter" posts was carried by a person who intended to cause any harm to their flight. Right, Curtis?

RB said...

brian mccarthy said...
Let me start by first saying the TSA is changing all the scanners to the newer machine where nobody sees the images of bodies. Second you all focus on the small stupid things on this blog if I Was going to take that welding tool and hit you in the head would you say it still wasn't a threat. And lastly before you make comments about the policies of the TSA do your homework . They are not letting knives of any size thru the checkpoints. That policy never started.... People like you on the blog really make me wonder if you would rather take a plane that wasn't checked over a plane that was knowing that the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day. It is so easy to get complacent and forget the reason why they are there in the first place .... Do your research....

September 29, 2013 at 1:12 PM
................
Spoken like a true TSA employee.

As long as TSA refuses to secure the sterile area by not screening airport workers who can and do bring anything they like into the sterile area there is NO SECURITY.

Everything TSA is doing is a waste of time and money.

TSA is Theater not security.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make if someone is hit on the head by the welding tool on a plane versus on the street? It's still going to cause damage. It's not a threat to the plane and nobody is taking over a plane these days with a welding tool, pocket knife, or box cutter. People carry these items on the street daily, but is anybody afraid on the street?

Billions of dollars are spent each year on airport security and all they ever catch are forgetful people who leave a gun or knife in their bag. Those same items were caught in the years prior to 2001 for a lot less money. How many of these people were charged with terrorism related crimes?

Anonymous said...

"Let me start by first saying the TSA is changing all the scanners to the newer machine where nobody sees the images of bodies."

Wrong. The millimeter wave scanners
look under travelers' clothes and have the capability of creating images of naked bodies. Does TSA look at them? I don't know, but neither do you.

"...if I Was going to take that welding tool and hit you in the head would you say it still wasn't a threat."

If I were to stab you in the eye with my stiletto heels or whack you in the head with my laptop computer, would you call shoes and personal electronics weapons and insist that they be banned from planes? I could also hit you in the head with a fire extinguisher, something from the galley, or simply my fists! OMG, my fists! I can't take those on the plane because Brian will be scared of what I might do with them!

"...People like you on the blog really make me wonder if you would rather take a plane that wasn't checked over a plane that was knowing that the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day."

Knowing that TSA does not do a good job (70% of guns passing undetected, employees stealing from luggage, checked baggage not fully scanned, employees passing drugs through the checkpoint, employees calling in bomb threats, etc.), I prefer to trust in locked cockpit doors and my fellow passengers. It's passengers that stopped the underwear bomber--not TSA. Also, TSA has yet to confiscate my dangerous stilettos or dangerous laptop (or my dangerous fists!), so there is plenty of dangerous stuff getting on the plane already.

Anonymous said...

RB--airport employees must undergo an FBI fingerprint background check and security threat assessment in order to get into the restricted areas. We see you're still not doing your research.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that my 2 inch long nail clipper could be considered more dangerous than my 5 inch long "Zebra F-301" ball point pen. Both are really pretty scary. I was not allowed to carry the nail clipper on the plane.
Thanks for protecting us.

FredKlein said...

brian mccarthy said...
Let me start by first saying the TSA is changing all the scanners to the newer machine where nobody sees the images of bodies.

So they claim, yes. Of course, they have been caught LYING about the machine sbefore, so....

Second you all focus on the small stupid things on this blog if I Was going to take that welding tool and hit you in the head would you say it still wasn't a threat.

I can hit you on the head with a laptop. Should they ban laptops?
I can stab you in the ace with a pencil. Should they ban pencils?
I can bludgeon you with a rolled-up newspaper. Should they ban newspapers?
I can hit you with my fists. Should the ban fists?

And lastly before you make comments about the policies of the TSA do your homework . They are not letting knives of any size thru the checkpoints.

...But I can get a meal at a restaurant in the 'secure' area of the airport, and pocket one of their knives.

the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day.

As I pointed out, lots and lots of items "could possibly kill people". The fact that the TSA finds some of them in no way justifies their violations of the Constitutions.

Anonymous said...

Hey "Brian McCarthy," please admit you are a TSA screener when insulting the American public.

Bob, fix the incorrect "pick axe" caption. Don't let this be another TSA falsehood, like the camping saw you wrongly claimed was a garotte, and despite a dozen commenters correcting you, you never bothered to fix.

(screenshot)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
[[That "pickaxe" is a welder's tool. Why is it prohibited?]]

"Tools (greater than seven inches in length)"

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/prohibited-items

Anonymous said...

"I would pay extra to take the second flight. Not a single item listed since Curtis started these sad little fear-mongering "police blotter" posts was carried by a person who intended to cause any harm to their flight. Right, Curtis?"

How do you know this? Can you prove it? If they intended to do harm, seems to me that the TSA prevented that.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to fix your error, Bob? Your caption is wrong. It's a welding tool, not a pickaxe!

It isn't hard to correct your mistake, Bob.

Stop lying to the American taxpayer.

Anonymous said...

Some airport workers are still screened. Crew members at times are not. They are the only ones though but they have to go through a extensive ten yr backgroung check, be finger printed.

Anonymous said...

How many layers of security did a 9 year old pass and still board a plane?
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/boy-boards-plane-minn-airport-ticket-20486584

Anonymous said...

Lets comment on the pick axe,
why is it prohibited?
I would think anybodys head if hit with it would do some damage, including yours!
What does relativly harmless mean?
*******
I think the phrase they were looking for was From Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy; "Mostly harmless.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

All those guns and not a single terrorist attached to any of them.

Keep trying! You'll catch one eventually. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Really Now? said...

"... It is so easy to get complacent and forget the reason why they are there in the first place .... Do your research...."

I have done my research. The TSA is not there to find stuff that might be used to kill one or two passengers. If that was the case they wouldn't give you knives or forks anywhere past the security gate.

Anonymous said...

"About this Blog

NOTICE: This social media account will not be actively managed during the lapse in federal funding. We will not be able to respond or update until after funding is enacted. http://1.usa.gov/1c0plla
"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This blog (excuse me- "social media account") was barely managed before the shutdown. Questions were never answered, and complaints were actively ignored.

At least now, the same service doesn't cost us anything.

Anonymous said...

Stop harassing the American public with these unwarranted and unconstitutional search & seizures.

End the TSA now.

RB said...

Anonymous said...RB--airport employees must undergo an FBI fingerprint background check and security threat assessment in order to get into the restricted areas. We see you're still not doing your research.September 30, 2013 at 4:22 PM

----------------------------------

That would explain why no TSA or other airport employees have been arrested this year.

Oh wait a second!

Susan Richart said...

"
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RB--airport employees must undergo an FBI fingerprint background check and security threat assessment in order to get into the restricted areas. We see you're still not doing your research."

Care to explain then the nexus for the LAX dry ice bombs?

If an employee could set those off, then an employee, unchecked as he/she comes to work, could pretty much get away with murder in the restricted area of any airport.

screen shot

Susan Richart said...

RB wrote:

"That would explain why no TSA or other airport employees have been arrested this year.

Oh wait a second!"

I guess the anonymous poster to whom you were responding never heard of Nna Alpha Onuoha. The background check sure did a fine job of keeping him out of the TSA, didn't it?

screen shot

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

RB--airport employees must undergo an FBI fingerprint background check and security threat assessment in order to get into the restricted areas. We see you're still not doing your research.
************
This only determines past behavior, not future. Ronald Regan used the phrase "trust, but verify". Searching airport employees when they enter and exit secure areas is verification.

Anonymous said...


"...People like you on the blog really make me wonder if you would rather take a plane that wasn't checked over a plane that was knowing that the TSA does a great job and finds prohibited items that could possibly kill people every day."
**********
The airplane is not secure. As we have seen an LAX baggage handler was able to detonate multiple dry ice bombs inside secure areas. Which also means one could put on an airplane.

Susan Richart said...

"This only determines past behavior, not future. Ronald Regan used the phrase "trust, but verify". Searching airport employees when they enter and exit secure areas is verification."

I presume you wrote this with full knowledge that airport employees, including TSA, are NOT searched as they enter and exit "sterile" areas.

Anonymous said...

The welding tool is still mislabeled as a "pickaxe," Bob.