Friday, October 25, 2013

TSA Week in Review – 39 Firearms Discovered This Week (32 Loaded)



Loaded Pistol Discovered in Carry-on Bag (TYS)
Loaded Pistol Discovered in Carry-on Bag (TYS)
39 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 39 firearms, 32 were loaded and seven had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

(Top to Bottom) Knife Taped to Disposable Razor (MSP), Razorblade Concealed Between Two Healthcare Cards (PHL), Belt Buckle Knife (DEN)
(Top to Bottom) Knife Taped to Disposable Razor (MSP), Razorblade Concealed Between Two Healthcare Cards (PHL), Belt Buckle Knife (DEN)
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 belt buckle knife was discovered at Denver (DEN).
  • A multi-tool was found concealed in a shirt, wrapped in a towel, and placed in a book at Mobile (MOB).
  • A razorblade was detected in the wallet between two medical insurance cards that were taped together at Philadelphia (PHL).
  • A  Swiss Army knife was found attached to a disposable razor in an attempt to sneak it through the checkpoint at Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP).
Stun Guns – Nine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Three were discovered at San Francisco (SFO), and the others were detected at Denver (DEN), Tupelo (TUP), Las Vegas (LAS), Minneapolis (MSP), Nashville (BNA), and Phoenix (PHX).

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…

(Top to Bottom, Left to Right) Kukri Knife (IAH), Springloaded Knife (SLC), Throwing Star (ALB)
(Top to Bottom, Left to Right) Kukri Knife (IAH), Spring-loaded Knife (SLC), Throwing Star (ALB)
An assortment of knives.
All of these knives were discovered in a carry-on bag at JFK
An assortment of knives.
Knives discovered this week in carry-on bags at ROC
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.
  • Two novelty grenades were discovered this week in two separate incidents at Phoenix (PHX).

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked luggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.
  • Twenty-two rounds of 20-gauge shotgun shells were discovered in a carry-on bag at Sacramento (SMF).
Shotgun Shells in Carry-on Bag (SMF)
Shotgun Shells in Carry-on Bag (SMF)
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
Loaded guns.
Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) JAX, PGD, MCO, IAH, PIT, MCO
Loaded guns.
Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom, Left to Right) HOU, MCO, JAX, MTJ, CLT
Loaded guns.
Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) MAF, PDX, ATL, FLL, FAI, GCC, MCO, ANC  
39 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 39 firearms, 32 were loaded and seven 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.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

How many people are prosecuted for weapons found in carry on luggage?

Arnold said...

Bob, as always thanks for pointing out the things the average traveler is attempting to bring onto planes as well as point out how careless people are when flying. All of these things slow down the other passengers being able to get screened and to their gate. It is hard to grasp that 12 years after 9-11 we still have Americans willing to put their fellow passengers at risk.

RB said...

TSA patting itself on the back is low class. How about answering questions such as those asked in the Expedited screening thread.

Randall said...

This tells a continuing story of the prohibited weapons that TSA finds each and every week.

It is a consistent number from week to week and these numbers are convincing of why we need a very strict, stringent enforcement policy by TSA in checking each and every person that boards an airplane and applying stiff sanctions for violators.

Thank you TSA for all that you provide in helping to make America a more safe place by your presence at where people travel in and out of.

Job well done!

Anonymous said...

And as always nothing found with your naked body scanners, which are invasive, ineffective, and unsafe. So why are you people so obsessed with them?

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as a "naked body scanner" the body scanners in use now, do not show any actual pictures of the xrayed body. they show a generic gingerbread like picture with a box on the area that a prohibited item might exist... clearly you havent flown in awhile.

Anonymous said...

What happened to letting people bring small knives aboard? That seemed like a good idea since it would allow you to concentrate more on finding real threats to airplanes. Nobody is taking over a plane anymore with a small knife, or any knife for that matter.

Do you have any stats for the number of non-threats that are confiscated each week, such as water bottles, peanut butter, etc.? Also do you have any stats for the number of items that were confiscated before the TSA existed? I would curious to see if the number of guns confiscated is more, less, or the same now as it was 20-30 years ago.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "How many people are prosecuted for weapons found in carry on luggage?"

I do not have that information available to me, as those prosecutions are at the discretion and the responsibility of local LEOs. Once an item such as a firearm is discovered, TSA contacts the local LEOs, and they handle it from that point forward.

Randall sez - "Thank you TSA for all that you provide in helping to make America a more safe place by your presence at where people travel in and out of.

Job well done!"

You are welcome, and thank you for the kind comments!

Anon asked - "What happened to letting people bring small knives aboard?"

That idea was originally proposed, then it went through a review process, where TSA leadership met with industry partners, aviation advisors, law enforcement officials and passenger advocates. After these meetings, the idea of making the changes to the prohibited items list was shelved indefinitely (if not permanently).

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Anonymous said...
There is no such thing as a "naked body scanner" the body scanners in use now, do not show any actual pictures of the xrayed body. they show a generic gingerbread like picture with a box on the area that a prohibited item might exist... clearly you havent flown in awhile.

October 26, 2013 at 6:14 AM
.....................

Of course there are Naked Body Scanners. TSA has 100's of them. These MMW Whole Body Imagers are still the same machines that take naked images, have the capability to store those images, and even have the ability to transmit those images to other computers. The only thing that changed was the addition of Automatic Target Recognition. That change was made on the demand of Congress and took the "Perv in a Box" out of TSA screening.

As long as the machines have the capability to store and transmit images they will continue to be Naked Body Scanners.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "How many people are prosecuted for weapons found in carry on luggage?"

I do not have that information available to me, as those prosecutions are at the discretion and the responsibility of local LEOs. Once an item such as a firearm is discovered, TSA contacts the local LEOs, and they handle it from that point forward.

......................
If local police take over when a weapon is found then how can TSA have access to these items for a photo op?

Little disingenuous are we?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There is no such thing as a "naked body scanner" the body scanners in use now, do not show any actual pictures of the xrayed body. they show a generic gingerbread like picture with a box on the area that a prohibited item might exist... clearly you havent flown in awhile.


And you clearly have not kept up with news about the TSA. Did you know that, for YEARS, the TSA SWORE that the scanners "could not" save images. Look thru some of the archives of blog for examples.

They were LYING, of course. This should be obvious because they themselves posted example images on TSA.gov. Where did these sample images come from, if the machine "could not" save images???

And if that wasn't proof enough, the original specifications document was obtained and posted online, and in it was the fact that the TSA specifically requested machines that COULD save images.

So, after LYING to us for years about the scanners, they now want us to believe them when they claim the raw images aren't kept anywhere?

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "If local police take over when a weapon is found then how can TSA have access to these items for a photo op?

Little disingenuous are we?"

Not at all, it is a simple matter of having the local LEO lay the weapon out on a flat surface nearby and taking a picture of it. It doesn't take more than a couple of minutes and I have personally been involved in this process a few times. The LEO then picks the weapon back up and takes it to the location that they secure it, the TSO/LTSO/STSO doesn't even touch the weapon.

West
TSA Blog Team

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Putting the pocket knife on the razor seemed a rather ingenious idea. It shows a greater desire to keep the knife from the TSA agents. Looking at the knife, however, it doesn't seem like some nefarious plot to take down an airplane.

Do keep up the search, TSA, you will eventually find your terrorist.

Anonymous said...

SSSS for Some Reason said...
Putting the pocket knife on the razor seemed a rather ingenious idea. It shows a greater desire to keep the knife from the TSA agents. Looking at the knife, however, it doesn't seem like some nefarious plot to take down an airplane.

Do keep up the search, TSA, you will eventually find your terrorist.

October 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM
------------------------------

Confiscating the knife on the razor is even more ridiculous when the knife would likely have been permitted under the new rules the TSA was going to enact. The TSA made a good decision to stop focusing on knives which aren't a threat to the plane and focus on bombs. The TSA allowed themselves to get bullied by emotional arguments that knives are a danger to the plane because of 9/11. Another 9/11 style attack will not happen. The cockpit doors are hardened and passengers will no longer cooperate with hijackers.


RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "If local police take over when a weapon is found then how can TSA have access to these items for a photo op?

Little disingenuous are we?"

Not at all, it is a simple matter of having the local LEO lay the weapon out on a flat surface nearby and taking a picture of it. It doesn't take more than a couple of minutes and I have personally been involved in this process a few times. The LEO then picks the weapon back up and takes it to the location that they secure it, the TSO/LTSO/STSO doesn't even touch the weapon.

West
TSA Blog Team



October 27, 2013 at 4:42 AM
..................

So a camera is at each checkpoint so TSA can take pictures of items confiscated?

Shouldn't be such a hard task to respond with pictures of all the other harmless items TSA confiscates then should it?

Bubba said...

Once again, nothing on this list requires a full body scanner to find. Why are these machines, that are slow, obviously ineffective and single out perfectly innocent persons with non-threatening items (prosthetics, maxipads, adult diapers, ostomies) still being used?

Anonymous said...

Instead of wasting tax dollars taking little pictures of weapons that were never a threat to aviation safety, I suggest you actually answer questions posed by the American public.

Such as, why were TSA employees paid millions of dollars extra to be "criminal investigators" when their duties didn't include any criminal investigation? Such waste and fraud by government employees is another black eye on the TSA.

GSOLTSO said...

RB asked - "So a camera is at each checkpoint so TSA can take pictures of items confiscated?"

I do not know if each individual checkpoint has a camera located in it. We (GSO) used to have one in the office that was brought up for things that generated incident reports, but now we have one at each checkpoint. I can not say the same is the case for every checkpoint (because I do not know if it is the case).

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

In recent weeks TSA has put up a number of Proposed Rule Making announcements on the Federal Register.

TSA even posted a notice about a NPRM in April of this year and then went to great lengths to hide that posting including making the blog post disappear.

Why is TSA afraid of public input on how TSA abuses the public?

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB asked - "So a camera is at each checkpoint so TSA can take pictures of items confiscated?"

I do not know if each individual checkpoint has a camera located in it. We (GSO) used to have one in the office that was brought up for things that generated incident reports, but now we have one at each checkpoint. I can not say the same is the case for every checkpoint (because I do not know if it is the case).

West
TSA Blog Team


October 28, 2013 at 4:43 AM
............................

I fail to understand why TSA would squander resources like this since once the prohibited item is found and turned over to police TSA's role is finished.

Why can't TSA just do its job and stop trying to do everyone else's jobs?

TSA isn't very competent at what it should be doing so again why waste resources going outside the TSA mandate?

Apparently TSA has more people than it needs. I suggest Congress demand a RIF.

Anonymous said...

Listening to passengers going through TSA security I hear that some travelers get searched all the time while others breeze through security each time. Obviously some people are guilty of not following instructions.

I suggest that those that have an extra screening more than three times be barred from travel. If they don't care if they slow down the process they should not be allowed to be a nuisance to other travelers. A "three strikes and your out" rule would ensure people follow the rules and make travel easier for all involved.

Susan Richart said...

"I suggest that those that have an extra screening more than three times be barred from travel. If they don't care if they slow down the process they should not be allowed to be a nuisance to other travelers."

So, you would deny everyone with a prosthetic arm or leg the right to travel; you would deny everyone in a wheelchair the right to travel; you would deny everyone with an ostomy bag the right to travel; you would deny everyone who can't "assume the position" the right to travel.

Nice, real nice.l

All the above people get physically searched each and every time they travel due to a physical disability.

I would suggest that those who show the same ignorance you show be denied the right to travel.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Listening to passengers going through TSA security I hear that some travelers get searched all the time while others breeze through security each time. Obviously some people are guilty of not following instructions.

I suggest that those that have an extra screening more than three times be barred from travel. If they don't care if they slow down the process they should not be allowed to be a nuisance to other travelers. A "three strikes and your out" rule would ensure people follow the rules and make travel easier for all involved.

October 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM
-------------------------------

I follow the rules, even though I don't agree with them. I'm always pulled aside for extra screening. My crime is that I wear an insulin pump. The pump can't go through the body scanners per the manufacturer. In the last couple of years, it seems to be setting off the metal detectors, when it rarely used to. At least in the past, that would just result in a quick pass with the hand held metal detector wand and I would be on my way. Nowadays, alarming the metal detector or refusing the body scanner to protect my life sustaining pump results in a full body groping. I only remember one time in the past three years where I did not get a full body groping.

Under your proposal, I would be banned from flying. Although I have made a conscious choice to fly less because of the TSA. I realize that I am putting myself at a greater risk, since dying in a car accident is far more likely than on an airplane.

Mike Toreno said...

"It is a consistent number from week to week and these numbers are convincing of why we need a very strict, stringent enforcement policy by TSA in checking each and every person that boards an airplane and applying stiff sanctions for violators."

Clerk Randall, no, for every 30 prohibited items that are detected, 70 make it onto aircraft. So the fact that these items go onto and come off of aircraft each week without doing any harm demonstrates that the TSA contributes nothing to aviation security.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Listening to passengers going through TSA security I hear that some travelers get searched all the time while others breeze through security each time. Obviously some people are guilty of not following instructions. "

Or, perhaps, the TSAgent doesn't know the rules themselves and single out people with disabilities. (which happens all. the. time.) Or, perhaps, some screenings are retaliatory in nature. Or perhaps any number of things. Your three strikes rule is even more elitist than most of the TSApologist comments on here so far. Perhaps a history lesson on why giving up the rights is a bad idea is in order?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I suggest that those that have an extra screening more than three times be barred from travel. If they don't care if they slow down the process they should not be allowed to be a nuisance to other travelers. A "three strikes and your out" rule would ensure people follow the rules and make travel easier for all involved."

That would be an unreasonable response to something that happens all the time. Folks get secondary or additional screening for a number of reasons, to include random selections per the regulations. Banning someone because they do not move through fast enough for someone else is not something that would be viable (and more importantly, it would not be right to begin with). People of all forms travel - young families, older families, elderly passengers, passengers with physical limitations, the list could go on for years. All passengers should be cleared as they come through, and each and every one of them should get the same professional and courteous treatment, regardless of the speed with which they can transit the checkpoints.

West
TSA Blog Team

Bubba said...

Dear Anonymous on October 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM

I get singled out just about every time I travel because I do not own a valid US-issued drivers license and use a foreign passport as ID, which makes the TSOs immediately suspicious of me. Should I be banned from traveling to your country just because I wasn´t born there?

Anonymous said...

"That idea was originally proposed, then it went through a review process, where TSA leadership met with industry partners, aviation advisors, law enforcement officials and passenger advocates. After these meetings, the idea of making the changes to the prohibited items list was shelved indefinitely (if not permanently)."

That's a lot of words to say, "Because we say so. Now shut up before we decide you need 'special screening'."

Jabe Fincher said...

TSA thank you for working to keep travelers safe!---What should a person do if he/she usually has a pocketknife (carries a pocketknife)? How is that transferred from point A to point B via airplane?

Anonymous said...

"Should I be banned from traveling to your country just because I wasn´t born there??

Should normal travelers be inconvenienced for the problems of a few? Some people by their nature incur a security risk and should be discouraged from air travel. This is just a fact and nothing personal. This is a new age where terror must be fought for the safety of all.

Anonymous said...

The good TSA -Wounded Warrior Program
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/military/article/TSA-discusses-screening-of-wounded-vets-4941078.php

@SkyWayManAz said...

I believe the author of the "three strikes and [you're] out" rule might have been referring to having unauthorized items slowing down the screening. They mention not following the rules but admittedly it could have been better phrased. TSA could never justify discriminating against the disabled. They may and frequently have refused to answer why they treat the disabled or passengers with medical needs so poorly though.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[How many people are prosecuted for weapons found in carry on luggage?]]

That depends on the justice system, not the TSA.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[What happened to letting people bring small knives aboard? That seemed like a good idea since it would allow you to concentrate more on finding real threats to airplanes. Nobody is taking over a plane anymore with a small knife, or any knife for that matter.]]

Congress and the airline unions pretty much trashed that idea. All of the TSO’s that I know were all for it, and as I understand it the idea is still on the table it’s just that no one is currently spearheading the issue.

TSORon said...

RB said…
[[If local police take over when a weapon is found then how can TSA have access to these items for a photo op?]]

Because photography is allowed at the checkpoint.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"Because photography is allowed at the checkpoint."

You mean if it's not prohibited by local laws, right?

Just Another Flight Attendant said...

Always amazed on the things that stupid people try to sneak through. Thanks for everything you do at the TSA checkpoint to help keep us safe in the air. Also, my condolences in regards to your fallen comrade in LAX.

Wintermute said...

Just Another Flight Attendant said...
"Always amazed on the things that stupid people try to sneak through."

Next time you have a computer issue that's easily resolved, I hope the tech calls you "stupid." Ignorance and stupidity are different things entirely. Calling someone stupid for not knowing the rules, regardless of how common-sense they seem, is just, well, ignorant.

"Thanks for everything you do at the TSA checkpoint to help keep us safe in the air."

Except they don't. The illusion of security actually makes us less safe. They also make our highways less safe by forcing those who refuse to give up our rights to drive instead of fly, where the risk is MUCH greater. Especially through central Ohio, where you're more likely to encounter a tiger in the streets than a terrorist in an airplane. (Thank goodness I have this anti-tiger rock. At least as effective as the TSA!)

Anonymous said...

"Confiscating the knife on the razor is even more ridiculous when the knife would likely have been permitted under the new rules the TSA was going to enact. The TSA made a good decision to stop focusing on knives which aren't a threat to the plane and focus on bombs. The TSA allowed themselves to get bullied by emotional arguments that knives are a danger to the plane because of 9/11. Another 9/11 style attack will not happen. The cockpit doors are hardened and passengers will no longer cooperate with hijackers."

One of the reasons there was no change made is that there was a significant outcry from the Unions representing Flight Attendants. See, flight attendants have to deal with drunk, rude, hostile, angry people every day. A small knife may not hijack a flight any more, but they can do damage to a persons body.

Anonymous said...

" How is that transferred from point A to point B via airplane? "

CHECK A BAG

Durdeedur said...

I think it's funny that people are arguing that a little knife should be allowed and missing out on the fact that 39 GUNS were confiscated and 32 OF THEM WERE LOADED. I read the rules, I know what I can and can't bring aboard when I fly. Those are the rules, if you are responsible for the safety of masses of people you get to make the rules. If you don't like the rules, don't travel.

Anonymous said...

RB asked about wasting taxpayers money by having cameras on every post. Clearly you don't own a smartphone with a camera on it.