Friday, October 18, 2013

TSA Weeks in Review Spanning 09-27-13 to 10-17-13



Loaded Firearm (SEA)
Loaded Firearm (SEA)
99 Firearms Discovered in the last three weeks – Of the 99 firearms, 84 were loaded and 29 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Credit Card Knife (ABQ)
Credit Card Knife (ABQ)
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 of where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places over the past three weeks.

  • Four credit-card knives were discovered. Two were discovered at Mobile (MOB), and the others at Albuquerque (ABQ), and Joplin (JLN).
  • A three-inch knife was detected concealed in a wallet at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • A cane sword was discovered at LaGuardia (LGA).
  • A pocketknife was found concealed in a cane at Denver (DEN).
  • A knife was discovered taped to the inside lining of the bag at Minneapolis (MSP).
  • A dagger hidden inside a comb was discovered at Denver (DEN).
  • A stun gun disguised to look like lipstick was discovered at St. Louis (STL).

(Left to Right, Top to Bottom)Hatchet & Dagger (BUR), Large Knife (BOS), Sword Cane (LGA), Throwing Star (BUR), Throwing Stars & Knife (LAX), Folding Knuckle Knife (OTZ)
(Left to Right, Top to Bottom)Hatchet & Dagger (BUR), Large Knife (BOS), Sword Cane (LGA), Throwing Star (BUR), Throwing Stars & Knife (LAX), Folding Knuckle Knife (OTZ)

Comb Knife (DEN)
Comb Knife (DEN)
Stun Guns – 43 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags around the nation in the last three weeks. Four were found in Atlanta (ATL), four in Baltimore (BWI), four in Denver (DEN), four in San Francisco (SFO), three in Norfolk (ORF), three in Phoenix (PHX), two in Reno (RNO), and two in Tulsa (TUL). One stun gun was found at each of the following airports: Anchorage (ANC), Buffalo (BUF), Burbank (BUR), Columbia (CAE), Akron Canton (CAK), Cleveland (CLE), Grand Island  (GRI), Honolulu (HNL), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS),  Kansas City (MCI), Minneapolis (MSP),  San Diego (SAN),  Seattle (SEA), Sacramento (SMF),  Santa Maria (SMX), and St. Louis (STL).
Stun Guns Discovered at (Left to Right) STL, SAN, RNO, MCI, CAE, BWI
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.
  • An inert training device was discovered in checked baggage at Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The device caused the terminal to be closed for 33 minutes while experts worked to clear the device.
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Nashville (BNA). 
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…

Firecrackers (JFK)
Airsoft Guns – Airsoft guns were discovered in carry-on bags at Seattle (SEA), and San Francisco (SFO). 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 in the in Carry-On Bags Spanning 09-27-13 to 10-17-13

Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) MLU, JAX, PHX, SEA, SEA, TYS
Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) MLU, JAX, PHX, SEA, SEA, TYS
Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) BDL, BWI, STL, RAP, JAX, MGM
Guns Discovered at (Left to Right, Top to Bottom) BDL, BWI, STL, RAP, JAX, MGM
Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom) SMF, SAT, JAN
Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom) SMF, SAT, JAN
 Guns Discovered at Denver (DEN)
Guns Discovered at Denver (DEN)



*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.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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

34 comments:

tombeecher said...

A BIG sign with pictures of contraband items. BIG letters on sign in bright contrasting letters:

NO!

BAD!

NO!

I donate my idea for such a sign to the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Great reporting on the credit card knives! Four in three weeks. Wow. Can you post the photos the Federal Air Marshall took? He had lots more great catches and I am sure would increase your blog traffic!

Bubba said...

Once again, absolutely nothing found required the use of expensive, slow and invasive (even with ATR all persons with prosthetics and ostomies are singled out) full body scanners. Why are you still using these ineffective contraptions?

@SkyWayManAz said...

How many passengers has the up skirt pic Federal Air Marshall had removed on the grounds they were a threat to the flight? If the passenger seeing him take those pics hadn't been able to yank away the FAM's phone I think it's more than an educated guess that passenger making “wild accusations” against a FAM would have been removed and arrested. So fair to ask how many times has this happened with this particular FAM.
Also our paper here in Phoenix ran a story this last weekend on how TSA has refused for 6 months now to make the video available of the wounded warrior TSA denies was forced to stand or remove his prosthetic limbs at Sky Harbor. TSA initially said at the time they would release the video to the public. Then the media was told they would be able to view it only and not record it. In the end only still photos were released to make the case all proper procedures were followed. TSA publicly insisted they handled this case properly but quickly changed the rules on screening wounded warriors. The paper documented numerous abuse complaints here from the elderly and the disabled. The complaint rate by volume is 2 ½ times above average. Two complaints that stood out were from breast cancer survivors. On said she was forced to remove her prosthetic breast in public at the checkpoint. Another says she was taken to a private room, told to remove the prosthetic and show the screeners her chest. TSA publicly insists no one has to remove prosthetics and that they do not perform strip searches. TSA was unable to comment at the time due to the government shut down but the public deserves a response. This consistent pattern of abuse is why I strongly feel our rights as travelers should be posted at the checkpoints.

Really? said...

A 12 gauge shotgun?

Anonymous said...

What steps are being taken to make sure that all 21 layers of security can not be beaten by a 9 year old boy?

After multiple dry ice bombs exploded at LAX which were placed in secure areas by a baggage handler. Is the TSA going to start searching airport employees with the same level of diligence as passengers when they enter and exit secure areas? If a baggage handler can steal from luggage they can also put a bomb in a suitcase.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work! The folks who don't understand that you have to protect against all threats are welcome to their opinion, even though they are obviously not up to speed.

FredKlein said...

Anonymous said...
Great reporting on the credit card knives! Four in three weeks. Wow. Can you post the photos the Federal Air Marshall took? He had lots more great catches and I am sure would increase your blog traffic!

Are you referring to the upskirt shots the Federal Air Marshal took at Nashville airport?

http://www.wsmv.com/story/23722109/air-marshal-accused-of-taking-photos-up-womens-dresses-at-bna

The TSA "immediately removed this individual from his current duties and is in the process of terminating his employment"... so he's still employed at this time. Because it takes sooooo long to say "You're fired" to someone.

GSOLTSO said...

tombeecher sez - "A BIG sign with pictures of contraband items. BIG letters on sign in bright contrasting letters:

NO!

BAD!

NO!

I donate my idea for such a sign to the TSA."

We appreciate your feedback Tom, but somehow I don't think that would get past the legal department.

Bubba said "Why are you still using these ineffective contraptions?"

They still give the best opportunity during screening to find non-metallic threat items, as well as metallic items.

Anon sez - "Keep up the good work!"

Thank you Anon, I will certainly try my best to do so!

Anon 2 sez - "Because it takes sooooo long to say "You're fired" to someone."

In some cases, it actually does - with due process and investigations ongoing.

West
TSA Blog Team

jb said...

"The folks who don't understand that you have to protect against all threats are welcome to their opinion"

Except that these weapons aren't perceived to be threats by TSA (unless the owner has been arrested and sits in a cell as I write with a charge of Conspiracy to disrupt civil aviation hanging over him/her.) - they're simply articles that dimwitted travelers tried to take on board.
Surprises me that they have time to do checks like that, though - on my last trip from BOS, some TSA Einstein thought it would be a good idea to check on a small container of sea salt (securely packed in a ziplock bag in my checked luggage) and having determined it NOT to be crystal meth proceeded to place it back in the bag. Not in the ziplock bag. Thanks for the ruined cashmere sweaters.....

jb said...

Oh, and why hasn't someone - in the last 12 years - come up with idea of replacing the metal tables with roller belts? You know - those things that every airport outside the USA has....

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the TSA people that worked through the Government shutdown while not getting paid.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Thanks to all the TSA people that worked through the Government shutdown while not getting paid.

October 20, 2013 at 11:49 AM
....................

TSA like other government employees will be paid for their time worked.

The employees who were actually furloughed will be paid also and enjoyed a paid vacation on the taxpayers dime.

The people who are not compensated are the non-government employees who were impacted by the minimal shutdown, people who had planned vacations to federally controlled parks, government contractors, and other such groups.



Kat said...

They still give the best opportunity during screening to find non-metallic threat items, as well as metallic items.

And where does that leave people who are forbidden to go through those scanners by their medical professionals? People with insulin pumps, for example, dealing with ignorant TS employees who put them in danger of their lives because they don't know what an insulin pump is? Or cancer survivors who are humiliated by being forced to show prosthetic breasts, or who have artificial bladders broken by those same ignorant TS employees? Or the handicapped, who have their canes and crutches taken away from them?

The scanners are slow, intrusive, ineffective, and dangerous.

My oncologist (cancer doctor) has forbidden me to go through one.

(screen shot taken)

Anonymous said...

And as always, not a single, blessed thing found with your dangerous, invasive, and untested naked body scanners. When will you people admit they're a failure and stop using them?

Anonymous said...

"They still give the best opportunity during screening to find non-metallic threat items, as well as metallic items."

And yet, they have yet to detect ANY threat items, while requiring many thousands of people to be invasively groped and assaulted simply for having prosthetics, ostomy bags, and other completely private, completely harmless medical devices. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

As a passenger who wears an insulin pump that can't go through the scanners per the manufacturer's instructions, the body scanners are a pain to deal with. It's even more frustrating when I see this blog and legitimate threats to the plane are rarely found. On the occasions I get to use the metal detector, I seem to be setting them off too, which I never did in the past. It seems like their sensitivity has been turned up. A quick pass with the hand held metal detector wand would clear up that alarm, but those aren't used anymore for some reason.

Instead, I get treated to a full body patdown that seems more suited to being arrested than trying to board a plane. This includes a explosive residue test. I've always passed those tests, but I've heard enough horror stories about false alarms on these tests and that concerns me. These tests seem to alarm a lot of common household items like soap and lotions. I fear for the time I fail the test and have to go to a private room for a more invasive screening.

RB said...

Would TSA care to discuss that the Whole Body Strip Search Machines were deployed while TSA knew of no threat making the use of Whole Body Strip Search Machines necessary?

F.
The TSA Has Misled The Public As to the Likelihood of the Threat
"Addressed" By Nude Body Scanners and Pat Downs .......................................27

Anonymous said...

This blog lists a lot of stuff that can be (and likely was) detected by a walk-through metal detector and the baggage x-ray. Will you tell me again why TSA uses the whole-body scanners that look beneath clothing? Aren't you supposed to use the "least invasive means" to accomplish your searches?

Also, did TSA confiscate a wad of bills along with someone's ammo? Are the bills dangerous?

Anonymous said...

Nothing about the viral video that has you telling people they aren't allowed to make jokes in airports? Nothing about the documents where your agency flat out admits your procedures don't work and you've never caught a terrorist? Nothing apologizing for the pervert air marshal employed by your agency? Nothing about your harassment and illegal detainment of Renee Bergeron and her three year old disabled son? Nothing about the Arizona Republic's article on the angry passenger feedback?

Who cares about what little you found? I want you to address those things and apologize to all of us for your continual violations of our rights.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said . . .

"Nothing about the viral video that has you telling people they aren't allowed to make jokes in airports?"

The video that refers to joking about having a bomb? That's not a new policy. It predates TSA and has been in effect since at least 1972 if not earlier. The movie Airplane! had a similar joke in it taken seriously. It was funny because it was true. "Oh look there's Jack. Hi Jack!" I wouldn't recommend you joke with a bank teller that you have a bomb either next time you make a deposit. The FBI tends to take that very seriously too.

FredKlein said...

RB said...
Would TSA care to discuss that the Whole Body Strip Search Machines were deployed while TSA knew of no threat making the use of Whole Body Strip Search Machines necessary?

I'm torn between two answers:

1) Of course they wouldn't. This blog isn't used for silly things like 'discussion'!!

2) You mean, the TSA LIED to us? That's Never happened before!!!11! /sarcasm

RB said...

RB said...
Would TSA care to discuss that the Whole Body Strip Search Machines were deployed while TSA knew of no threat making the use of Whole Body Strip Search Machines necessary?

F.
The TSA Has Misled The Public As to the Likelihood of the Threat
"Addressed" By Nude Body Scanners and Pat Downs .......................................27

October 21, 2013 at 3:46 PM
.........................................
The link didn't post correctly.

Here is the address. Copy and paste into your browser to see how dishonest TSA really is.

http://www.infowars.com/internal-tsa-documents-body-scanners-pat-downs-not-for-terrorists/

Link to text is at highlighted text below.

But in a sealed version of the same documents obtained through PACER.gov (and available here), the redacted sections appear with incriminating clarity.

RB said...

@SkyWayManAz said...
Anonymous said . . .

"Nothing about the viral video that has you telling people they aren't allowed to make jokes in airports?"

The video that refers to joking about having a bomb? That's not a new policy. It predates TSA and has been in effect since at least 1972 if not earlier. The movie Airplane! had a similar joke in it taken seriously. It was funny because it was true. "Oh look there's Jack. Hi Jack!" I wouldn't recommend you joke with a bank teller that you have a bomb either next time you make a deposit. The FBI tends to take that very seriously too.

October 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

.................................................................

The announcement that is being discussed isn't just about bombs. The announcement is so loosely worded that making a joke about "TSA Security Theater" could be deemed a violation of some secret rule.


“You are also reminded that any inappropriate remarks or jokes concerning security may result in your arrest,” the loudspeaker message states.

Anonymous said...

i am joking and making fun of TSA. you are a joke. i wait to see you guys at my door next. there will be scan process and strip search before you enter. the next time i fly i will make a point to laugh and joke at your worthless efforts to stop terrorist. you are a federal agency on fed property. thnx to 2nd amndmnt i can say whatever i want so long as i'm not threatening.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon asked - "Also, did TSA confiscate a wad of bills along with someone's ammo?"

I am uncertain to what you are referring. Do you have a particular story about this? Perhaps a link to the story you are mentioning?

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "thnx to 2nd amndmnt i can say whatever i want so long as i'm not threatening."

I think you may have your Amendments mixed up...

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon asked - "Also, did TSA confiscate a wad of bills along with someone's ammo?"

I am uncertain to what you are referring. Do you have a particular story about this? Perhaps a link to the story you are mentioning?


It's the top left frame of the pic labeled "Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom) SMF, SAT, JAN". It clearly shows a bunch of $20 bills. Why was this money taken from it's rightful owner by the TSA??

jb said...

TSA at LAX - perhaps under the mistaken impression that sharp objects are forbidden, whether in carry-ons or in checked items - have twice within the last 6 months removed an Opinel pocket knife from the zipped side pocket of my suitcase. Both bags opened by TSA, only one containing a TSA note indicating they've searched the item searched the item.
The response to my complaint is that I have to prove negligence on TSA's part.
Really?!
And wouldn't it be a good idea for TSA inspectors to have stamp with an ID # to apply to the TSA note. Then at least you could identify culprits...

Anonymous said...

No matter how many times the TSA takes nude pics of millions of travelers...

No matter how many shampoo, water, and lotion bottles the TSA steals, er, confiscates from travelers...

No matter how many millions of hours and billions of dollars the TSA wastes on their policies and procedures...

The TSA isn't going to catch a terrorist. They know it, and they don't care.

Wintermute said...

GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "thnx to 2nd amndmnt i can say whatever i want so long as i'm not threatening."

I think you may have your Amendments mixed up...


At least that Anon realized he HAS rights, unlike many...

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

Anonymous said... Also, did TSA confiscate a wad of bills along with someone's ammo? Are the bills dangerous? October 21, 2013 at 6:06 PM

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

When a firearm is discovered, TSA Officers do not remove it from the bag. Law Enforcement Officers remove the firearm and allow TSA to take a photo for incident report purposes.

From that point forward, it's up to Law Enforcement as to what happens to the firearm or whether the individual is cited or arrested.

I'm not privy to what happened after the LEOs took over, so I'm not going to speculate about what happened to the money. There are too many unknown factors.

What I do know is that the loaded firearm in the picture is what TSA was concerned about.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

According to Bob, TSA took the picture.

Why is the money in the picture?

Anonymous said...

Can you investigate and find out why the money was confiscated? Passengers need to know about this.