Friday, November 29, 2013

TSA Week in Review – 34 Firearms Discovered This Week (27 Loaded)



Loaded Firearm Discovered at DAL
Loaded Firearm Discovered at DAL
34 Firearms Discovered This Week– Of the 34 firearms, 27 were loaded and six had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.



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 replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

Stun Guns – 22 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Three were discovered in Atlanta (ATL), three in Los Angeles (LAX), two in Denver (DEN), two in Detroit (DTW), and the remainder were discovered at Aguadilla (BQN), Albuquerque (ABQ), Billings (BIL), Colorado Springs (COS), Elko (EKO), Huntsville (HSV), Knoxville (TYS),  Las Vegas (LAS), Orange County (SNA), Phoenix (PHX),  Portland (PDX), Shreveport (SHV).

Left to Right - Top to Bottom - Stun Guns Discovered at: ATL, PDX, BIL, LAS, ABQ, DTW, SNA, DEN, EKO
Left to Right - Top to Bottom - Stun Guns Discovered at: ATL, PDX, BIL, LAS, ABQ, DTW, SNA, DEN, EKO


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 comb knife was discovered in Atlantic City (ACY).
  • A credit card knife was discovered at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL).
  • A credit card knife was discovered at Portland (PDX).

  Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Knives Discovered at SLC, ACY, BWI, BWI, EWR, FLL
Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Knives Discovered at SLC, ACY, BWI, BWI, EWR, FLL
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…






Assorted Prohibited Items Discovered at BWI This Week
Assorted Prohibited Items Discovered at BWI This Week
Improperly Packaged Concealed Firearms in Checked Baggage at IAD
Improperly Packaged Concealed Firearms in Checked Baggage at IAD
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at DAL, CLT, FAR, JAX, RAP, SNA, AUS, MCO, ATL, DAL, DAL, ATL, MCI
Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at DAL, CLT, FAR, JAX, RAP, SNA, AUS, MCO, ATL, DAL, DAL, ATL, MCI


Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at SYR and ORF
Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at SYR and ORF
34 Firearms Discovered This Week– Of the 34 firearms, 27 were loaded and six 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.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Holiday Travel Reminders & How To Increase Your Chances on Being Selected for TSA Pre✓™


Holiday Travel BannerWith the busiest travel time of the year upon us, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a few reminders and tips for today’s post.

First off, if you haven’t already, plan ahead and read our Thanksgiving Travel Tips post. It’s chocked full o’ tips and useful information you might need before your trip.

Secondly, keep an eye on the weather. If you think there might be a delay or closure, you can check the My TSA app for airport statuses. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can check the statuses here. Remember, this is the busiest travel time of the year. While we plan ahead and fully staff our checkpoints, it’s always best to arrive early when you can.

TSA Precheck Logo
Lastly, for all of you using TSA Pre✓™, it’s very important you enter the correct info when booking your flight or you may not get selected for expedited screening.

While some eligible passengers are randomly excluded from expedited screening in TSA Pre✓™ lanes, we were surprised to learn that some U.S. and Canadian citizens who are enrolled in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) trusted traveler program have been excluded because of errors made in entering information when they book their reservation. On a given day, some have missed out on expedited screening because of a few simple errors.  

A few of the basic reasons are as follows:
  • Entered the incorrect Membership Number / PASSID (also known as your known traveler number or trusted traveler number), or entered it in the wrong field when making their airline reservation online. 
  • Entered a date of birth (DOB) when making their reservation that did not match the DOB they provided to CBP for Global Entry or another CBP trusted traveler program. 
  • Didn’t enter their full name: first, middle and last name. These should match:

    • TSA Pre✓™ participants who qualify via their membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler program should enter their full name — first, middle and last — exactly as it appears on their Global Entry card or in their Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account, along with their date of birth, gender, and nine digit Membership Number / PASS ID when making a reservation for travel. A reservation made with a name that does not exactly match a passenger's Global Entry card or GOES account will result in the passenger not being considered for TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening. If you click the “manage membership” button when logged into your GOES account, it will direct you to the page in the image below where you’ll be able to ensure your account info — under the personal information section — matches the information in your travel reservation and your frequent flyer program: first, middle and last name fields.
    • You should make sure your airline frequent flyer profile and any current and/or future reservations matches this information. You may have to reach out directly to your carrier to make sure this information is correct and consistent, especially your first, middle and last name. You should ask them to update your profile information and/or saved Secure Flight data.
Example of Goes Account Manager
           Click to Enlarge Example of Goes Account Manager 


A quick recap: Remember these important tips so that you will be included in TSA Pre™:
  • Make sure your booking agent/airline has your number and full name stored correctly. The name — first, middle and last — should match how you applied for a trusted traveler program, as listed above.
  • If you have Global Entry and want to qualify for TSA Pre✓™, enter your Membership Number / PASS ID — not the GOES ID — in the ‘Known Traveler/Trusted Traveler’ field when booking flight reservations — a nine digit. 
    • Only enter your Membership Number / PASS ID in the ‘Known Traveler/Trusted Traveler’ field to ensure TSA Pre✓™ eligibility.  Don’t type “Opt In” or “TSA Pre✓™” or any other text.
Example of Global Entry Card
Click to Enlarge Example of Global Entry Card
If you don’t know what your PASS ID is, you can find it on the back of your Global Entry card, or you can log in to your GOES account to get the ID number.
  • Open the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) web site https://GOES-app.cbp.dhs.gov 
  • Provide your login information. Click on the Sign In button. Look for your Membership Number / PASS ID on the main screen.
You can also watch this helpful video. 

Have a great holiday, and I'll be back next Tuesday with more travel tips. 

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram! 

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team 

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