Friday, November 22, 2013

TSA Week in Review - Pistol Discovered Strapped to Ankle of Pittsburgh Passenger



 
Loaded Gun (PIT)
Pistol Discovered Strapped to Ankle of Passenger (PIT)
Pistol Discovered Strapped to Ankle of Passenger – A loaded .45 caliber pistol with six rounds and one chambered was discovered strapped to the ankle of a Pittsburgh (PIT) passenger during a pat-down after he had opted out of Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).

28 Firearms Discovered This Week– Of the 28 firearms, 25 were loaded and eight 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.

  • A tobacco grinder in the shape of a grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO).
  • A fuse igniter was discovered in the checked baggage of Guam (GUM) passenger.

Grenade Shaped Tobacco Grinder (SFO)
Grenade Shaped Tobacco Grinder (SFO)
Stun Guns – Eight stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation at Bradley (BDL), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Chicago Midway (MDW), Minneapolis (MSP), Myrtle Beach (MYR), and Northwest Florida (VPS).

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 pocketknife was found concealed inside a neck tie at Oklahoma City (OKC).
  • A 31-inch sword was detected concealed inside a cane at Cleveland (CLE).
  • A razor blade was detected inside the lining of the shoe of a St. Louis passenger. 
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
  • A belt-knife was discovered at Omaha (OMA).

C02 Cartridge (PHX)
C02 Cartridges – Two C02 cartridges were discovered this week on separate days at Phoenix (PHX). This is just a quick reminder that the FAA prohibits CO2 cartridges in checked and carry-on bags unless they are with an inflatable life vest. You can have up to two in the life vest and two spares. The spares must accompany the life vest and be presented as one unit. CO2 cartridges are also permitted for operating mechanical limbs, along with spare cylinders to ensure an adequate supply for the journey.

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 Kitchen Knives Discovered This Week at BWI
Assorted Kitchen Knives Discovered This Week at BWI
Pepper Spray, Multi-tool, and Stun Gun all Discovered in a Passenger's Bag at BDL
Pepper Spray, Multi-tool, and Stun Gun all Discovered in a Passenger's Bag at BDL
Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Gun Knife (TLH), Cane Sword (CLE), Belt Buckle Knife (LAX), Belt Buckle Knife (OMA), Switchblade (EWR)
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.

Top to Bottom: Ammo Discovered at LGB and MEM
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 

 
Top to Bottom, Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at RNO, PNS, PHX, RDU, PDX, SAT, IAH

28 Firearms Discovered This Week– Of the 28 firearms, 25 were loaded and eight 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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20 comments:

Derek Weekley said...

I know that there will be the comments" But the AIT is useless, you didn't find anything with it. I am not a fan of the AIT, nor will I submit to it, however, I wonder how may people knowingly are carrying and opt-out of the scanner. Then it falls under a "pat down". If the AIT was used, it would have been detected. I can't help but think that most of the people getting caught are putting in their bags, knowing that the AIT or pat down would be more likely to find it (the weapon) and you may have a chance of getting through. Hell, look at the stats, TSA does not have a good record at all.

SafetyGuy said...

Okay, I have had items found in the bottom of a carry-on a couple of times that were forgotten, but "concealed" suggests ill-intent. My multi-tool that was found on x-ray was not concealed in anything. Last week TSA inspected my "safe" multi-tool with no problem. However, strapping a weapon on your ankle and expecting you can "sneak" it past TSA? This is a special kind of foolish, really hard to believe. Please keep up the blog postings so we can continue to be amazed at the lack of common sense among our fellow passengers. Wait, I bet they didn't fly, so they were not our fellow passengers: good work!

Bubba said...

Derek,

If a metal detector was used, the gun would be detected. The passanger actually was quite dumb to opt out, since his chances of going undetected with the full body scanner (which does not alarm with metal objects on the side of the body) were much higher than with a pat down.

Body scanners are slow, invasive, expensive and much less effective than metl detectors. They should not be in use.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Definately dumb to carry but I'm frankly surprised they caught it because I rarely get a pat down in that area of my body when I opt out. I won't go into specifics on here but there are places I could have hidden a small pistol and got past every pat down I have ever received when I opted out of AIT. Why TSA doesn't have opt outs go through the magnetometer before the pat down I'll never know. They've always been far more eager to run their fingers along the inside waistband of my underwear than the two places on my body I advise them present a problem for the AIT. Both would be perfect to hide a small weapon. Despite mentioning these places I've never had a screener touch either one.

Anonymous said...


I don't believe anybody tried to bring a gun in an ankle holster through security. The TSA is making this up so they can trumpet how great they are.

Anonymous said...

As always nothing that needed your slow, invasive, dangerously untested naked body scanners. Why will you not simply admit they don't work, they were a dumb mistake, and it's time to get rid of them?

Anonymous said...

Once again, no threats to aviation safety were found. Items were needlessly confiscated. Anything found on a person would have been found using WTMD.

Stop violating our bodies with those useless MMW scanners.

Anonymous said...

SafetyGuy is missing the point that Anonymous grasped immediately. the firearm strapped to the traveler's ankle was no threat to aviation safety. concealing a firearm is not an indicator of ill intent. it is more likely an indicator of an individual who was willing to take a chance against tyranny to retain his inherent right of self-defence. he lost the bet, but the principle remains. TSA is continuing to harass people and waste immense amounts of money to act far outside of their mandate.

Anonymous said...

"...willing to take a chance against tyranny..."

In another airport a man was taken by force from an airplane because he was acting irrationally. What if he had the gun?

Anonymous said...

I see only items that would have been detected using the walk-through metal detector. Why do we have body scanners again?

Anonymous said...

Interesting how you've avoided talking about the recent GAO report on your phoney BDO program.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

That is an awful lot of sharp pointy things, isn't it? I feel much safer knowing that I am not sitting next to an armed chef at 30,000 feet. I mean they might break out and make a salad or something!

And the guns... all those guns.... an not one single bad guy attached to any of them.

Better luck next week.

Chip and Andy said...

"...In another airport a man was taken by force from an airplane because he was acting irrationally. What if he had the gun?"

Then we would be reading a completely different news story, that is what would have happened.

There are a million what-ifs when it comes to anything in life. If you want to see monsters under every bad and boogey-men in every closet that is your choice. I refuse to allow *your* fears to dictate how *I* live *my* life.

Anonymous said...

thank you, Chip and Andy. you beat me to the response. couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

Why have you deleted my last two posts about the cash confiscated at a TSA checkpoint several weeks ago and TSA's plan for responding to the AIT NPRM? I will be taking a screenshot henceforth.

I want to know who confiscated the cash and how that party came to be involved in activities at a TSA checkpoint.

Anonymous said...

I refuse to allow *your* fears to dictate how *I* live *my* life.
By that reasoning, the airlines should still confiscate your weapons if they don't want you to bring them on board despite your fears of being attacked and not having your gun.

Anonymous said...

Correction to my previous comment, if Bob even allows it through.

1,800,000 people flew every DAY last week, so just under 12,000,000 people went through unnecessary screening at the hands of the TSA.

TSA found about thirty weapons, so they missed another seventy weapons. Still nothing happened because the TSA knows and admitted in court documents that terrorists aren't trying to take over planes or bring bombs on board.

Even if you're terrified of these thirty weapons, you survived your flight with another seventy weapons, possibly one was on your flight! Of course, the chances were extremely low that the passenger next to you carried one of these scary weapons, since only .0008% of passengers had one.

Still, your terror is misplaced because every passenger had at least one object they could have used as a weapon, from a pen to a knitting needle to a laptop or broken CD. Yet, no one used their high heels or laptop power cords or any other item as a weapon of terror to bring down a plane, or even used these everyday items as weapons of assault to harm flight staff or other passengers.

Stop letting the TSA scare you into giving up your rights to privacy and travel.

screen shot taken

Anonymous said...

I love how everyone calls the AIT machines "invasive" and "intrusive". It is a body surface scanner. The agents have a rough outline of a person (like a gingerbread man) that they see on the screen and a little red box comes up when bulky items are scanned on the surface of your body. It's actually the definition of unintrusive.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"...willing to take a chance against tyranny..."

In another airport a man was taken by force from an airplane because he was acting irrationally. What if he had the gun?


He didn't.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I love how everyone calls the AIT machines "invasive" and "intrusive". It is a body surface scanner. The agents have a rough outline of a person (like a gingerbread man) that they see on the screen and a little red box comes up when bulky items are scanned on the surface of your body. It's actually the definition of unintrusive.

Anonymous, the TSAgents have this "gingerbread" outline because of software. Underneath that outline, and, according to the original RFPs, these scanners are capable of storing the raw images used to generate these outlines. These scanners are just as invasive as the ones that are no longer in service, just as slow, and just as untested (and, just as susceptible to both false positives and false negatives).