Friday, March 1, 2013

TSA Week in Review: 19 Loaded Firearms Discovered This Week



Loaded firearm.
Firearm Discovered at Cleveland (CLE)

19 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 19 firearms, 17 were loaded and two had rounds chambered. Here are pictures of some of the firearms. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.


Guns Hidden In Detergent: In an attempt to avoid declaring his firearms, a passenger at Houston (IAH) wrapped two guns in newspaper and placed them in a box of detergent powder in his checked baggage.

Guns Hidden In Detergent: In an attempt to avoid declaring his firearms, a passenger at Houston (IAH) wrapped two guns in newspaper and placed them in a box of detergent powder in his checked baggage. It’s permissible to travel with firearms in your checked baggage as long as you follow the proper guidelines. Placing firearms in a box of powdered detergent is not one of the guidelines. 


     An inert grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Greensboro (GSO).
Discovered at GSO
Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on 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. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An inert grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Greensboro (GSO). 
Items in the Strangest Places –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, 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 in strange places.

  • Two cane swords were discovered this week at New York Kennedy (JFK), and Detroit (DTW). 
Stun Guns – Seven stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: two at Atlanta (ATL) and the others at Anchorage (ANC), Detroit (DTW), Fort Myers (RSW), San Francisco (SFO), and Seattle (SEA).

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:

  • After being told he was not permitted to bring two cans of soda in his checked carry-on baggage, a Phoenix (PHX) passenger told the Officer that each soda can had a 30-second detonator inside of it. There were no detonators in the cans.
  • During a bag search, a Flint (FNT) traveler stated: “Be careful, there’s a bomb in my bag.”

Large knife (JFK)
Discovered at JFK

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 -- to mention a few…

Photos of Firearms Discovered This Week

5 loaded firearms.

 
19 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 19 firearms, 17 were loaded and two had rounds chambered.
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.

*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.



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.



Bob Burns 
TSA Blog Team 

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