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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