Friday, January 24, 2014

TSA Blog Year in Review: 2013



Every day, Transportation Security Officers interact with nearly two million travelers across the United States with a single goal in mind – ensuring the safety of the traveling public.

TSA had a busy year in 2013, screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is  1,123,668 more passengers than last year. 

Sadly, this year marked the first incident where a TSA officer, Gerardo I. Hernandez, was killed in the line of duty at Los Angeles International Airport.  

In many ways, Transportation Security Officers are the public face of our nation’s security. It is difficult work, requiring patience, stamina, and great attention to detail. It requires extensive training and constant vigilance. This year’s tragic incident reminds us that being on the frontline also comes with a great risk. It is a risk that the men and women of TSA undertake willingly knowing that in doing so they are serving a higher cause, and a noble one – protecting the men and women of the United States every day.

We wanted to share with you examples of the continued vigilance of TSA officers in protecting our nation’s transportation systems, including some of the most unusual items TSA caught at the checkpoints this year. 

1,813 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging nearly five firearms per day. Of those, 1,477 (81%) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 205 airports with Atlanta (ATL) on top of the list for the most firearms intercepted (111) in 2013. 

There was a 16.5% increase (257) in firearm discoveries from last year’s total of 1,556.

Top Five Airports for Gun Catches in 2013

Some of the Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage in 2013
Some of the Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Baggage in 2013
  1. (ATL) - 111 Guns Discovered
  2. (DFW) - 96 Guns Discovered
  3. (IAH) - 68 Guns Discovered
  4. (PHX) - 66 Guns Discovered
  5. (DEN) - 51 Guns Discovered

Here are a few of the more notable firearm incidents: 

Loaded Gun (BDL)
Loaded Gun (BDL)
A loaded .380 pistol with eight rounds was discovered on the lower left leg of a passenger at Bradley Hartford (BDL) after the weapon alarmed the Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT).

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 AIT. 
Loaded Gun (PIT)
Loaded Gun (PIT)


A .25 caliber firearm loaded with 10 rounds was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Cedar Rapids (CID).

A passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) received a pat-down after an anomaly was detected during advanced imaging technology screening.

During the pat-down, officers discovered a fully loaded .22 caliber firearm inside his boot.

Loaded Gun (CID)
Loaded Gun (CID)
Using imaging technology, a .380 pistol loaded with seven rounds and one chambered was discovered in the pocket of a passenger at Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).

While resolving an alarm on checked baggage, officers at Boston Logan (BOS) discovered a fully disassembled 30-30 rifle concealed within the lining of the bag and taped to the straps. Police responded and ran a check on the serial number of the rifle, revealing that it had been stolen.

In what was believed to be 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. 

Seven undeclared firearms were found concealed in a checked toolbox at Miami (MIA).

A shotgun was discovered in a checked golf bag at Detroit (DTW).

An unloaded .45 caliber pistol and four magazines were hidden in a cassette deck in checked baggage.

Left to Right: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)
Left to Right: Unassembled Rifle (BOS), Shotgun in Golf Bag (DTW), Seven Firearms in Toolbox (MIA), Guns In Detergent (IAH)
In addition to firearms discovered this year, there were many unsafe items that passengers attempted to travel with this year including: 

24 Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)
24 Pounds of Black Powder (MDW)
Ten canisters containing 24-pounds of black powder were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago Midway (MDW). 

A live blasting cap was discovered along with an M60 fuse lighter in a passenger’s checked bag at the Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) in Kansas.

Over nine ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Cleveland (CLE).
Blasting Cap and Fuse Initiator (MHK)
Blasting Cap and Fuse Initiator (MHK)

A camping stove fuel bottle with fuel was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO).   

After causing an alarm in checked baggage, Officers found a 3.2 ounce flask of black powder, 22 feet of fuse, a large empty CO2 cartridge, and miscellaneous ammunition in a passenger’s bag at Anchorage (ANC).

While resolving an alarm in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL), a TSA officer discovered two one-pound cans of black powder.
 
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove Fuel (SFO)
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Black Powder & Fuse (ANC), Two Pounds of Black Powder (HNL), Nine Ounces of Black Powder (CLE), and Camping Stove Fuel (SFO)
TSA officers also find inert items that look very real. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are real, toys or replicas until we call out the explosive experts. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting inert items we’ve found so far this year:  

Inert Suicide Vest (IND)
Inert Suicide Vest (IND)
After alarming in checked baggage, our officers discovered an inert suicide vest. The vest was a training aid used by an explosives instructor.

A passenger at Norfolk (ORF) had six inert pressure plates, 50 inert initiators, an inert land mine, inert explosives, and two initiation systems in the his bag.An inert Claymore mine was discovered in a checked bag at San Jose (SJC). 

Inert IED (ORD)
Inert IED (ORD)
An inert bandolier line charge was discovered after it alarmed in checked baggage at Norfolk (ORF).

Seven inert blasting caps were discovered in checked baggage at Greenbrier County Airport (LWB).

Electric detonators and a block of inert C4 with duct tape and wires protruding were discovered in two separate incidents at Seattle (SEA) in checked baggage.
Inert Claymore Mine (SJU)
Inert Claymore Mine (SJU)

A gag retirement gift designed to look like an improvised explosive device was discovered on the X-ray at St. Petersburg / Clearwater (PIE).

Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).

An inert Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training kit was discovered at Norfolk (ORF).

Two battery-charged initiators were discovered in a carry-on bag at Minneapolis (MSP).
Inert Bazooka Round (ORD)
Inert Bazooka Round (ORD)

A WWII era inert bazooka round was discovered in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).

An inert 20mm artillery round was detected in the carry-on bag at San Diego (SAN). 

136 inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this year at TSA checkpoints and checked baggage locations. 




Just A Few of the 136 Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades Discovered in 2013
Just A Few of the 136 Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades Discovered in 2013
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)
Left - Right / Top - Bottom: Battery Charged Initiator (MSP), IED Training Kit (ORD), Inert Blasting Caps (LWB), Inert C-4 (HNL), Gag Gift (TPA)
Live Smoke, Stun, and Incendiary Devices:
Smoke Grenade (IAD)
Smoke Grenade (IAD)
A live smoke grenade was discovered under the lining of a carry-on bag at Washington Dulles (IAD).

A live flashbang grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Portland (PDX). 

A live smoke grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Washington Dulles (IAD).
Flash Bang Grenade (PDX)
Flash Bang Grenade (PDX)

A live “sting ball” riot control grenade was discovered in checked baggage at John Wayne (SNA). 
  
Live smoke and flare canisters were discovered in a checked bag at Phoenix (PHX).
Flare Gun (HOU)
Flare Gun (HOU)

A 3-ounce Can of CS Teargas was discovered in a carry-on bag at Atlantic City (ACY).

A passenger at Houston Hobby (HOU) had a flare gun and six loose flares in his carry-on bag. 

562 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags in 2013.


Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)
Left - Right: Smoke and Flare Canisters (PHX), Flare Gun (MDW), Teargas (ACY), Flare (JNU), Smoke Grenades (PWM)
 Here are a few of the more notable knife incidents:
Non-metallic Dagger (SLC)
Non-metallic Dagger (SLC)
A non-metallic dagger was discovered on a passenger at Salt Lake City (SLC) after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT). During the pat-down, the dagger was found hanging by fishing line around his neck and under his shirt.  

Tactical Spike (DSM)
Tactical Spike (DSM)
Officers at Des Moines (DSM) discovered an 8-inch non-metallic tactical spike in a passenger’s sock after he alarmed Advanced Imaging Technology.
Knife (BUR)
Knife (BUR)

A knife was discovered concealed in the lower back area of a passenger who alarmed the advanced imaging technology at Burbank (BUR). 


Some Of The Throwing Knives and Stars Discovered in 2013
Some Of The Throwing Knives and Stars Discovered in 2013
Some of The Knives and Swords Discovered in 2013
Some of The Knives and Swords Discovered in 2013

The year also provided the need for travelers to surrender a few odd items:

Human Skull (FLL)
Human Skull (FLL)
While searching clay pots in a checked baggage location at Fort Lauderdale (FLL), our officers discovered human skull fragments! While the fragments weren’t a security threat, they did slow screening down a bit since the area quickly became a crime scene!

A mace was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago Midway (MDW). This wasn’t a plastic mace; it was solid wood and metal.

A traveler’s checked bag blew open with three foot high flames and smoke at Atlantic City (ACY) . The cause? A large leaking can of hairspray was ignited by the spark of a lighter when the bag was loaded onto the rollers. No one was injured.

Mace (ACY)
Mace (ACY)
There were many instances last year where travelers attempted to hide items, or the items they packed were disguised to look like other items. Our officers regularly find sword canes, credit card knives, belt buckle knives, comb/brush knives, knives hidden in shoes, knives hidden in thermoses, and knives hidden under the bag lining near the handle mechanism. But, here are a few of the instances that stood out: 

Pen Knife (DFW)
Pen Knife (DFW)
A knife concealed within an ink pen was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW). 

A multi-tool was discovered inside a computer hard drive at Birmingham (BHM).
Pen Knife (DFW)
Multi-tool In Hard Drive (BHM)

A knife was sewn into the lining of a bag at Dulles (IAD).

A bladed multi-tool was found in a package of socks at Albuquerque (ABQ).
Ammunition Hidden Under Pull Handle (ORF)
Ammunition Hidden Under Pull Handle (ORF)

Nine rounds of .45 caliber ammunition were found in the pull-handle of a carry-bag at Norfolk (ORF).

Pepper spray designed to look like a lipstick case was discovered in Phoenix (PHX). 

A stun gun concealed in a cane was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)
Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)

A knife was found in a toothbrush holder at Lihue (LIH).

A knife was discovered in the battery compartment of a laptop computer at Oakland (OAK).

A knife was discovered inside a pillow at Midland (MAF).
Knife In Knee Brace (IAH)
Knife In Knee Brace (IAH)

A lipstick knife was discovered at San Antonio (SAT). 

A knife was discovered inside a passenger’s knee brace at Houston (IAH).

Two kitchen knives were discovered in an automotive air filter box wrapped in plastic with the air filter at Houston Intercontinental (IAH).

An 8-inch knife and a 6-inch knife were detected wrapped in plastic bags under a false bottom in a carry-on bag at Guam (GUM).

A stun gun disguised to look like lipstick was discovered at St. Louis (STL).


Some Of The Cane Swords Discovered In 2013
Some Of The Cane Swords Discovered In 2013
Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN)
Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Cigarette Pack Stun Gun (MCO), Brush Dagger(OGG), Knives Concealed in Air Filter (IAH), Credit Card Knife (ABQ), Lipstick Knife (SAT), Comb Knife (DTW), Knife in Shoe (IAD), Belt Buckle Knife (EWR), Stun Gun Cell Phone (JAN), Comb Knife (CHS), Lip Stick Stun Gun (LAS), Key Knife (IAD), Razor Concealed in Cell Phone (TPA), Credit Card Knife (BWI), Lipstick Stun Gun (STL), Stun Gun Cell Phone (LAX), Knife in Shoe (SAN), Cell Phone Stun Gun (DEN)
Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA)
Miscellaneous Items - Left to Right / Top to Bottom: Compound Bow in Carry-on (PHX), Finger Spikes (BHM), Bang Stick (KOA), BB Machine Gun (EWR), Novelty Bomb (PHX), Stun Knuckles (DEN), Gun Clock (SEA)
You can also read more about important steps TSA has taken to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security, and towards a more risk-based security posture in our year-end blog post, TSA Reflects on 2013

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.


160 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections? Safe, reliable, and noninvasive metal detectors would just as surely have detected every single one of these firearms.

How many false positives resulting in invasive pat-downs took place thanks to the inadequacies of your naked body scanners, which can't distinguish between insulin pumps and handkerchiefs on the one hand, and firearms on the other?

Your naked body scanners are a sick, pathetic fiasco; they don't work, they're slow, and they result in people being groped by your poorly-trained, unprofessional screeners. You do more harm than good. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any statistics showing the number of guns confiscated pre-TSA? I think the increase in the number of guns caught at the checkpoint corresponds to concealed carry laws in all states. There is no excuse for forgetting that they are carrying their gun through security.

I am disappointed that the TSA caved into pressure on allowing knives on planes. The TSA was correct to allow small knives to be carried on since there is no way someone can take over a plane with a knife these days. Passengers won't allow it and the cockpit doors are reinforced.

Kevin Conlon said...

I wonder how much of this would have been caught during normal screenings. They act as though they did a great job, "Look at all this stuff we stopped from getting on planes!!"
Yeah, so, 95% of it would have been caught anyway.

RB said...

“This year’s tragic incident reminds us that being on the frontline also comes with a great risk.”

The above statement from TSA is clearly not true.

TSA screeners have contact with about 1.6 million travelers each day, 584 million travelers each year, and in 10 years 5,840,000,000 travelers. While even one death is unfortunate to call this loss a great risk is just silly TSA spin.

The math tells the truth! 1 death in 10 years/total travelers = 0.00000000017. If anything the risk to TSA employees is miniscule. They face far greater odds of injury or death just getting to an airport.

One death of a TSA employee from a disturbed person is dad but seems equal to the risk of TSA on TSA murder which happened in Mississippi in 2011 but you won't hear about that on the TSA blog.

http://www.examiner.com/article/chicago-native-top-tsa-official-charged-with-murder

The truth is that TSA employees face a far greater chance of being injured or killed on or off the job by a co-worker.

And again TSA trots out the same old propaganda but not one word about the abuses that travelers have suffered at the hands of TSA. Why is it that TSA refuses to address those things that affect more travelers than all of the other things TSA crows about?

If the public wants honesty from TSA then they need to look elsewhere, this isn't the place to find it.

This post conforms to the illegal TSA posting guidelines. Censorship with result in complaints to the DHS OIG,

08:55 CST 1/24/14

Fed Up American said...

Apart from maybe a very few items, all of the things confiscated are either novelty toys or items for personal protection. So, boasting about the 600 million + constitutional violations in order to steal personal property does not exactly equate to making anyone safer. Your attempt to justify your jobs and budget are feeble at best.

Where are the stats on TSA employees charged and arrested for crimes? Let's be fair, shall we?

How many old folks, handicapped people, and young children have been searched/molested of those 600 million + searches?

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for helping to flush our constitutional rights down the toilet under the guise of safety.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how many passengers carrying this contraband are in custody as threats to public safety.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know that the tsa blogged only approved and posted comments it agrees with. Another reason not to trust the tsa. They curtail freedom of speech on their Internet blogs to display on the views they agree with.

Tsa is a disgrace to a free people in a constitutional republic.

Grateful to TSA said...

Wow, what an amazing run-down of all the scary things people have intentionally tried to bring with them right onto airplanes. The concealed weapons are simply chilling. People seem to believe that because they themselves are not terrorists there's no reason to infringe on the "civil liberty" of flying with loaded weapons.

Can anyone else remember any of the terrible events just in 2013 that weren't terror-related? There were mass shootings all over the country, in movie theaters, schools, and at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. I don't want to be on a flight where some mentally troubled person pulls a gun out and starts firing, trying to kill as many random strangers as possible before being subdued. Maybe he wants to damage the airplane. I don't want my family members on any flight like that either.

THANK YOU, Transportation Security Administration, for all you do to keep all people safe, even those with dissenting opinions and complete opposition to your mission. I'm a grateful, grateful U.S. citizen. THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is wow. How could someone forget they are carrying a gun through security? I have no problem with concealed weapons and such, but I wonder of the mental state of someone who can clearly see the posted no weapons warning and still not declare the weapon. The guy with the non metallic knife sounds especially shady.

Anonymous said...

Seems, though, that none of the weapons belonged to terrorists, or were intended for use on the planes. Of the hundreds of millions of invasive, unconstitutional searches, zero resulted in the apprehension of terrorists. The TSA itself is unconstitutional and needs to be abolished.

Anonymous said...

what do they do with it all?

Anonymous said...

638,705,790 intrusive pat downs produced
1,813 firearms.

0.0000028% of a passenger having a firearm. Notice you left that percentage out.

So why do we need the TSA? Frankly, we don't. Go back to private and quit wasting our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

The TSA, and it's parent agency homeland security, is the prelude to an American police state. They are meant to be the foundation of an American Gestapo, or if you prefer national secret police.
Airline security should be left up to the airlines, and each individual airport. The 911 attacks that were used as an excuse to form the TSA, and destroy citizen's freedoms, were either planned by America's government, or allowed to happen by it. This is why there has not yet been a honest investigation into just what happened in NY, NY, and at the pentagon that day. The official investigation was lied to by the Bush administration, when it could not block it's formation. Most of the former members of the investigation's commission now state this.

Anonymous said...

My 11 year old son had a cast on his arm to treat a broken hand and your screeners forced him to stick his arm into the baggage x-ray machine. How safe is this? How much radiation did he receive by your 4th amendment violation?

OldFrenchy said...

When you give up a little freedom for a little security, you get neither.
We have become a nation of fools.

Anonymous said...

Six hundred million searches and approximately a thousand, mostly legal firearms were confiscated. What particularized threat, other than possessing these items, did the owners of the weapons pose other than breaking the rule? People travel, they should be able to take their legal weapons.

Anonymous said...

Keep complaining, it's not going to change anything. Thank you TSA.

Anonymous said...

BTW,how many TERRORISTS has the
TSA caught ?
Answer: 0
TSA = Thousands Standing Around

Anonymous said...

So many weapons and yet no terrorists caught. Follow the lead of the Israeli's.

Anonymous said...

TSA treats everyone as a criminal. You are guilty the second you purchase a plane ticket. It makes me sick that Americans would give up their liberties and be subject to illegal searches just because our government tells us it makes us safe. Just because you fly somewhere doesn't mean you are a terrorist. Patting down a 75 year old lady to take her tweezers away is ridiculous. The Government has no business doing airport security! Name one thing the government does better then the private sector can do? If you think letting the government touch you in inappropriate areas is going to make you safe then you deserve what you get!

Unknown said...

screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is 1,123,668 more passengers than last year. AND NOT ONE TERRORIST CAUGHT,,,, IM BEGINNING TO THINK THE US GOVENMENT LIED TO US!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I like that the comments are controlled by the TSA on this blog.....

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you mention that it is legal to travel with firearms as long as they're declared? Concealed carry is on the rise, because let's face it - and the TSA knows this - we live in a dangerous world, so why not do the public a service and mention that they can avoid the embarrassment (not to mention arrest and prosecution) by just declaring their firearms properly?

Anonymous said...

What a load of claptrap. I want my money back. This is a scam, all of it. The proof is in the fact that it was necessary for the TSA to post all of the INERT and harmless objects found in baggage! It protects NO ONE to remove someone's replica grenade from their bag. On the bit about all the guns, what has changed between now and pre-TSA/911? NOTHING! Metal detectors worked fine, and I'm willing to bet a lot that a sizable percentage of this firearm confiscations occurred as a result of careless owners who regularly strap one to their legs forgetting. The implication that all of these incidents would have resulted in "terrorism" were it not for the TSA is an utter lie. The guise of protection isn't protection at all. Send the felonious thugs back to the prisons and trash dumps they came from... and give me back my tax dollars and that lighter you stole from me.

Anonymous said...

Waiting for the stats on TSA workers caught stealing from passengers bags.

Anonymous said...

That is a very impressive display of items that definitely should not be allowed on a plane. However, I am so annoyed that some TSA agents at some airports are more strict than others when it comes to liquids. I make sure that I have less than 3.4 ounces in any container. Recently I traveled with my cough medicine and suntan lotion, which were both in larger containers. The TSA agent at Newark looked at the bottles and let me through. The Palm Beach agent asked if I wanted to check my bag or throw them away. Each bottle was half full with around 3 ounces for each of them. He said that the container must be 3.4 ounces or less. Previously, when I purchased empty small containers, they leaked. So, I chose to throw the suntan lotion and cough medicine away since checking the bag would cost $25. It is just such a waste and is so aggravating. I understand about aerosols, but suntan lotions - really?

Anonymous said...

I'm curious as to how much of this would have been picked up by regular airport security that existed before 9/11. I question the TSA's "vigilance" as opposed to basic security.

Anonymous said...

This government and it's agencies have no credibility. I do not believe half of these, if not more, are just propaganda. Images to keep our tax money flowing to pockets, not protection

The passengers have caught all these ' terrorists' that we're escorted onto planes by CIA handlers.

Bring back magnetometers and get rid of TSA

Anonymous said...

Opt out of all detector/scanner screenings! Shut down the NSA!

Anonymous said...

It's so weird how you didn't include the number of agent's arrested, or number of passenger complaints including things like theft...as for the 16.5% increase in confiscated guns - which is more probable: a lot more people decided to bring a gun to the airport, or the tsa missed a whole lot of guns that were carried onto planes last year?

Anonymous said...

Are there charges placed or fines levied against those ignoring TSA rules?

Anonymous said...

Are there charges or fines levied against those ignoring TSA rules?

Anonymous said...

Are there charges or fines levied against those ignoring TSA rules?

Anonymous said...

A November 2012 report titled “Gun Control Legislation” from the Congressional Research Service states there is nearly 310MM guns within the United State currently.

So when you go spouting a number of 1800 was found by the TSA last year, just think of that in percentages and you'll see how your chest pounding really is laughable.

The TSA is not the front lines either. That title goes to the Men and Women of the Armed forces who actually put their life on the line day in and day out overseas in Combat.

Stop trying to make the TSA out more than it actually is.

Anonymous said...

Please post statistics indicating how many non-metallic weapons, incendiaries,and explosives were detected by naked body scanners. Please also post statistics about how many false positives were generated by the naked body scanners.

Anonymous said...

So how many terrorists were detained and arrested? I would think, by the number of people groped and screened that the number would be extremely high. How many people had their property arbitrarily confiscated (stolen) when there was clearly no prohibitions against it in the TSA's regulations, but the baggage screener just didn't like the "looks" of it? Just asking.

Anonymous said...

I want my stuff back.
In particular, I believe it is incumbent on TSA to provide a mechanism for me to recover my illegally seized items.

Provide envelopes I can buy to mail myself nail clippers, pocket knives, suntan lotion, etc.

Erich Walker said...

640 million searches in a year? That's pretty good for a country that only has 330 million people in it. They must have searched everybody twice.

Erich Walker said...

640 million searches in a year? That's pretty good for a country that only has 330 million people in it. They must have searched everybody twice.

Anonymous said...

Why did the government allow the 2009 underware bomber on the plane? This is public record per testimony of under secretary of transportation kennedy in congressional hearings.

How many millions did mikey chertoff make when dhs put in all throse body scanners?

Anonymous said...

TSA screened 638,705,790 passengers in 2013, Number of actual terrorists caught.... 0 ....

uncle matt said...

Unfortunately I no longer feel safe commenting on either the positive or the negative aspects of this post due to revelations about the universal collection of all data by the US government. Maybe its a generational thing but I recall the 1980s when universal surveillance and spying on one's own citizens every word was one of the major reasons we were called upon by President Reagan to join the military and fight "the evil empire." Maybe my simple critique, even at this mundane level, of a system that has become exactly what I was taught to be suspicious of by our own government authorities only a few decades ago, will afford me extra attention and maybe even a visit from officials of said government in order to question me about my "loyalties" in relation to any statement critical of the current system?

Anonymous said...

Disband TSA NOW!!

Total waste of our tax money !!

More government propaganda like the war on terror and the war on drugs which both can never win it's just a continuous TAX to expand the reach and power of the corrupt government.

Anonymous said...

I would be comfortable flying with people carrying these items. Why were they confiscated?

Anonymous said...

I would feel comfortable flying with other passengers being in possession of these items. Why were they confiscated?

Anonymous said...

I won't try to defend folks trying to carry guns, knives or explosives onto planes but you offer no proof if you have it that any of these people were involved in nefarious schemes to hurt or kill anybody. You searched 638,705,790 people and found that less than 3000 were carrying something you deem dangerous. Congratulations, only 638,702,790 unnecessary and unreasonable searches of American citizens just trying to move lawfully through our country! It’s another great example of federal government efficiency. On a related topic I recently had to fly and got chosen for the expedited security check. I got to skip the scanner and taking my shoes off but I had to open my carry on to show them my wife's lotion & shampoo while all she had to do was take off her shoes and go through the scanner. Some expedited process – she was waiting on me to get done! Next time, can I have a choice whether I'd prefer to take off my shoes or open my carry on? What a joke. I don't think TSA folks would know a terrorist if one came up and tapped them on the shoulder - but they can sure make old women and children kowtow to their will.

Anonymous said...

TSA is why we(Canadians) avoid traveling by air into the USA. We use to air travel all the time to the USA for our vacations - not anymore. Not the threat of terrorism, but the lousy and criminal treatment of decent people by the untrustworthy TSA is why.
We have a free place to stay every winter in FLA, but we chose to fly over USA now, we just go elsewhere. No stop-overs there thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention the camping saw you misidentified as a garotte, but refused to correct.

You also forgot to mention the welding tool you misidentified as a pickaxe, but refused to correct.

You also forgot to mention the 2" USB drive shaped like a gun that was confiscated.

You also forgot to mention the 2" sock monkey prop gun that was confiscated.

How many millions of gallons of water, soda, energy drinks, lotion, hair products, skin products, you took from passengers?

How many non-threatening small pocketknives (you know, the ones you wanted to allow) did you take from passengers?

stop Trying to Scare Americans, BlotterBob.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely hate the routine that we have to go through to take a plane. In fact, I avoid flying at all costs. Having said that, I want to express my gratitude for what is happening in detecting so many firearms and weapons. True, the TSA is imperfect, but name some one who is, or some other organization. The proof is in the pudding and the pudding is one large collection of things that only idiots would try to take on a plane, and apparently there are more idiots than most of us would have suspected if the TSA weren't on the job. So, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Millions of peoples rights violated...no terrorist attacks thwarted. Great job TSA on finding a bunch of antique, inert hand grenades

Anonymous said...

Very notable that "black powder" IS NOT necessarily gunpowder but deemed as such whereas C4 is always designated as if it were labeled. why not say gray clay substance? Very biased presentation.
I guess it's done so as to raise our fear factor.

Anonymous said...

This is the TSA tooting their own horn without any context to the numbers of travelers. The TSA is an invasive bureaucracy much like the rest of all governing agencies created post to 9/11. How many people are negatively affected by your invasive and constant encroaching processes? Ask the right questions of the American public and we all prevail in the right direction, toward a happier populace. Oh and this and every other electronic transmission is absolutely not anonymous. I don't and no responders should be that ignorant. Please TSA don't treat me any different because I have a negative opinion of you and your agency's agenda. Have a great day.

Don Cochron said...

Are small knifes on key chains allowed to be carried on board?

Saul said...

To Anonymous at 1/24/14 9:25 a.m.:

Check out this article from 1985 --

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=57UzAAAAIBAJ&sjid=oTIHAAAAIBAJ&pg=4844,6538112

Using the low-tech metal detectors, the pre-TSA screeners caught nearly 1,500 guns *in just the first six months of the year."

In other words, nearly twice the rate of the TSA's achievements in 2013.

And according to the data here --

http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_37.html_mfd

-- there were a little over half as many passengers in 1985 as in 2013.

So the 1985 pre-TSA screeners, using lowly metal detection technology, essentially spotted guns at four times the rate as the TSA and its $8 billion budget.

Care to comment, Bob? Or did I use too many numbers for ya?

Anonymous said...

So of all these load guns, how many of those passengers, does the TSA believe, had intentions to use them in flight? Finding a loaded gun on a passenger does not mean that passenger was a danger to anyone on to flight. If the TSA finds 100 guns or 1000 guns, that does not translate into safer flights. I guarantee that any honest and experienced police officer can tell you if a person with a gun is a threat. Home many of these passengers were actual threats?

Anonymous said...

I am so pleased TSA stops all those knife-wielding bad-guys from getting past security.

Hmmmm. . .but then again, in First Class I am issued STEEL KNIVES and STEEL FORKS with my lunch/dinner. These same sort of utensils would be confiscated at the wasteful "security" checkpoint and I would be in for some really bad bullying by your "professional" employees.

Anonymous said...

I see youve stopped allowing comments to go through on tbis. Must be due to it being linked on drudge report. Cant have slaves calling you out on your propaganda.

Anonymous said...

I guess we'll try one more time. AIT--metal yes, ceramic/plastic yes. Metal detector--metal yes, ceramic/plastic NO. The rest of us that read this blog didn't think it was that hard of a concept.

Anonymous said...

Name a regime at any time in history that admitted they abused their people for other than "their own good".

Can't do it.

TSA is an abuse of almost omnipotent power. And the American people.

Anonymous said...

So you have taken legal items from people that had no intention of committing a crime and you applaud yourselves for this action? That is the height of stupidity. You have done nothing, I repeat, nothing to stop a terrorist action. You have done everything to diminish the 4th amendment and hassle law abiding individuals. You have subjected people to radiation that has a high likelihood of causing thyroid cancer and cataracts, for no reason whatsoever. Hopefully, we will one day get politicians that have some sense and will arrest the whole bunch of you.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to see all these cool things that have been confiscated. But having 24 pounds of black powder or a gun or a plastic knife doesnt prove that any of this would have been used in a crime or mass killing. It seems senseless that you would confiscate ninja stars, etc.

Anonymous said...

How many snow globes did you confiscate?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting... The TSA can show the numbers of widgets confiscated, but can they tell you how many of them would have been used in a crime or mass killing? Sounds to me like they just confiscating a bunch of legal items. When was the last time you saw a mass murderer run into a school with ninja stars. Man those are deadly....

God save America...

RB said...

Anonymous said...
My 11 year old son had a cast on his arm to treat a broken hand and your screeners forced him to stick his arm into the baggage x-ray machine. How safe is this? How much radiation did he receive by your 4th amendment violation?

January 24, 2014 at 10:37 AM

.....................
If you didn't file a police complaint then do it now!

TSA violated your child's rights, endangered his health among other violations.

Susan Richart said...

OK, so I searched Bob's article for the word "ceramic". That word was not contained in the article.

I then searched for the word "plastic" and got 3 hits: two referenced knives wrapped in plastic and referenced a mace that was not plastic but wood and metal.

IOW, not one item was mentioned in Bob's self-praising article that would not have been found by a metal detector.

Tell us, again, Bob why NBS is being used.

And while we are at it, I saw no mention of anyone found carrying explosives after receiving a humiliating and degrading resolution in the private room. Could it be because your ETD machines have never found even one person carrying explosives?

screen shot/DHS OIG statemnt

Anonymous said...

This is rather disappointing. I thought we sold our rights for more than this. Who do we talk to about a refund?

subg88 said...

All available facts indicate any so called terrorists on US airlines have been allowed to bypass the normal security process. I don't know who they think they're fooling.

Anonymous said...

From day one I knew this agency would be a complete farce, designed to condition the sheeple to give away their constitutional rights. One of the hallmarks of a free person is to be able to travel their own nation unmolested. I can't think of any agencies that I have less respect for than the TSA and DHS. When we get a real government, I hope you are all tried for war crimes, or at least crimes against the constitution.

Anonymous said...

The number of people you have patted down is nothing to be happy about. Only a totalitarian regime would be happy with those figures.

RB said...

"You can also read more about important steps TSA has taken to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to security, and towards a more risk-based security posture in our year-end blog post, TSA Reflects on 2013."


This is where TSA uses a Randomizer right? That's how TSA determines risk, just a throw of the dice.

Bubba said...

I believe wee should keep guns off planes. Having said that, my best reading of the methodologies at hand tells me that metal detectors are much better at detecting guns than full body scanners. Body scanners don´t detect guns on the sides of bodies, under fake skin, folds or in orifices. Full body scanners are also bothersome to many innocent people because they do detect ostomies, prosthesis and other medical devices that are not a security concern.

Given that you are wrapping up your data for the year here, you have an excellent opportunity to show me some hard data and maybe sway my beliefs. How is your gun detection rate before and after full body scanner implementation changing? How do detection rates compare in airports with and without full body scanners? How do detection rates differ between Pre (scanner-free) and non-Pre lines?

Show us that the scanners do better, and you may gain our respect. Until, I'll believe the data I have, which show they are ineffective, slow, invasive and expensive.

Anonymous said...

So many chronic complainers. A lot of other countries have worse agencies than TSA. Relax. It only lasts a little while. Flying is bad enough, why waste time fretting on the security?

anonymous said...

Well, they missed my pepper spray that I carried all the way to the SuperBowl and back :0 but they managed to take my daughters very dangerous hair gel because it was over 3 oz. :)

Anonymous said...

After all the noted searches the TSA conducted last year and even the year before, how many real Terrorists did they actually capture at their check points? Don't over think it too much!

Anonymous said...

I see absolutely nothing regarding terrorists, which was the prime purpose behind TSA to begin with. They must feel great while body searching a teenager, or some elderly person in a wheel chair! The security should be turned over to the airlines and take the cost factor off of the taxpayers!

Anonymous said...

Quoted "RB said...
Anonymous said...
My 11 year old son had a cast on his arm to treat a broken hand and your screeners forced him to stick his arm into the baggage x-ray machine. How safe is this? How much radiation did he receive by your 4th amendment violation?

January 24, 2014 at 10:37 AM

.....................
If you didn't file a police complaint then do it now!

TSA violated your child's rights, endangered his health among other violations.

January 24, 2014 at 4:29 PM"

Hmmm, Are you sure what he put his arm into wasnt a cast scanner? Those are specifically used at airports to scan.... Casts!

In order to put his arm into a baggage scanner, he would have had to go up the converyer belt, ride through the scanner, and be pumped out the other end. Now are you sure it wasn't a cast scanner?

Anonymous said...

Here are the TSA statistics by airport for THEFT and dismissals for same:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/top-20-airports-tsa-theft/t/story?id=17537887

And then there is this:

http://petergreenberg.com/2013/08/03/tsa-sticky-fingers-the-worst-incidents-of-theft-at-security/

Not an entirely complete list, mind you.

Anonymous said...

Did you confiscate the pink compound bow? Did you find arrows to go with it? It seems like you'd include them in the post if you had. If not, why did you take the bow? Its kind of harmless without ammunition (and requires being put together and strung, which is pretty impossible to do quickly, if at all, in cramped space, unlike a handgun).

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I crewed a military flight from a forward base back to the states. I had just enough time to get to the local commercial airport and catch a flight home for Christmas. Still in my flight suit with all my flight and survival gear including a survival knife, shroud cutter, day/night flares, pencil gun & flares, and no telling what other things TSA would shake in their boots over and not one person questioned me about those things. My how far this country has fallen by the hands of TSA.

Anonymous said...

Yeap. They didn't post my previous one.

Anonymous said...

They didn't approve my first one.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the sock monkey. He was packing a miniature plastic "accessory" that had to be confiscated in a triumph of air security.

Anonymous said...

And you're proud of the over 600 million people who's rights you have violated??? Pathetic!!! Only the TSA could get away with something that amounts to sexual assault by someone else...

Anonymous said...

If you can't find the bad guys easily, well, treat everyone like they are guilty of something. We are all criminals now. Ain't that right, TSA? I don't know how you people sleep at night.

Anonymous said...

God forbid if you’re an 80 year old invalid in a wheelchair. You clearly must be a terrorist! I feel so ashamed to be an American now-a-days. Our freedom and common sense has been lost. We the people are under assault and subjugation. What a sham the TSA is.

Anonymous said...

TSA screeners provide a necessary function. However, when the government allowed them metal badges (instead of the appropriate cloth emblems that their non-law enforcement status merits), they opened the door to creating yet another power crazed organization of pseudo cops who will next be arguing for guns and law enforcement pensions.

The screener program needs to be re-privatized under strict federal contractor compliance oversight. This is an emerging monster. This is the most demonstrative illustration of the over reach of the functions incorporated within the DHS leviathan.

Iyam Nobaudi said...

Funny how this report appears a day after some nut named John from TSA got chewed out for threatening a video producer, on tape. This dark entity will be disbanded soon enough, when enough speak out...got the idea!!

Anonymous said...

638,000,000+ passengers screened
0 terrorists found
---------------------------------
0.000000000000000000000000000 batting average

You do understand this wouldn't get you drafted for T-Ball, right? As in, this is really NOT something to brag about.

Or maybe you are trying to highlight how many innocent, law abiding citizens you have visually molested and/or groped with legal backing and the power of a plastic badge...
Also not something to brag about.

Anonymous said...

One comment says most of this would have been found without TSA. Another says it would have been found without the intrusive "body scanner" technology. Still one more raises the point of how much of a percentage of these items are nothing more than novelties. Toys, if you will.
Even with all of the real firearms and other "dangerous" devices. How many actually resulted in the arrest of a criminal who had the intention of harming those passengers or crew of that flight? I see only a single example of one stolen firearm being recovered. No risk to air security, here, so why do we still tolerate the intrusion into our lives for this sham of a display of security?

Anonymous said...

Number of terrorists stopped? 0

Anonymous said...

I just fly into Canada and take a bus into the USA when visiting family now (I am an ex-pat). The TSA is purely security theater and tend to harass honest hard working people.

Anonymous said...

Being around or close to an airport is dangerous to your health ... I will not get near an airport for my own safety. According to the report the only safe place is when leaving the airport on a plane. An airport is a magnet for wacko's ... I guess taking the subway, train, or bus is a safer mode.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

OMG! All that stuff!

And yet strangely you haven't found a terrorist trying to take down an airplane. Or blow up an airport. Or pretty much any kind of actual threat to aviation.

Better luck in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you have the Drudge Report in your link list for this post, Bob?

Anonymous said...

All of those "inert" devices... How does their removal from luggage improve safety? Were they legitimate training devices being transported by qualified people? I admit that bringing even an inert replica of a formerly explosive device defies logic in modern times, but again how does their confiscation improve safety?

John Andrews said...

You forgot to count the thefts by TSA agents!

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/TSA/

Anonymous said...

You didn't approve one of the two comments I submitted to this post. Both followed policy guidelines.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

just think of all the stuff they missed!!!!!

Anonymous said...

How does anyone know that there were 0 terrorests caught? Or at least 1 nut prevented from shooting on a plane? In any large group of people (passengers, TSA employees, etc.), there is always going to be unstable, criminal individuals. Unfortunately, the TSA has an impossible task, they have to miss 1 out of thousands of attempts to be called inept. Do legal gun owners really think they will need their gun during the meal service?

Anonymous said...

Hey I've got a novel idea, why don't you brag about how many terrorist you've caught, and prosecuted.

Anonymous said...

The important information is how many terrorists were caught, I did not see that figure. Out of people with fire arms, very low percentage, I suspect all use firearms in their daily work and thus do not think them a problem. I for one, would like to see a CITIZEN MARSHALL PROGRAM, where joe and jane blow citizen could get certified to bring their fire arm on board. The more guns, the better the chances of survivial. Is the goal safety? Or is the goal Tyranny? If the goal is safety, then CITIZEN MARSHALL PROGRAMS will be embraced. If the goal is Tyranny, then it will not. The percentages are so low for firearms and problems, and the price is so high, it is like one million dollars per find or more.

Anonymous said...

I am impressed to see how many Americans have two mosquitoes playing ping pong in their heads. The rational is that if you take any type of arms from the people's hands then people can't use them. How is that so difficult to understand? If there are no guns.. not even the bad guys can use them cause there aren't any. There would be no need to defend yourselves from a gun bearing person.. People don't see the effort here.. Times change.. That constitutional right to bear arms must be modified if not abolished. Is not 1787 anymore. Think of all the new laws that have been created or modified to accommodate the changes a nation goes through as the time goes by. If you disagree then try and live as if it was 1787. Another thing.. TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration.. Their job is to make sure that travelers can reach their destination secure manner. They are not an anti-terrorist agency.

Mike said...

Why confiscate all those "inert" devices? I understand the guns and knives and tasers and all, but training aids and memorabilia? This country is turning into a nanny state at a very rapid pace!!! It must be the presidents fault, what else could it be?

Anonymous said...

Mike, it's the fault of the President (Bush and Obama), the Congress, the American public, but most importantly, it's the fault of the Secretaries of the DHS, TSA Administrators, and their employees for these ridiculous confiscation of our private property under duress.

Anonymous said...

It breaks my heart that every day Americans throw their rights to the side and allow organizations like the TSA to treat them like terrorists in their own country. I would rather be free than be safe. I am sickened that my fellow Americans continue to allow this.

I have refused to fly in airports since the TSA has maintained a presence there. When security checkpoints are required for all MLB games (by 2015, per CBS DFW), I will also refuse to support these venues.

Shame on you, TSA. Shame on any Americans who allow their rights to be ripped from their grasp. Shame on America. What was once a free, beautiful, and great country is no longer, and for that I am truly disgusted and saddened.

Anonymous said...

Also in 2013, someone got access to documents written by your department that flat out say there is no current threat to airplanes via explosives and that with the cockpit doors locked that would be impossible anyway. So all of these procedures are worthless. It doesn't matter how many guns you brag about seizing, your department has admitted you don't need to be doing this. Get back to us when you're ready to acknowledge that.

Anonymous said...

That is not a compound bow, it's a take-down recurve bow. Compounds are the ones with cams on the end and strings that pass back and forth between the cams.

Judging by what I can see on the limbs and the upside-down bag, it's a Hoyt bow.

RB said...

Blogger Bob said:

"TSA had a busy year in 2013, screening 638,705,790 passengers in 2013 (over 1,700,000 per day), which is 1,123,668 more passengers than last year.

RB said:

TSA screeners have contact with about 1.6 million travelers each day, 584 million travelers each year, and in 10 years 5,840,000,000 travelers. While even one death is unfortunate to call this loss a great risk is just silly TSA spin.

The math tells the truth! 1 death in 10 years/total travelers = 0.00000000017. If anything the risk to TSA employees is miniscule. They face far greater odds of injury or death just getting to an airport.


Guess I need to revise my numbers. The risk of death at the checkpoint for a TSA employee is even lower than I stated.

What is smaller than miniscule?

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections? Safe, reliable, and noninvasive metal detectors would just as surely have detected every single one of these firearms."

One reason they are a bit more notable is the firearm is not in a bag where it can not be accessed without the approval of local LEOs.

Grateful to TSA sez - "
I'm a grateful, grateful U.S. citizen. THANK YOU!"

Thank you for the kind comments, we certainly appreciate them!

Another Anon sez - "I'd like to know how many passengers carrying this contraband are in custody as threats to public safety"

That call is entirely up to the local LEOs contacted to handle these situations.

West
TSA Blog Team

Eric said...

Some very interesting posts on this blog. As I see it, yes the security process is invasive and unpleasant but it is necessary. If I’m going to be trapped in a metal box at 20,000 ft. with a few hundred strangers for a few hours, I’d prefer that they not be armed. Why no detectors at a mall or movie theater? Because you can hide, run, escape etc. but stuck in a plane my options are extremely limited on where I can go and what I can do. Additionally if you have a problem with the way things are (which I do, often) write your Congressman or Senator, you did elect them after all.

Anonymous said...

West, why not answer any of the more critical questions?

Also, you said comments are approved within 48 hours. I'm still waiting for one of mine from 3 days ago to make an appearance. It followed blog guidelines.

Why does your team, West, refuse to correct errors in your posts, including mislabeled items and missing links? The holiday travel post from December is still missing links.

It doesn't take much time, West, to approve on average 3 comments per day, so a quick correction with appropriate annotation won't take any time away from the team's "other duties."

*screen shot because blotter team can't be trusted*

Anonymous said...

West, you entirely missed the point of the first question you "answered." That wasn't intentional, was it?

He asked why a gun found by an AIT is more "notable" than one found by a walk through metal detector, not the x-ray baggage machine.

You work at an airport. You know the equipment that is used. So, please answer the commenter's question.

Wintermute said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...
Anon sez - "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections? Safe, reliable, and noninvasive metal detectors would just as surely have detected every single one of these firearms."

One reason they are a bit more notable is the firearm is not in a bag where it can not be accessed without the approval of local LEOs.


So, are you saying that the metal detectors wouldn't have detected these guns? Because if that's not what you're saying, then a find with the metal detector is just as notable. And if it is what you're saying, you're being disingenuous at best.

Anonymous said...

i would like to know how many terrorists that tsa didnt catch. for all those that say that the tsa did not catch any then this is a case of using statistics to your advantage. if there werent any that came through then there werent any to catch....
i would like to know if tsa's job is to protect passengerws or ensure that a plane is not used as a weapon.

Anonymous said...

all that talking and I still have not gotten an answer to a simple question: if all active duty can go through pre-check, and if anyone can pay $85 to get background checked to go through pre-check, then why can't military retirees?? and why can't folks with an active DoD background investigation?? it makes no sense.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "My 11 year old son had a cast on his arm to treat a broken hand and your screeners forced him to stick his arm into the baggage x-ray machine."

Passengers are expressly forbidden to stick any part of their person inside the baggage xray machines (the same goes for the employees and anyone else around the machine). The only thing that I can think of that could have happened with an xray type of machine is the use of a Cast-Scope. I am uncertain how many of these are left in service at the moment, but some information on the type of technology can be found here:

http://www.tek8.com/castscope.html

Anon sez - "Six hundred million searches and approximately a thousand, mostly legal firearms were confiscated. What particularized threat, other than possessing these items, did the owners of the weapons pose other than breaking the rule? People travel, they should be able to take their legal weapons."

Any passenger flying can take their legal firearms with them as long as they follow the procedures outlined here:

http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/firearms-and-ammunition

Passengers are also strongly encouraged to know and abide by the local gun laws at both their departure point and final destination to avoid any complications.

Anon sez - "Why didn't you mention that it is legal to travel with firearms as long as they're declared? Concealed carry is on the rise, because let's face it - and the TSA knows this - we live in a dangerous world, so why not do the public a service and mention that they can avoid the embarrassment (not to mention arrest and prosecution) by just declaring their firearms properly?"

See the above response, there is also a declaration on each of the weekly updates indicating that firearms are legal to be transported as long as they are in compliance with the regulations.

Anon sez - "Shut down the NSA!"

I think you may be on the wrong page.

Don Cochran sez - "Are small knifes on key chains allowed to be carried on board?"

No. Knives are not allowed in the carryon bags or on the passengers person.

Susan Richert sez - "IOW, not one item was mentioned in Bob's self-praising article that would not have been found by a metal detector."

There were items found that were identified as "non-metallic", which would not have been found by metal detectors.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "He asked why a gun found by an AIT is more "notable" than one found by a walk through metal detector, not the x-ray baggage machine."

Actually the question originally posed was "Why are firearms detected with naked body scanners "more notable" than other firearms detections?" - and I answered that too narrowly.

Any firearm discovery on a person is a "more notable" discovery than one in a bag (including those found during the metal detector process), because the firearm is not in an enviornment where it is considered controlled (like when one is found inside a bag). It is considered a more threatening situation because it is accessible by the person instead of lying static inside a bag waiting on the LEO to arrive and take control of the item.


Wintermute sez - "So, are you saying that the metal detectors wouldn't have detected these guns? Because if that's not what you're saying, then a find with the metal detector is just as notable. And if it is what you're saying, you're being disingenuous at best."

Not what I was saying at all. I was just answering the first question more specifically than I should have (evidently). Firearms discovered with the WTMD are just as notable as those discovered with AIT. The only reason those are more notable than one discovered in a bag is that the weapon itself is accessible to the individual.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

" Firearms discovered with the WTMD are just as notable as those discovered with AIT. The only reason those are more notable than one discovered in a bag is that the weapon itself is accessible to the individual."

Then can you explain why all of the descriptions of "more notable" firearms finds involving a gun carried on a person's body -- every single one of which would have been detected by safe, efficient, and non-invasive metal detectors -- emphasize the use of naked body scanners in their detection?

(Submitted at 10:00 am Central time, 1/28/14)

Anonymous said...

"I guess we'll try one more time. AIT--metal yes, ceramic/plastic yes. Metal detector--metal yes, ceramic/plastic NO. The rest of us that read this blog didn't think it was that hard of a concept."

Well then we'll try this one more time - AIT - detects metal firearm only on certain parts of the body; Metal detector - detects firearm wherever it is on the body.

I would tell you where the AIT misses, but that would just give TSA the excuse they need to censor the post, and you (or someone with ill intent) can easily find it on the internet.

Screenshot

Anonymous said...

I, like many other Americans, very much DISLIKE going through TSA screening procedures. But I don't know what the alternative is.

For all that cry foul about the TSA and want them "abolished" or disbanded, what alternative solutions do you offer? Would you prefer nothing more than a ticket agent enforcing rules/regs? Go back to private security who doesn't worry about accountability as long as money keeps coming in from the airport? Even if you could agree with these propositions, you would all be screaming for someone's head to roll when something bad happened.

So as I said, what's the better alternative? In order to prevent determined terrorists, you have to try and think like one. The screening of children and senior citizens is unfortunate, but we have to remain vigilant since we know terrorists will use less-familiar tactics to achieve their goals. A senior who is desperate and/or bitter or an unwitting child can be easy targets for terrorists as they know we get very upset about their screening. These tactics have been seen in other parts of the world. Americans need to realize a terrible event could happen at any moment and it will always be someone's fault in the eyes of Joe Citizen, no matter how strict or loose the screening gets.

To the TSA employees of our nation: you have a difficult and mostly thankless job to carry out every day. While the TSA as a whole may not be the best defense, at least you folks keep coming to work to at least try and do something instead of standing idle because Americans are whining about some sacrifice in the name of security.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
"I guess we'll try one more time. AIT--metal yes, ceramic/plastic yes. Metal detector--metal yes, ceramic/plastic NO. The rest of us that read this blog didn't think it was that hard of a concept."

Well then we'll try this one more time - AIT - detects metal firearm only on certain parts of the body; Metal detector - detects firearm wherever it is on the body.

I would tell you where the AIT misses, but that would just give TSA the excuse they need to censor the post, and you (or someone with ill intent) can easily find it on the internet.

Screenshot

January 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

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

TSA has proven in Red Team testing that Whole Body Strip Search machines are inferior to the proven WTMD technology.

Case in point:


Marty!


Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Security Theatre: An undercover TSA agent was able to slip through the full-body scanners at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun stashed in her undies… And not just once, but five times.

I think the real question is why is TSA risking our safety with these flawed devices? Who benefits from TSA's continuing purchases of these useless scanners?

Susan Richart said...

Anonymous wrote:

"i would like to know if tsa's job is to protect passengerws or ensure that a plane is not used as a weapon."

The only job of the TSA is to make certain that weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI) don't get on a plane. That's it.

screen shot/DHS OIG

Anonymous said...

We need to have pictures of the people who try to smuggle these things in their carry-on. Anyone who knowingly travels with items they know are forbidden should be put on blast because they clearly have disturbance issues.

Tommy S. said...

Well I for one think TSA is doing a great job. Shame on those of you who are complaining about being pat down and having to do the body scan, or it takes too long, suck it up. As long as I get from here to there safely and I can get back to my love ones and have my loves ones make it back to me, I’ll walk in there naked if I had to. Stop complaining and start thanking those men and women for putting up with all the crap they have to put up with. The second something goes wrong, then it’s a different story. TSA didn’t do there job. They do the crappy job so you can be safe, just like our military and law enforcement they put their lives on the line so you don’t have to. Be thankful we live in such a great country that someone else is willing to stand up for your safety.

Thank you TSA Keep up the good work!!!

Anonymous said...

"Five bazillion passengers unlawfully screened and zero terrorist caught!" is little more than a poorly rationalized talking point.

How does one "catch" a terrorist? No, really. Think about it-- To be a terrorist, you have to engage in terrorist activity. Now go one further. How does any organization prove somebody is a terrorist when a physical act of terrorism hasn't been commited?

Maybe by the stuff you carry along? Or to put more of a point on the question: How low do you want the bar to be set in order to declare the person who forgot his pistol "a terrorist"?

Yeah, I didn't think so. All these anons complaining about the lack of terrorist caught are demanding somebody else prove a negative. That debate fail, people. So short of actually catching somebody in the act of terrorism, the tinfoil hats posting here are never going to get their wish... Unless they want the criteria to prove terrorist intent substantial lowered beyond what it already is.

So yes, you get a patdown and have to abandon the nine you forgot (are you kidding?) in your bag, as opposed to being accused of terrorism for your negligence. I'm really feeling for you. Swear.

Wintermute said...

GSOLTSO said...

"There were items found that were identified as "non-metallic", which would not have been found by metal detectors."

Were any of those items actually a threat to aviation? Or just merely "against the rules?"

Anonymous said...

Susan Richart said...
"The only job of the TSA is to make certain that weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI) don't get on a plane. That's it."

well if that is the only job of the tsa then i understand why each week the tsa puts out what they find at the checkpoints. guns, knives, etc are weapons so they are doing their jobs. as per your defintion then tsa's job is not to catch terrorists, it is to stop weapons, explosives and incendiaries (WEI)from getting on planes. sure seems like they are doing their jobs and letting the public know what they are finding. i feel that this message needs to be sporead as there obviously is a HUGE misunderstanding of what it is that the tsa is suppose to do.
*i would like to use the same magic statement that Susan uses to get this posted

Anonymous said...

A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!

RB said...

TSA has proven in Red Team testing that Whole Body Strip Search machines are inferior to the proven WTMD technology.

Case in point:


Marty!


Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at Security Theatre: An undercover TSA agent was able to slip through the full-body scanners at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun stashed in her undies… And not just once, but five times.

I think the real question is why is TSA risking our safety with these flawed devices? Who benefits from TSA's continuing purchases of these useless scanners?

January 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM

...................
Sorry, messed up the link. Here is a correct link to the story of TSA missing a handgun at DFW, not just once but five times.


Undercover TSA Agent Makes It Through Full-Body Scanners With Gun In Her Undies

The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!

January 29, 2014 at 8:13 AM

............................
Anon, you do realize that TSA can abuse people who ride buses don't you?

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits."

will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?
did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?

Anonymous said...

"But I don't know what the alternative is. "

WTMDs, X-raying bags, professional staff, no shoe carnival, no liquids nonsense, no naked body scanners, no pat-downs without cause.

Anonymous said...

The TSAnonymous who said anyone who complains should "take a bus" failed to remember the vipr ("vipper") teams that lurk in train, bus, and subway stations, denying people access to public transportation unless they submit to unnecessary, invasive inspections.

Also, the TSA employee forgot basic geography, time, and business. One cannot take a bus to HI, parts of AK, Europe, Asia, or Australia. It is impractical to say someone should take a three-day bus trip across the US to attend a business meeting, much less a bus to S. America.

It's a big world out there, and we have the right to travel in the US without being molested or having our privacy violated.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

I am given a steel knife with my meal in First class that would have been taken away if I tried to carry it on. Weird!

RB said...

Anonymous said...
rb said:
"The fact remains that this TSA test would have failed had a WTMD been used to screen this person.

Strip Search Machines offer no enhanced security benefits."

will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?
did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?

January 29, 2014 at 10:50 AM

....................
The article I linked to shows us that knowing how to place a gun on a persons body so it is undetectable when being scanned by a Strip Search Machine is possible. As of now there are hundreds of thousands metal handguns out there. That tells me that a WTMD gives all of us the best chance of finding a handgun, not the flawed Strip Search Machines.

Anonymous said...

Quote from a TSA employee, "TSA was not created to catch terrorists."

Good thing, because they've never caught one!

Anonymous said...

"did i correctly see an article where the british government is doubling the amount of body scanners used so that they can keep ahead of the ever evolving threat that their country is facing?"

Yes, British airports are increasing the number of scanners being used. However, I believe that not everyone goes through them. Selection for AIT is random.

screen shot

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!"

A bus is also not as safe, not viable in many situations, and not immune to TSA encroachments on our fourth amendment rights.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"will the wtmd detect a firearm created with a 3d printer using plastic material?"

Depends. Many still use metal firing mechanisms. Some, do not. But how big of a threat is this, really? Has anyone done a risk assessment? Rhetorical question, because it's very obvious from many of the brain-dead policies that no one within TSA has an inkling as to what risk analysis is.

Anonymous said...

It's so funny how people say "well they have'nt caught a terrorist". A person is not a terrorist until they commit a terroist act. Just because they were caught with the firearm and their response is always the same. How do we know for sure they were'nt purposely bringing it on the aircraft to commit a terrorist attcak. Know one will ever know but I do know that there has'nt been one terroist attcack on an aircraft in the U.S. There has been several attempts with two succecfull attacks coming from the Black Widows. Aviation is a prime target and always will be. If you have nothing to hide then why should you care if you have to go through screnning.

Anonymous said...

"...you would all be screaming for someone's head to roll when something bad happened."

We have seen that argument here several times before, and it has no credibility because, well, you don't actually know how everybody else thinks.

"well if that is the only job of the tsa then i understand why each week the tsa puts out what they find at the checkpoints. guns, knives, etc are weapons so they are doing their jobs."

The problem is not that TSA is finding guns. The problem is that (a) they are attempting to use invasive, flawed naked body scanners to find guns and (b) TSA's blog is not posting photos of the bottles of shampoo and such that they also confiscate in the name of security. TSA overreach is the problem!

"As long as I get from here to there safely and I can get back to my love ones and have my loves ones make it back to me, I’ll walk in there naked if I had to."

Why are you volunteering to walk through the checkpoint naked? Are you a terror risk? Or do you really mean that you think others ought to walk through the checkpoint naked if that's what it takes for you to be "safe"? Where do you draw the line on the appropriateness of security procedures? Would you accept body cavity searches to avoid the risk of ingested weapons and explosives making it on to the plane? And do you have proof that current procedures have any positive impact on safety?

"A bus is another method of transportation!! you don't have to fly if you don't want to be screened by TSA!!"

You don't have to fly if you are scared of an event that is less likely to occur than you drowning in your bathtub.

Anonymous said...

Everyone wants to talk about how these items were carried by lw abiding people, but in a sense, isn't against the law to carry into a airport? I'm sure that people just forgot to remove thier knives and guns and other weapons and maybe they were just forgetful. But let me ask this, what would you say to someone sitting next to you and you noticed a gun or a large knife or something worse in their luggage? You don't have to like the process, but it sure beats the alternative. But I have a suggestion for anyone that doesn't seem to like the security that they receive, start your own private airline and don't screen anyone that wants to fly. Let anyone you want on the plane with whatever they want. It would be interesting to see how many people would want to use that airline. Nothing is perfect nothing. And the service isn't always the best nor is the consistancy. But it sure beats a repeat of 9/11.

Anonymous said...

West, several of the comments from Jan 29 & 30 took more than 48 hours to be "approved"," despite two blog posts being put up during that time.

Since your team didn't write one of the posts, there should have been time to approve comments.

Screen shot taken. Got an answer?

Anonymous said...

I would just like to point out, that no airport I have gone through in the past 2 years are using the body scanners that are viewed in a seperate room. All you have to do is turn around and see that the screen itself shows a cartoon image and where the TSA needs to search. For that alone, people should just drop the naked scanner excuse...they are phased out. As for children and the elderly....has it been over a year since you folks have flown? TSA has deemed children and people over 75 as low risk and aren't searched as often as people dramatically exclaim. Also the majority of the flying public gets to go through pre-check now...where you get to keep your shoes/jackets/etc on. The TSA is constantly trying to evolve and change because of the backlash from the public...who would probably have a whole different outlook if they worked one day in that field. It's a known fact that a terrorist would use a child/elderly/animal and has in the past. Would you prefer the TSA wait until that actually happens on American soil so that you will feel better about it? Or would you prefer that they do these screening functions to try and deter people from even trying? I can guarantee you that they probably enjoy patting down passengers about as much as you enjoy being patted down. I; for one, would prefer my family fly on a plane where there was TSA screening, than go on a plane where they haven't. And my last tangent for those calling for private screening....i've been through SFO, it's the exact same rules and regulations as TSA...just a different name and uniform, so if you think by having a private company do security you will be getting something different...you will be mistaken. Big shocker...they get the same complaints from the same kind of people who are complaining about TSA.

Anonymous said...

The TSA does indeed take and store naked pictures of passengers. They simply don't display it at the scanner. The cookie cutter image is a plugin that could be turned off by anyone with the right permissions.

The TSA does not send most passengers through precheck.

If terrorists use the elderly and children to commit terrorism, then why does the TSA let children and the elderly through with shoes and jackets on?

The rants and ramblings by TSAnonymous employees are quite circular in their logic.

*screenshot*

Wintermute said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"I would just like to point out, that no airport I have gone through in the past 2 years are using the body scanners that are viewed in a seperate room. All you have to do is turn around and see that the screen itself shows a cartoon image and where the TSA needs to search. For that alone, people should just drop the naked scanner excuse...they are phased out. "

Actually, as has been pointed out repeatedly, the current scanners use software to display the image they do, but, behind the scenes, is every bit as invasive as the old ones. And, per their request for proposal, they are able to store and transmit the underlying image. So, maybe a little critical thought before posting your misinformation?

Anonymous said...

It's not an x-ray....it cannot produce an x-ray image of an individual. It uses radio wave technology.

Anonymous said...

As this blog is read by TSA , I have a Question...Why is it that the Secured and Soft areas of an airport, have such a poor record of securing and delivering our baggage.Tens of thousands of bags are Lost/Stolen each year.
Just say'n...something is wrong ,and it needs to be looked into.
It is a poor reflection on security as a whole!!
Peace Always gb

Anonymous said...

will the metal detector detect explosives? i belive that the tsa is only searching for explosives, incindiaries, and weapons so will explosives be detected with a metal detector? if it does not then technology is needed to detect these items on people otherwise they are not doing what they are suppose to be doing.

RB said...

Anonymous said...

I would just like to point out, that no airport I have gone through in the past 2 years are using the body scanners that are viewed in a seperate room. ........

February 1, 2014 at 2:52 PM

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

You apparently haven't flown in the last two years then or only used airports that had MMW Strip Search Machines in time. It was just last year when TSA announced that the Backscatter Whole Body Strip Search machines were being removed because ATR was not available for these devices.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/29/travel/tsa-backscatter

TSA removes body scanners criticized as too revealing

By Mike M. Ahlers, CNN
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Thu May 30, 2013

But Congress voted to require all body scanners to have privacy-protecting software, and the TSA announced in February it was phasing out backscatter systems because they could not meet the new standard.

JB of Balto said...

Just want to say thank you TSA for your continued efforts to keep air travel safe.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any better ideas and or technology and or trust in humanity? I didn't think so. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

If they miss one will you be one of the folks suing the government for not having security? I get it. It's a hassle, it sucks. But I got off a plane in Germany in 1977. First thing I noticed was the cops with the dogs and the uzis. Everybody is being more careful about security...we've just been spoiled.

Anonymous said...

My apologies. I just ran across this, and I have to admit I thought no one would be stupid enough to take things like this through. I thought you were sleeping behind the screens.

You should post these pictures and lists so people can read them in the lines - I imagine others are like me and need some education.

My hat is back off for you guys.

Mike

Anonymous said...

So, how many terrorists has the TSA caught? How many citations were issued for bringing all this contraband on planes?

Anonymous said...

What about protecting not only the air traveling public, but TSA Agents from long term low dose exposure to X_RAY of ALL types being used in Airports? Occupational Radiodermatitis issomething every TSA Agent should be concerned about in addition to Cancer Clusters among TSA Agents at various U.S. Airports. What is being done by the U.S. Government to Protect those who are Protecting others?

Anonymous said...

We need to find something diffrent for sure though. Last year 400 TSA agents were arrested for stealing passangers items. Also, no "terrorism" has been found through TSA.

Anonymous said...

I was denied tsa clearance for my hazmat endorsement because my birth certificate reads jean as my first name and my drivers license reads john. I subsequently am losing my job, as a hazmat endorsement is a condition of employment. I am 61 years old, and have held a hazmat endorsement for 12 years. I have been known to one and all as john my entire life. I am not a French mole. the tsa is totally out of control. believe me its not just about pat downs

Anonymous said...

Perhaps instead of focusing on what TSA is doing, let's focus on the fact that so many people tried bringing these weapons on an airplane. I don't know if its ignorance or stupidity, but thats the real problem here.

If you don't like being searched for YOUR safety, don't fly. Plain and simple.