Friday, January 3, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 27 Firearms Discovered This Week (21 Loaded)



Loaded Gun Discovered In Carry-on Bag at (GJT)
Loaded Gun Discovered In Carry-on Bag at (GJT)
27 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 27 firearms, 21 were loaded and five had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.
Inert 40mm Artillery Shell (SEA)
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. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays in checkpoint screening. While they may be novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An inert 40mm artillery shell was discovered in a carry-on bag at Seattle (SEA).
  • Two inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at San Francisco (SFO), and Honolulu (HNL).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at El Paso (ELP).

Left to Right: Grenades Discovered at ELP & SFO
Left to Right: Grenades Discovered at ELP & SFO
Stun Guns – 14 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Four were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), and the others were found in Atlanta (ATL), Denver (DEN), Detroit (DTW), Huntsville (HSV), Las Vegas (LAS), Long Beach (LGB), Ontario (ONT), Portland (PDX), San Diego (SAN), and San Francisco (SFO).
 
These bullet-shaped knives were discovered taped inside the lining of a bag at (IAH).
These bullet-shaped knives were discovered taped inside the lining of a bag at (IAH).
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.

Top to Bottom - Left to Right: EWR, HNL, TPA
  • Two switchblades were discovered concealed inside the lining of a carry-on bag with adhesive tape at Houston (IAH).
  • A razorblade was detected concealed in a cell phone at Tampa (TPA).
  • Three credit card knives were discovered on three separate occasions at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • After bringing a multi-tool/knife through the checkpoint, a Honolulu (HNL) passenger was permitted to exit the checkpoint to have the item placed in his checked baggage. When the passenger returned and submitted his property at the checkpoint, the item was detected concealed inside a thermos.


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…
Cheese Knife (ORD), Folding Knife (ISP), Throwing Knives (DFW)
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.


50 Shotgun Shells Discovered in a Carry-On Bag at (MEM)
50 Shotgun Shells Discovered in a Carry-On Bag at (MEM)
Airsoft Guns –Two airsoft guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Pittsburgh (PIT) and Los Angeles (LAX). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling With Airsoft Guns

Top to Bottom: Airsoft Guns Discovered at PIT & LAX
Top to Bottom: Airsoft Guns Discovered at PIT & LAX

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
Left To Right, Top To Bottom: Guns Discovered At AUS, IAH, TPA, MCO
27 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 27 firearms, 21 were loaded and five 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 from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500.00. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions, that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post highlighting the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012. The 2011 list can be found here.

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


23 comments:

Chris Boyce said...

So, Since you haven't updated any posts to the year-in-review entry in nearly a week, I can only assume you censored my comment that met all commenting criteria. No worries, the DHS IG has a copy and screen capture.

808Traveler said...

Are these firearms and potential weapons ever confiscated? Did that stupid passenger in Honolulu get arrested for trying to get that multi-tool through the checkpoint twice? Your weekly listing of findings at airports makes no impact on the reader without showing consequences.

GSOLTSO said...

808Traveler sez - "Are these firearms and potential weapons ever confiscated? Did that stupid passenger in Honolulu get arrested for trying to get that multi-tool through the checkpoint twice? Your weekly listing of findings at airports makes no impact on the reader without showing consequences."

When firearms and ammunition are discovered, the TSA contacts the local LEOs to come and assume control of the items and sitution. The legal follow up (arrests, non-arrests) is solely at the discretion of the responding LEOs.

I do not have any follow up on the passenger in Honolulu.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

And as always nothing found with your naked body scanners. When will you admit they're pointless and make no one safer?

Anonymous said...

Wow, more personal property that was never a threat to aviation safety was confiscated by the TSA. Replicas, toys, props, and inert items are NOT weapons, explosives, or incendiaries.

For instance, the 2" sock monkey prop gun was not a WEI, yet was confiscated.

Also, a 2" USB drive shaped like a pistol was confiscated. Let me repeat, it was a USB drive, never a projectile shooting weapon.

Glass perfume bottles shaped like grenades have been confiscated.

The TSA's pointless confiscation of inert, replica, toy, and prop items is quite simply theft from the flying public.

Screenshot taken

Anonymous said...

Thanks to all the TSA folks that help protect our travelers and country. Happy New Year and stay safe.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Thanks to all the TSA folks that help protect our travelers and country. Happy New Year and stay safe."

Thank you Anon, Happy New Year to you as well!

West
TSA Blog Team

SSSS for Some Reason said...

First, Happy New Year to all the TSA Staff!

Then the usual two questions....

Anything found with the Big Fancy Scanners?

Any terrorists attached to any of those inert grenades? Any Terrorists at all?

Falcon-One said...

My idea is….well, I will get to that in a second. First I would like to explain the title for this idea.

“How effective or necessary is TSA anyway? I mean, how many terrorists have TSA caught?”

Who else has heard this line of questioning? I have heard it in the media. I have had passengers ask it. People I am friends with even ask me when I tell them I work for TSA.

I always respond in the same way, “TSA is the most effective federal agency in history”. As you can imagine, most people are a bit taken aback by this response.

Allow me to explain.

Firstly, TSA was not created to “catch” terrorists.

In fact, if you think about it for a second, you would realize how ridicules this question is. A terrorist (at its most basic definition) is someone who has committed, or is in the process of committing, an act of terrorism. Therefore, it is almost impossible for TSA to “catch” a terrorist. To demonstrate this, review the following:

An individual is planning to hijack an aircraft with a firearm.

A) They succeed, and TSA has failed to “catch” the terrorist.
B) TSA prevented the individual from boarding an aircraft with the firearm.

I would like to point out that in option B, there is likely no way of knowing that a terrorist attack was prevented. Furthermore, there are almost assuredly no grounds for arresting, or “caching”, this individual on charges of terrorism. No criminal act of terrorism was committed. Even if we were suspicious of the circumstances, we would likely have no way of proving their intent to use that firearm in an act of terrorism. Short of stopping someone with a fully assembled bomb, we would have a hard time proving that we had in fact “caught” a terrorist.

Consider this, if airport security had confiscated the box cutters, knifes, and pepper spray used in the hijackings on the morning of September 11th, would the headlines on September 12th have read “Largest terrorist attack in the history of the United States prevented”? Nope. Would the hijackers have been arrested and “caught”? No again.

But like I said, TSA was not created to catch terrorists.

We do, however, prevent individuals with suspected ties to terrorism from boarding aircraft. TSA’s Secure Flight system won’t even let them buy a ticket. How’s that for efficiency?

We were, however, created primarily to insure the security of US air travel.

Do you know who many terrorist attacks have occurred on flights that departed from US airports since TSA took over? None. Zero, zilch, nada. We have met our primary goal 100% of the time since our agency was created; going on 13 years now. This is no small feat.

Do you know who else has that kind of track record?

No one, that’s who.

Not to knock them, but there is a DEA, a CBP, and an FBI. There are still drugs on the street, people who illegally enter the country and federal investigations that go unsolved. No other federal entity in history has met their goal as completely and effectively as we have.

“But surly we have just been lucky”, they say.

Maybe.

I would like to point something out though. During multiple federal investigations in which a terrorist suspect was apprehended in relation to a planned attack the individual stated they had originally wanted to target commercial aviation, but determined that airport security was too difficult to penetrate. True story. I don’t think luck had a whole lot to do with that.

Susan Richart said...

"I would like to point something out though. During multiple federal investigations in which a terrorist suspect was apprehended in relation to a planned attack the individual stated they had originally wanted to target commercial aviation, but determined that airport security was too difficult to penetrate. True story. I don’t think luck had a whole lot to do with that. "

Citations, please.

"
We do, however, prevent individuals with suspected ties to terrorism from boarding aircraft. TSA’s Secure Flight system won’t even let them buy a ticket."

Then why is every passenger subjected to what can be totally humiliating searches?

"Do you know who many terrorist attacks have occurred on flights that departed from US airports since TSA took over?"

How many happened before 9/11/01?

"Not to knock them, but there is a DEA, a CBP, and an FBI. There are still drugs on the street, people who illegally enter the country and federal investigations that go unsolved. No other federal entity in history has met their goal as completely and effectively as we have."

Drinking lots of Kool-Aid, arent' we?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

Falcon-One, please realize just because you have a tiger-repellent rock, it doesn't mean that's why you haven't seen tigers around your house.

Your bosses at the TSA know there are no plots to hijack planes nor use planes as bombs ala 9/11. They admitted so in court documents.

You apparently are able to rationalize and have convinced yourself that security theater is actually security. That's sad, but unavoidable when your bosses keep pounding into you that you're "the frontline against terrorists."

TSA screenings are useless against terrorists and do nothing but violate the privacy, property, and bodies of the flying public.

Your vaunted "Secure Flight" can be easily foiled. For every 3 non-terrorist-wielding weapons you find, 7 make it through screening.

You claim the TSA is effective and has met their goal. Only if your goal is to violate the Constitution, harass travelers, discourage people from flying, steal from the American public, and waste BILLIONS of dollars on unused or useless equipment and procedures, such as the puffer machines, backscatter machines, and BDO program.

Please provide further information about the alleged federal investigations where an actual terrorist said the airports were too difficult to penetrate.

Then please look at your co-workers and all of the other airport workers. Have any of them been radicalized? Were all of them correctly background checked? Could any of them bring in WEI into the airport, should they choose to do so?

Please read the recent articles about the drunk and drug-addled people who have wandered all over airport runways in just the past few weeks.

Then tell me how "difficult" any American airport is to penetrate.

screenshot

Rod Barnhart said...

Falcon-One said...

"Do you know who many terrorist attacks have occurred on flights that departed from US airports since TSA took over? None. Zero, zilch, nada."

And how many tiger attacks have occurred in central Ohio since I got this anti-tiger rock? (Before answering, consider, for a moment, that tigers on the loose in central Ohio seem to be more common that terrorists in airports.)

"Do you know who else has that kind of track record?

"No one, that’s who. "

I do, with my anti-tiger rock.

RB said...

Was the small, less than two inch, gun shaped object that a TSA screener stole from the lady with the sock monkey a few weeks back in line with TSA policy?

I question this since a person who says they work for TSA has stated on another blog that the item should not have been stolen.

So what's the deal TSA?

If the screener acted outside the guidelines of TSA policy what corrective action is being taken against the screener since taking something unjustly is clearly theft.

Anonymous said...

No dog in Falcons fight; he may be referring to Hosam SMADI from 2009 who wanted to attack the Dallas airport but changed his mind, according to the court records -“ SMADI remarked that the security at the airport was too strong and he decided it was not a viable target.” This country is in a perpetual catch 22, D if you do, D if you Don't, situation. Be thankful for your freedom of speech, if I have to fly, I do, I prefer to ride my bike just not in sub-zero weather.

Dr. Kevin Pickford, MD, PhD said...

Susan Richart said...
"I would like to point something out though. During multiple federal investigations in which a terrorist suspect was apprehended in relation to a planned attack the individual stated they had originally wanted to target commercial aviation, but determined that airport security was too difficult to penetrate. True story. I don’t think luck had a whole lot to do with that. "

Citations, please.

Ms. Richart, please search open sources for the warrant for arrest for Hosom Maher Husein Smadi, Dallas Texas.

Susan Richart said...

" During multiple federal investigations in which a terrorist suspect was apprehended in relation to a planned attack the individual stated they had originally wanted to target commercial aviation, but determined that airport security was too difficult to penetrate. "

You've cited one case, Doctor, and although I've looked at several links referencing it, I see no mention of the fact that this person was initially interested in bombing an aircraft but decided to go elsewhere.

The quote above says "multiple federal investigations...." indicating there have been multiple "terrorists" who were allegedly put off by the TSA.

So, again I say, "citations please."

screen shot/DHS OIG

Anonymous said...

"During multiple federal investigations..."

"please search open sources for the warrant for arrest for Hosom Maher Husein Smadi, Dallas Texas."

Ok... There's ONE, which was an FBI plot and not an actual threat. Try again, please.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's one guy out of the 8+ Billion people who've flown the past thirteen years. Got any more?

@SkyWayManAz said...

I accepted long before 9/11 the need for airport security. Not because of terrorism but because of the lone nut plots in the 60's and 70's. Even if all these groups that hated us suddenly vanished the lone nut threat would remain. Most of the flying public didn't have a problem with the administrative search security screening in place from the mid 70's until 9/11. I can't recall ever seeing something dangerous in your weekly review that would not have been caught with those procedures. TSA has always felt the need to go beyond administrative by taking a confrontational attitude using invasive procedures on the traveling public. That approach continually causes problems with the disabled and those with medical conditions. You don’t post how many prescription medications you confiscate every week because the public would be outraged. You also don’t post how many bottles of water or shampoo were confiscated but the witch hunt for them has decimated short haul flying. It used to be very common for businessmen to do LA-SF, CHI-DET, DAL-HOU as day trips. More and more that's a road trip now. International tourism to the US has been stagnant. How many more Americans refuse to fly because screening has become too great a burden for parents with small children? How many billions has that cost our economy in the decade plus since 9/11? PreBribe, err PreCheck, is a big step forward recognizing abusive confrontational policies better suited to searching for illegal drugs, instead of weapons, shouldn’t be used in primary screening. It needs to be universal to all US airports with commercial service and more affordable than $85. Then your screeners can return their focus back toward an administrative search looking for dangerous items instead of abusing the disabled and those with medical needs over their medications because “it could be a bomb!”

Anonymous said...

Hey, TSORon, are you also Falcon-One? Sounds an awful lot like you. :-)

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[Hey, TSORon, are you also Falcon-One? Sounds an awful lot like you. :-)]]

Uhh, nope. I dont post from "Blogger", and never have. I dont even post here that often anymore, I have better things to do with my time right now. But never fear, I still read the comments, and I may occasionally jump in to correct the most blatant of illogical comments from time to time.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"...and I may occasionally jump in to correct the most blatant of illogical comments from time to time."

Ron, you made me spit coffee all over my monitor on that one.

Anonymous said...

West, where's my comment from a few days ago saying I think TSA employee, Falcon-One, may be the same self-identified TSA employee who posts under another anonymous name on a popular flying board?

No real names were revealed. There is no blog policy violations.

Will this post be censored if I say you also post on another public website using your same pseudonym? So has TSORon. That can't possibly be SSI.

So why censor my comment? It must be true then that FalconOne is... because if it wasn't, you would have approved it.

What is really going on, BlotterTeam?