Friday, February 28, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 36 Firearms Discovered This Week (29 Loaded)



Loaded Firearm Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Amarillo (AMA)
Loaded Firearm Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Amarillo (AMA)
36 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 36 firearms, 29 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.
 
Grenades Discovered at (L-R) BWI and MCI
Grenades Discovered at (L-R) BWI and MCI
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.
  • Three inert grenades were discovered this week at Baltimore (BWI), Minneapolis (MSP), and Kansas City (MCI).

Knife Concealed in Bag of Chips (LBB), Knife Under Pull Handle (BTR), Knife Sewn Into Lining of Purse (IAH)
Knife Concealed in Bag of Chips (LBB), Knife Under Pull Handle (BTR), Knife Sewn Into Lining of Purse (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. 
  • Nine credit card knives were discovered this week. Four at Kansas City (MCI), two at Albuquerque (ABQ), and the remainder were discovered at Colorado Springs (COS), Cincinnati (CVG), and Fresno (FAT).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Boise (BOI).
  • A knife was detected in the lining of the carry-on bag at Baton Rouge (BTR).
  • A knife was discovered sewn into the lining of a purse at Houston (IAH).
  • A pocket knife was discovered rolled up in a potato chip bag with a lighter at Amarillo (AMA).

Belt Buckle Knives Discovered at (T-B) BOI and LAX
Belt Buckle Knives Discovered at (T-B) BOI and LAX
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…

 
Throwing Stars and Knives (ANC), Bullet Knife (FLL), Dagger (OMA)
Throwing Stars and Knives (ANC), Bullet Knife (FLL), Dagger (OMA)
Arrows (PHX), Starter Pistol (ONT), Credit Card Knife (MCI)
Arrows (PHX), Starter Pistol (ONT), Credit Card Knife (MCI)
Stun Guns20 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Four were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Oklahoma City (OKC), two at San Francisco (SFO), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Burbank (BUR), Detroit (DTW), Dawson (GDV), Washington Dulles (IAD), Jacksonville (JAX), Lubbock (LBB), Kansas City (MCI), Melbourne (MLB), Oakland (OAK), Punta Gorda (PGD), and San Jose (SJC).

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 

Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) BTR, HOU, PHX, SAT, TRI
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) BTR, HOU, PHX, SAT, TRI

36 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 36 firearms, 29 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, date is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not 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.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling With Personal Medical Electronic Devices

Many travelers rely on personal medical electronic devices (PMEDs) (pacemakers, neurostimulators, implantable cardio defibrillators, insulin pumps, blood glucose monitors, etc.), so it’s understandable that there may be concerns prior to traveling through a TSA checkpoint. I hope to help alleviate some of those concerns with today’s TSA travel tips.

First off, if a passenger has a PMED, the passenger should know that he/she is not alone. Our officers encounter individuals with PMEDs daily at TSA checkpoints and are trained on proper screening procedures. If a passenger has a PMED, it is important to inform the officer conducting the screening before the screening process begins. A passenger can use TSA’s NotificationCard to communicate discreetly with security officers. However, showing this card or other medical documentation will not exempt a passenger from additional screening when necessary.

Walk Through Metal Detectors: Passengers who have a PMED should not be screened by a metal detector and should instead request to be screened by imagingtechnology or a pat-down.

Advanced Imaging Technology: Millimeter wave scanners are safe to use if you have a pacemaker or other PMED.
From the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) (PDF 10.5 MB)  “CDRH studied the risks of both spurious emissions and electromagnetic interference (EMI) on several types of PMEDs exposed to the emissions from an AIT security system. Using a millimeter wave exposure simulator and an L-3 ProVision system, CDRH performed a risk assessment for potential EMI effects on a range of PMEDs (including pacemakers, neurostimulators, implantable cardio defibrillators, insulin pumps and blood glucose monitors).  No effects were observed for any PMEDs exposed to the mmW AIT-1, and the CDRH concluded that the risks for the non-ionizing, millimeter wave and out of band emissions to disrupt the function of the selected PMEDs is very low.”

Insulin Pump
Insulin Pump (Photo Courtesy of Energy.gov)
Insulin Pumps: If a passenger uses an insulin pump, the passenger can be screened without disconnecting from the pump. Passengers who have insulin pumps can be screened using millimeter wave imaging technology, metal detector, or a thorough pat-down. Regardless of whether the passenger is screened using imaging technology or metal detector, the passenger’s insulin pump is subject to additional screening. Under most circumstances, this will include the passenger conducting a self pat-down of the insulin pump followed by an explosive trace detection sampling of the hands.

TSA Cares Hotline: Passengers with questions are encouraged to contact the TSA Cares Help Line. TSA Cares is a help line to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource specifically for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or other circumstances or their loved ones who want to prepare for the screening process prior to flying. 

Passenger Support Specialist: Travelers may also request a Passenger Support Specialist ahead of time by calling the TSA Cares hotline at 1-855-787-2227.

The hours of operation for the TSA Cares help line are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. EST and weekends and Holidays 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST. Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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

Friday, February 21, 2014

TSA Week in Review – Avalanche Control Charge Discovered in Carry-On Bag at Anchorage



Live Explosives Discovered in Anchorage- A homemade avalanche control charge was discovered in a carry-on bag at Anchorage (ANC). FBI responded and arrested the passenger.

Loaded Firearm (IND)
Loaded Firearm (IND)
26 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 26 firearms, 21 were loaded and three had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Belt Buckle Knife (SJC)
Belt Buckle Knife (SJC)
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.
  • A bullet was discovered in the sole of a shoe at New York Kennedy (JFK).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at San Jose (SJC).

Knives Discovered at (L-R) SAN & MFE
Knives Discovered at (L-R) SAN & MFE
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…

 Stun Guns16 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at LaGuardia (LGA), two more at Kansas City (MCI), and the remainder at Billings (BIL), Borinquen (BQN), Washington Dulles (IAD), Cleveland (CLE), Fayetteville (FAY), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago Midway (MDW), Minot (MOT), Minneapolis - St. Paul (MSP), Phoenix (PHX), and Tucson (TUS).

Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LGA, MDW, BIL, PHX
Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LGA, MDW, BIL, PHX
Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered in a carry-on bag this week at Honolulu (HNL). 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

Airsoft Gun (HNL)
Airsoft Gun (HNL)
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) LAS, TPA, MCO, IAH, IAH, SAT, TUL, PDX
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) LAS, TPA, MCO, IAH, IAH, SAT, TUL, PDX

26 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 26 firearms, 21 were loaded and three had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, date is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not 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.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: TSA Recognized Locks


LocksWhile it’s understandable that travelers want to lock their baggage to protect their personal belongings, it’s also important to understand that TSA officers must be able to inspect baggage and contents when the need arises. That’s where TSA recognized locks come in.

In order to ensure the safe transportation of travelers, TSA screens all checked and carry-on baggage before it is permitted to be brought onboard commercial aircraft. Technology generally enables us to electronically screen bags without opening them, but there are times when we need to physically inspect a piece of luggage. TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal "master" keys so that the locks may not have to be cut. These locks are available at most airports and many travel stores nationwide. The packaging on the locks indicates whether they can be opened by TSA.

In some cases, TSA officers will have to open your baggage as part of the screening process. If your bag is unlocked, then our officer will simply open and screen the baggage if any item alarms. However, if you decide to lock your checked baggage and TSA cannot open it through other means, then the locks may have to be cut. For soft-sided baggage, this process will not damage your zippers or zipper pulls. TSA is careful to not damage any personal belongings, however, we are not liable for damage caused to locked bags that must be opened for security purposes. Again, that is where the value of the recognized locks come in. Please note that if an officer does need to open your bag, a “Notice of Baggage Inspection” will be place in your bag. 


While our officers may have to cut locks from time to time, it’s not the only reason your lock could be missing or damaged. Locks, along with your baggage, can also be damaged by airport conveyor belt systems as shown below:
Image describing how locks can get pinched between conveyor belts and broken off.
The image below is a collection of 244 locks pulled from under an airport baggage handling conveyor belt where the two belts come together. These were collected over a period of one month at a New York Airport.
 

Locks broken by conveyor belt.
I hope this tip will help you better protect your property and help us keep you safe and secure when flying. 

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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 41 Firearms Discovered This Week (33 Loaded)



Loaded Firearm Discovered in a Carry-on Bag at (SEA)
Loaded Firearm Discovered in a Carry-on Bag at (SEA)
41 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 41 firearms, 33 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Grenade Shaped Electronic Cigarette (HOU), Grenade Shaped Lighter (MIA)
Grenade Shaped Electronic Cigarette (HOU), Grenade Shaped Lighter (MIA)
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.

  • Three inert/replica grenades were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Rochester (RST), Houston (HOU) and Miami (MIA).
Belt Buckle Knife (LAX), Credit Card Knife (MCI)
Belt Buckle Knife (LAX), Credit Card Knife (MCI)

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places. 

  • A pocket knife was found taped inside the interior lining of a bag at Denver (DEN).
  • Two credit card knives were discovered in two separate incidents at Kansa City (MCI).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
Monkey Fist (MOB)
Monkey Fist (MOB)



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… 





Samurai Sword (LAX)
Samurai Sword (LAX)
Items Discovered at (Top to Bottom / Left to Right) HPN, OGG, ROC, SFO, ROC, ORD, ORD
Items Discovered at (Top to Bottom / Left to Right) HPN, OGG, ROC, SFO, ROC, ORD, ORD
Stun GunsNine stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation at Albuquerque (ABQ), Denver (DEN), Las Vegas (LAS), Medford (MFR), Mobile (MOB), Oakland (OAK), Newport News (PHF), Provo (PVU), and Trenton (TTN).

Stun Guns Discovered at (Left to Right): MFR, ABQ, TTN
Stun Guns Discovered at (Left to Right): MFR, ABQ, TTN
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.

Ammunition Discovered in Carry-On Bag at (LAS)
Ammunition Discovered in Carry-On Bag at (LAS)
Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered in a carry-on bag this week at San Diego (SAN). 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

Airsoft Gun Discovered at (SAN)
Airsoft Gun Discovered at (SAN)
Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 

Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom / Left to Right) RDU, OTH, ATL, TUL, MOB, JAN, ATL, PDX
Guns Discovered at (Top to Bottom / Left to Right) RDU, OTH, ATL, TUL, MOB, JAN, ATL, PDX
41 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 41 firearms, 33 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. *In order to provide a timely weekly update, date is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not 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.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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