Friday, March 14, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 29 Loaded Firearms, Black Powder, and Other Items of Note Discovered in Carry-on Bags



Black Powder Discovered at (GRR)
Black Powder Discovered at (GRR)

Black Powder Discovered: A traveler at Grand Rapids (GRR) had a storage tube in his carry-on bag containing four cubes each with 100 grains of black powder. He stated that he uses the black powder for muzzle loading and forgot to remove it from his bag. This is a good example of why it’s always important to double check your bags prior to traveling.



Loaded Gun Discovered at (MIA)
Loaded Gun Discovered at (MIA)
35 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 35 firearms, 29 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post. (Updated on 3/20/14 to remove three duplicates)



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.

  • Five inert/replica grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Wichita (ICT), and the remainder were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), San Diego (SAN) and San Antonio (SAT). 
 
Grenades Discovered at (L-R) SAT, SAN, LAS, ICT
Grenades Discovered at (L-R) SAT, SAN, LAS, ICT

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 concealed double edge knife inside a comb was discovered at San Francisco (SFO).
  • Five credit card knives were discovered this week. Two were discovered at Grand Forks (GFK), and the remainder were discovered at Charleston (CHS), Kansas City (MCI), and Rapid City (RAP).
Comb Dagger (SFO) & Credit Card Knife (MCI)
Comb Dagger (SFO) & Credit Card Knife (MCI)

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…


Starter Pistol (SFO), Throwing Stars (JFK), Throwing Star (BNA), Switchblade (HSV), Kitchen Knife (CLT)
Starter Pistol (SFO), Throwing Stars (JFK), Throwing Star (BNA), Switchblade (HSV), Kitchen Knife (CLT)
Stun Guns13 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Birmingham (BHM), two more at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ), Anchorage (ANC), Columbus (CMH), Denver (DEN), Fargo (FAR), Helena (HLN), Oklahoma City (OKC), San Francisco (SFO), and San Jose (SJC).

Ammunition Discovered at (BNA)
Ammunition Discovered at (BNA)







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.



Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 


Guns Discovered at (T-B / L-R) CPR, MSY, TPA
Guns Discovered at (T-B / L-R) CPR, MSY, TPA
Guns Discovered at (L-R / T-B) SAT, DAL, CHA, FLL, CLT
35 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 35 firearms, 29 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered.
*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data 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 TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well.



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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.

39 comments:

RB said...

Just what is this weekly report suppose to accomplish?

Want us to get all worked up over TSA employees doing the most basic parts of the job?

More benefit would be achieved by owning up to the potentially deadly information put out about insulin pumps and other medical electronics.

Of course it takes a touch of spine to admit when you are wrong.

Mark McDonald said...

set up a warning area before they enter the TSA area. if they still trying bring weapons on the plane, arrest them

Anonymous said...

"Pack it. Declare it. Keep it." Come on, people.

CliffOnTheRoad said...

Can I stop removing my shoes now? The missing flight 370 shows so much bumbling by officials and employees worldwide that the expense for TSA USA is just a method to keep people employed and the public paranoid.

As for the post 9/11 cockpit doors we mandated, it would be a shame if they prevented passengers from gaining to the cockpit if an emergency occurred.

CliffOnTheRoad said...

There is not one thing in this weeks blog which justifies anything beyond an x-ray of baggage.

Any weapon displayed in the cabin would: 1. Still not gain access to the cockpit, and 2. Be dealt with by the other passengers.

#1 applies to using a handgun, or harming passengers (9/11 box cutter event)

So why do we have to employ so many agents to make our travel check-in miserable?

Clint said...

So was that replica grenade lighter, which you caption as an actual grenade (ANOTHER intentional mislabeling) confiscated because it contained lighter fluid or because it happened to be shaped by a grenade?

Was the passenger given the option to check the non-WEI item or ship it rather than have the govt seize his property under duress?

Anonymous said...

rb said:
"Just what is this weekly report suppose to accomplish?"

it appears that the tsa is providing a public service by letting people know what is not allowed at the airport. tsas duty is to stop weapons, incindiaries, and explosives from getting on a plane and it appears that they are providing examples of these items. also it appears that the tsa defines replicas of the above items as prohibited as well. i believe that all of this information available in numerous areas including at the airports.

Anonymous said...

Blotter Team, when will you be blogging about this?

http://m.nextgov.com/big-data/2014/03/tsa-halts-testing-technology-screen-passengers-online-data/80065/

Searching our online profiles to grant us Preck starting this summer?

Anonymous said...

Good job. Xray me..my computers. .cameras and anything else. Upgrade the pre check to include a microchip so I dont need the kiosk and I'll be in good shape.. I was in back of Pauly Shore at a security check a few years ago. Frightening.

RB said...

Clint said...So was that replica grenade lighter, which you caption as an actual grenade (ANOTHER intentional mislabeling) confiscated because it contained lighter fluid or because it happened to be shaped by a grenade?

Was the passenger given the option to check the non-WEI item or ship it rather than have the govt seize his property under duress?

March 15, 2014 at 7:52 AM
________________________________

Clint, you already know that TSA, especially the TSA Blog Team, has no respect for stating matters honestly.

Being honest doesn't serve TSA's purpose.

GSOLTSO said...

Mark McDonald sez - "set up a warning area before they enter the TSA area. if they still trying bring weapons on the plane, arrest them"

Any arrest or followup for firearms possession is entirely up to the local LEOs that respond, and are accordingly based upon local firearm laws - not TSA.

Cliffontheroad sez - "As for the post 9/11 cockpit doors we mandated, it would be a shame if they prevented passengers from gaining to the cockpit if an emergency occurred."

So the most lauded security change in the wake of 9/11 is bad now? What suggestion would you have to replace this protocol?

Anon sez - "it appears that the tsa is providing a public service by letting people know what is not allowed at the airport. tsas duty is to stop weapons, incindiaries, and explosives from getting on a plane + more"

Well said.

Anon sez - "I was in back of Pauly Shore at a security check a few years ago"

He has been funny for years, although I hear he is an aquired taste in humor.

Anon also sez - "Upgrade the pre check to include a microchip "

I don't see that coming anytime soon Anon.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

Anonymous said...rb said:"Just what is this weekly report suppose to accomplish?"it appears that the tsa is providing a public service by letting people know what is not allowed at the airport. tsas duty is to stop weapons, incindiaries, and explosives from getting on a plane and it appears that they are providing examples of these items. also it appears that the tsa defines replicas of the above items as prohibited as well. i believe that all of this information available in numerous areas including at the airports.
March 15, 2014 at 8:26 AM

------------------------------
I see little public service in posting a boring repeated weekly piece that doesn't cover any new ground. This TSA effort surely hasn't done anything to reduce the number of weapons and non-weapon items found each week. Perhaps the TSA Blog Team could better use their time adressing the core issue of these items getting to the airport in the first place. Or even an update on current red team testing. Would be nice to know if TSA screeners are finding more than 30% of these weapons.

Anonymous said...

Please post a blog entry about the initiative described at http://www.nextgov.com/big-data/2014/03/tsa-halts-testing-technology-screen-passengers-online-data/80065/.

The linked article says:

"...The Transportation Security Administration has called off -- for now -- live tests of technology that would expand background checks on airplane passengers to include analyses of their online presences. The idea was to have contractors analyze consumer data -- potentially including dating profiles and shopping histories -- on fliers who apply for the voluntary 'Pre✓' program..."

In your blog entry, please address privacy protections, cost-effectiveness of the initiative, and data that support the use of mass surveillance techniques in successfully identifying those who would commit acts of terror.

[screenshot]

Bubba said...

Week after week, you post your finds. Week after week, nothing dangerous found requires a full body scanner. These machines are slow, invasive (even with ATR they still single out people with medical conditions), expensive and, very clearly from your data, ineffective. In fact, the simple fact that they only detect stuff on the front and back surface of people indicates these machines make it EASIER for a would-be criminal to bring a gun into an airplane.

The question is, why are you still using these machines? Your data shows us, very clearly, they need to go away.

Susan Richart said...

RB wrote:

"... Would be nice to know if TSA screeners are finding more than 30% of these weapons."

As you probably know, RB, more weapons (i.e., guns) were found BEFORE the TSA took over checkpoint security, an average of 2,000 a year. Bob tells us that in 2012, 1,556 guns were found.

With passenger loads up, that doesn't seem to be too very impressive.

screen shot/DHS OIG

Johnny B. said...

To all the spoiled individuals that continually complain about the TSA, give it up already. The threat is very real. You have been flying relatively care free since 9/11 and that is all that matters. I fly all the time and security is a minor inconvenience. I dont want to be at 35,000 feet with a lunatic with a firearm, especially after a few drinks. Besides if you are so important, spend a few bucks and get a Global Entry card for Pre Check entry.

Anonymous said...

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documents service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense.

Susan Richart said...

Hopefully, the perfume "grenade"-like bottle confiscated from a passenger at Sky Harbor will make next week's list of dangerous and scary things found at checkpoints. Heaven forbid, the lane she was in was closed and a "bomb expert" was called to deal with a perfume bottle. Talk about looking really foolish, you did it this time TSA!

To claim, as one member of the Blog has done here recently, that to allow it could cause other passengers to construe it as a threat, is totally disingenuous. If others see it as a threat, and only the most sissified would do so, the other passengers would handle it.

http://www.azfamily.com/news/TSA-confiscates-perfume-bottle-shaped-like-grenade-250377901.html

When things like this happen, it only serves to make the TSA look more and more foolish and a waste of time and resources.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

RB said...

With Flight MH370 still missing and unaccounted for I think it would be prudent to review if this countries security screening would have prevented such an event if crew involvement is responsible which certainly looks to be the case.

We know that TSA had absolutely nothing to do with MH370 screening. But, if crew members are involved in the taking over an aircraft would current TSA procedures be enough to stop such an attack?

Are crew members screened fully and to the same degree as passengers?

Are ground crew and other airport workers screened fully and to the same degree as passengers?

If the answer to either question is no then TSA leaves the security door wide open to having a similar incident is this country.

Is TSA really providing real security or just whizzing $8 Billion Dollars of our tax monies away each year?

Seeing as how Phoenix TSA successfully confiscated an expensive 2 ounce bottle of perfume from a travelers I suggest TSA is focused on things that have ZERO to do with real security.

WillCAD said...

So Bob,

Any comment on the ridiculous confiscation of a transparent 2oz bottle of perfume at PHX this week because your brilliant TSOs claimed that it "resembled" a hand grenade?

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/03/17/tsa-confiscates-perfume-bottle-shaped-like-grenade/

I'm sure you will mention replica weapons and inert grenades and the potential threat they might, theoretically pose, but the only POSSIBLE threat a replica poses is inciting panic amongst the passengers, and it must be a REALISTIC replica for that to happen.

In this case, however, that simply doesn't apply. This was not a realistic replica. This was not an inert grenade. This was not even an object that remotely resembled a grenade - it was a ROUND GLASS BOTTLE OF PERFUME.

Only the stupidest of the stupid would ever suggest that such a bottle could be construed as a replica weapon. But that's just what your TSOs at PHX said - that it was prohibited because it "resembeled" a grenade.

Well, it didn't. But they confiscated an $85 bottle of perfume from a traveler anyway.

Your agency owes this lady an apology, a replacement bottle of perfume, and a strong directive to all TSA personnel that round glass shapes do NOT look like grenades and are NOT to be stolen from travelers.

RB said...

So many questions so little communicating with the public about all things TSA related. 

So Bobbie what's the real purpose of the TSA Blog?

Anonymous said...

@ RB - not to mention the colorful way that West continues to cherry pick questions posted here that he can answer with a simple party line declaration, and ignore the ones that require actual thought or expose the lack of logic in TSA policies ...

Anonymous said...

Quoted: "Mark McDonald said...
set up a warning area before they enter the TSA area. if they still trying bring weapons on the plane, arrest them

March 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM"

You mean like a checkpoint before the checkpoint?? Really?

Anonymous said...

Quoted:"As for the post 9/11 cockpit doors we mandated, it would be a shame if they prevented passengers from gaining to the cockpit if an emergency occurred.

March 14, 2014 at 11:19 PM"

So now we DON'T want hardened doors??

Anonymous said...

Quoted:"Anonymous said...
Please post a blog entry about the initiative described at http://www.nextgov.com/big-data/2014/03/tsa-halts-testing-technology-screen-passengers-online-data/80065/.

The linked article says:

"...The Transportation Security Administration has called off -- for now -- live tests of technology that would expand background checks on airplane passengers to include analyses of their online presences. The idea was to have contractors analyze consumer data -- potentially including dating profiles and shopping histories -- on fliers who apply for the voluntary 'Pre✓' program..."

In your blog entry, please address privacy protections, cost-effectiveness of the initiative, and data that support the use of mass surveillance techniques in successfully identifying those who would commit acts of terror.

March 15, 2014 at 10:03 PM"

Why comment on something that didn't happen?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't TSA set up the citizen equivalent of this industry event?

http://www.whsroundtable.org/events.shtml

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"@ RB - not to mention the colorful way that West continues to cherry pick questions posted here that he can answer with a simple party line declaration, and ignore the ones that require actual thought or expose the lack of logic in TSA policies ..."

This is to give the illusion of an ongoing dialog with the public. Much like the TSA gives an illusion of security to those lacking any common sense ;)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"@ RB - not to mention the colorful way that West continues to cherry pick questions posted here that he can answer with a simple party line declaration, and ignore the ones that require actual thought or expose the lack of logic in TSA policies ..."

I don't want my tax money used to feed the trolls.

Bob said...

The TSAnonymous who questioned whether TSA should blog about their recent testing of searching the American public's online profiles and comments must not have read the article. The TSA has only delayed, not canceled, their plan to roll out full online profiling of Americans who want to get on a plane with a slightly less chance of being assaulted by submitting to a *full* background check, FBI fingerprinting, and paying an exhortion fee. (TSA calls it "precheck.")

Since the TSA clearly states that they can decide you aren't worthy for any reason (it does not have to be related to aviation safety), and they don't need to tell you why, this expansion of precheck to include Americans' free speech and right to be critical of any facet of life, including our government, the precheck expansion is certainly much more important than a "good catch" of a small toy gun or 2 oz perfume bottle.

Screenshot taken.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "Why comment on something that didn't happen?"

Does it not bother you that TSA has spent time and taxpayer money giving serious consideration to the idea of spying on flyers' on-line shopping behavior? This is yet another indication that TSA is (a) out of touch with Constitutional/human rights, (b) continues to ignore privacy-related concerns expressed by thousands of citizens and nonprofit organizations, and (c) continues to ignore the truth about terror risk.

Regarding (a), check out the Fourth Amendment and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Regarding (b), see the 5,000+ public comments on the use of body scanners at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=TSA-2013-0004. Regarding (c), check out the statistics at http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/04/statistics-you-are-not-going-to-be-killed-by-terrorists.html, which show that (for example) you are more likely to starve to death than be killed in a terror attack. Maybe we should put TSA's billions toward combating hunger, improving highway safety, fighting cancer, etc.?

@SkyWayManAz said...

I was thinking if the perfume was in a bottle intentionally designed to look like a grenade I could care less about TSA taking it away from someone. I’m inclined to give TSA leeway if something is supposed to look like a weapon. After looking at a picture of the offending bottle in question I think my mother has glassware at home with a similar design for drinking out of. Anyone with half a brain would never be fooled into thinking a clear glass vial of light colored liquid was a grenade. So as stupid as the liquid rules are I thought well is it more than 3 ounces? No it isn’t that either. Ok so what if they dumped that out and filled it with black fluid because . . . well use your imagination!!! The passenger was TSA PreCheck so no I’m not buying the TSA logic on this one where if an inch is possible therefore it always equals a mile or more. Maybe if the passenger wasn’t PreCheck and/or wasn’t a US citizen I could somehow see this is out of an extreme abundance of caution suggesting it should be checked. It still looks like it is in the pinky sized sock puppet tiny toy gun range of the absurd to me though. Especially since it appears the overkill call the bomb squad option was the first response.

I would suggest to the passenger since she’s experienced confusion over the item in the past and now overkill on it that perhaps she should put the perfume in a more non descript vial for her future travels. There are stupid absurd things I shouldn’t have to do either when I fly like buy travel size toothpaste that always run out before I get home. I do it anyway because it is cheaper than checking a bag just for that or buying more if TSA spots the full size tube. Putting it in another vial is stupid but cheaper than buying another bottle.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it best that TSA errs on the side of caution? Not all people are up to date on the variations of grenades.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Isn't it best that TSA errs on the side of caution? Not all people are up to date on the variations of grenades.

March 19, 2014 at 11:15 AM
.......................

Once the item was sighted even people with the intelligence of TSA screeners would have known it wasn't WEI.

No excuse on this one.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"Isn't it best that TSA errs on the side of caution? Not all people are up to date on the variations of grenades."

I could understand that, IF the item in question resembled a grenade in any possible way. The perfume bottle did not.

Anonymous said...

Not Travel Tips Tuesday this week?

Makes sense, as it would be obvious TSA is ignoring the perfume bottle incident.

Anonymous said...

"Isn't it best that TSA errs on the side of caution? Not all people are up to date on the variations of grenades."

If TSA's job is detecting weapons, incendiaries, and explosives, should we not expect them to be up-to-date on what explosives look like?

Anonymous said...

When the TSA errs in the side f caution, it does so millions of times, to millions of people. The sum of the damage caused by all these small errs is infinitely higher than the gains from the TSA (which has never caught a terrorist).

rr hood said...

"any weapon displayed in the cabin would: 2. be dealty with by the other passengers"

Are you gonna be the sacrificial passenger(s)?
Wouldn't it be better to not have to die to save the rest of the plane....like if TSA takes care of it for you????

Anonymous said...

"Are you gonna be the sacrificial passenger(s)? Wouldn't it be better to not have to die to save the rest of the plane....like if TSA takes care of it for you????"

I would take steps to protect others on the plane. It is sad that you do not have such a mindset. Is death inevitable? No: No passengers died taking down the Underwear Bomber.

Do you think TSA is really 'taking care of it' when TSA staff have been caught smuggling drugs and friends/family through checkpoints?