Friday, May 9, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 41 Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week



Loaded Firearm Discovered at CVG
Loaded Firearm Discovered at CVG
45 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 45 firearms, 41 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

81 Pounds of Marijuana (OAK)
81 Pounds of Marijuana (OAK)
Drug Find at Oakland - 81 Pounds of Marijuana was discovered in checked baggage at the Oakland (OAK) International Airport. Part of TSA's mission is to protect the nation's transportation systems by keeping dangerous items off of commercial aircraft, but when contraband is found, it must be reported to local law enforcement. Especially when it's 81 pounds of contraband.
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 real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.
  • Two inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. One was discovered in a carry-on bag at Minneapolis (MSP), and the other was discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL).
Cane Knife (SFO), Rifle Barrel (ANC), Key Knife (BTV), Card Knife (OAK)
Cane Knife (SFO), Rifle Barrel (ANC), Key Knife (BTV), Card Knife (OAK)
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure prohibited items are not inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and 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. 
Mallet (BTV)
Mallet (BTV)
  • 28 credit card knives were discovered this week. Seven were discovered at Oakland (OAK), four were discovered at Cincinnati (CVG), three at St. Louis (STL), two at Colorado Springs (COS), two at Kansas City (MCI), two more at Myrtle Beach (MYR), and the remainder were discovered at  Branson (BBG),  Charleston (CHS), Dickinson (DIK), Fargo (FAR), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Lansing (LAN), Saint Petersburg (PIE), and Williston (ISN). Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives.
  • A stun gun disguised to look like a cell phone was discovered in a carry-on bag at Richmond (RIC).
(L-R) BTV, DTW, LAN, SBY, SJC
(L-R) BTV, DTW, LAN, SBY, SJC
  • A cane knife was discovered in San Francisco (SFO).
  • TSOs at Milwaukee (MKE) discovered a comb knife in a carry-on bag.
  • A rifle barrel was found taped underneath the liner of a passenger’s carry-on bag in Anchorage (ANC).
  • An anomaly was detected in a can of shaving cream during checked baggage screening at Charlotte (CLT.) The can was found to have false bottom and contained approximately 1 ounce of marijuana.

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…

(RIC)
(RIC)
Stun Guns – Twelve stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Three were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Burbank (BUR), Charleston (CRW), Los Angeles (LAX), Milwaukee (MKE), Northwest Florida Beaches (ECP), Richmond (RIC), Sacramento (SMF), and San Francisco (SFO).
What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated: 
  • After realizing his flight had departed with his checked baggage onboard, a Miami (MIA) passenger asked a gate agent: “What if I had a bomb in my bag?”
(MFE)
(MFE)
Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at McAllen (MFE). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling With Airsoft Guns


Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
  
(Left - Right, Top to Bottom) BNA, FLL, HOU, MEM, DEN
(Left - Right, Top to Bottom) BNA, FLL, HOU, MEM, DEN
Firearms Discovered at GSP
Firearms Discovered at GSP
*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 line 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.

34 comments:

William Pabst said...

I have been reading your report for months now. I suggest a change in policy: If you are in the possession of a gun, knife, explosives, or deactivated explosives you will be arrested.

RB said...

Couple of questions.

What was the story on the Sledg-O-Matic?

What type of WEI was suspected to be in the bags that had the marijuana?

Since TSA is limited to an administrative type search isn't TSA very likely to compromise the admissibility of the found goods?

What training do TSA employees receive in drug identification?

Anonymous said...

Lions and tigers and inert grenades, oh my!

Oh, and thank god the TSA is there to protect us from explosive greenery.

Anonymous said...

The TSA should be shut down.
I don't care who supports them....I do not and I don't know a single person who does.

tramky said...

Good grief, few of these items have ANY connection with airline safety. Inert items in check baggage is ANY 'threat' to the aircraft or its passengers. Leve 'em alone. It's NONE of TSA's business, it's OURS, the People's (very much with a capital P).

How do drugs connect with aircraft safety? They do NOT! Leave 'em alone. Tney are OURS, not yours.

Inert tems that LOOK like something other than what they are are still what they are, not that other thing. Leave them ALONE. And US, too, while you're at it.

Don't like this attitude?

GSOLTSO said...

William Pabst sez - "I have been reading your report for months now. I suggest a change in policy: If you are in the possession of a gun, knife, explosives, or deactivated explosives you will be arrested."

Any form of arrest action is determined by the local LEOs at the airport. TSA simply reports what has happened, and the local LEOs assume control of the situation from that point on. A change in policy like this would result in many, many, many people from all walks of life in jail over forgetting a pocket knife (we see that all day, every day). I like the process as it is now, where we give the options to someone that has a knife, and then contact the local LEOs on the other types of items you mention.

West
TSA Blog Team

Mike Toreno said...

Clerk West, along the lines of the suggestion in the planted question from clerk "William Pabst," I have a suggestion of my own. Any TSA clerk who falsely imprisons a passenger should be referred to the police for arrest, and any TSA clerk who doesn't know or follow the rules concerning medical liquids should be fired.

Can you do some research and tell us what happened to the clerks in the Stacey Armato case? Were they fired? How about doing some research? Or do you see your job as planting questions and answering the questions you plant?

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Hmmm...

"28 credit card knives...."

Not dangerous to aircraft in any way.

"discovered a comb knife..."

Also not dangerous to an aircraft.

"A rifle barrel was found taped underneath...."

Did you find the rest of the rifle? Did you return it once found? If not, why not? Please highlight the danger to the aircraft that firearm parts represent.

And not one of these finds can be attributed to the incredibly expensive, and painfully slow, full body scanners. Why do you have them again?

Anonymous said...

I support the TSA. It isn't Rocket Science to see what a good job they are doing. Who wants an unknown person carrying a loaded fire arm or a knife on a flight with them? Sure, government agencies throughout the world have "bad apples" that affect how the public views them. Just don't forget the majority are people like you and me - trying to do the job to the best of their ability. If you can't live with that, then live somewhere else.

Susan Richart said...

Hey, Bob, how come we don't hear about the numbers of people signing up for Pre-Check? Is it because there aren't the numbers that TSA thought they'd have? (We have certainly heard about the millions who have signed up for Obamacare.)

Pre-Check seems to be a flop. When is TSA going to come up with a more egalitarian program to replace it?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

William Pabst said...
I have been reading your report for months now. I suggest a change in policy: If you are in the possession of a gun, knife, explosives, or deactivated explosives you will be arrested.
--------------------------------
thankfully, TSA have no LE authority. they should have no authority at all, in fact, they shouldn't exist. the stats that we have show that the pre-911 screening was more effective than the bloated, hideously expensive, federal bureaucracy version, finding a higher % of prohibited items. and the items that are now prohibited are ludicrous to anyone who devotes an ounce of thought to the matter. 911 happened because flight crews and passengers were trained to be passive. it cannot happen again.

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 documented 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.

Anonymous said...

Oh, look, another week in which absolutely nothing was found with your slow, invasive, and unsafe naked body scanners.

Lisa Marie Jelinek said...

People are so ridiculously critical of the TSA. Yes, just do away with all of them and when that suspicious, supposdely inert grenade goes off on your plane, you'll wish these checks were back in practice again. If you'd like to sit next to citizens on planes with laoded guns, be my guest. I, for one, appreciate what the TSA does. Thank you for helping to keep us safer.

Susan Richart said...

Lisa Marie Jelinek, as one who is allegedly a Public Safety Professional, you of all people, should know that nothing the TSA does keeps anyone safe. Unless, of course, you work for DHS/TSA. ;-)

Anonymous, airport checkpoints have been finding loaded guns for many, many years. This is not something that came about because the TSA is doing screening at checkpoints.

As a matter of fact, pre-9/11 security found MORE guns than the TSA finds - and this was with smaller passenger loads.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa Marie,

No one is advocating for no security or safety procedures. If you would read the comments from the critics here, you would see that. What we demand is REAL security and our rights back.

What we have now with the TSA is security theater and a constant invasion of our rights, property, and bodies at the cost of $8 billion every single year.

If you really care about safety and your friends at the TSA (say hi to Bob for me), then you should advocate for effective procedures and policies. You should expect and receive professional, ethical, and non-invasive service from well-trained screeners. You should know that anyone caught abusing or stealing from passengers will be dealt with quickly and appropriately.

That is NOT what we have now.

As for INERT, REPLICA, TOY and yes even PERFUME BOTTLES shaped like grenades, the screeners should examine them, and when they are found to be INERT, REPLICA, TOY, or PERFUME BOTTLES, let them through. I can see encouraging people to put them in checked baggage, but beyond that, I'm not going to cower in fear.


screenshot

Anonymous said...

Lisa Marie Jelinek said...
People are so ridiculously critical of the TSA. Yes, just do away with all of them and when that suspicious, supposdely inert grenade goes off on your plane, you'll wish these checks were back in practice again. If you'd like to sit next to citizens on planes with laoded guns, be my guest. I, for one, appreciate what the TSA does. Thank you for helping to keep us safer.
May 12, 2014 at 10:21 AM


Other than the fact that you have a Master's in (cough cough) Homeland Security, so we know we're you're coming from, apparently it escaped your notice that guns, knives, and grenades are metal, and metal is detected by -- um -- metal detectors.

In other words, the same technology that existed before 9/11, on 9/11, and after 9/11, before the worthless strip-search scanners were installed, and before the Reign of Molestation was implemented. Yet miraculously, in all those years, planes weren't being blown out of the sky left and right.

But how can that be?? Given that the TSA is so critical to "keeping us safe"?

Gosh, logic is a scary thing.

screen shot

Anonymous said...

"People are so ridiculously critical of the TSA. Yes, just do away with all of them and when that suspicious, supposdely inert grenade goes off on your plane, you'll wish these checks were back in practice again..."

How many times must it be said that TSA critics are not advocating for NO security but for BETTER security?

Anonymous said...

Marijuana is not a weapon, incendiary, or explosive. Why is the seizure of marijuana reported in this blog?

If you are going to report the marijuana in this blog, be consistent and report the bottles of shampoo and the cupcakes, too.

Anonymous said...

West, who has been deleting comments these past few days?

Have you noticed comments calling out Bob for possibly posting anonymously on this very blog don't get approved?

Have you noticed comments replying to possible friends of Bob don't get approved?

Why are comments by American citizens that meet the criteria of the comment policy delayed beyond the 48 hr approval time or straight out deleted on this government website?

** screenshot **

Wintermute said...

Blogger Lisa Marie Jelinek said...

"People are so ridiculously critical of the TSA. Yes, just do away with all of them..."

Did you hear ANYONE say they wanted NO security? Nice red herring there...

"...If you'd like to sit next to citizens on planes with laoded guns, be my guest."

With a failure rate of ~70%, you already do and don't even know it.

"...Thank you for helping to keep us safer."

Except they don't. And don't trust me, even though I do have some expertise in security. Ask someone like Bruce Schneier, who has tons of it. It's called Security Theater. It's designed to quiet those demanding that the government "do something about it," but doesn't actually do anything about it. Two changes occurred post 9/11 (actually, one occurred on 9/11). First, passengers quit cooperating with hijackers. Second, cockpit doors have been hardened. Go back to pre-9/11 screening, with those two items in place, and put a fraction of the TSA's budget into old-fashioned police work, while respecting the rights of our citizens. THEN we will all be safer

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I support the TSA. It isn't Rocket Science to see what a good job they are doing. Who wants an unknown person carrying a loaded fire arm or a knife on a flight with them? Sure, government agencies throughout the world have "bad apples" that affect how the public views them. Just don't forget the majority are people like you and me - trying to do the job to the best of their ability. If you can't live with that, then live somewhere else."

Thank you Anon, we appreciate the nice comments! True, the majority of our employees are regular people just like yourself, they live all over the place, shop at the local grocer, drive the same roads as most and live in the same neighborhoods. As far as living somewhere else, the folks that disagree with us are welcomed to comment here just as much as the folks that support us (seriously, just take a spin through the posted comments and it will be evident) - as long as the comments conform to the posted comment policy.

Lisa Marie Jelinek sez - "I, for one, appreciate what the TSA does. Thank you for helping to keep us safer."

Thanks for the appreciation Lisa, and if this is the person that I think it might be, "Pickmans Muse" was an under-rated film.

West
TSA Blog Team

Susan Richart said...

You're wrong, West. This Lisa Marie Jelinek is NOT an actress. She claims to be a security professional. Do a little web research - it doesn't take long.

Anonymous said...

Except they don't. And don't trust me, even though I do have some expertise in security. Ask someone like Bruce Schneier, who has tons of it. It's called Security Theater. It's designed to quiet those demanding that the government "do something about it," but doesn't actually do anything about it. Two changes occurred post 9/11 (actually, one occurred on 9/11). First, passengers quit cooperating with hijackers. Second, cockpit doors have been hardened. Go back to pre-9/11 screening, with those two items in place, and put a fraction of the TSA's budget into old-fashioned police work, while respecting the rights of our citizens. THEN we will all be safer
---------------------------------
bravissimo, Wintermute. couldn't have said it better myself.

Marshax3 said...

West, it's good to see you not supporting ridiculous "if you don't like the TSA, you should leave the US" comments, but replying only to TSA employees and apologists makes it look like you're burying your head in the sand.

As for allowing all comments that confirm to blog policy, that is an outright lie.

Anonymous said...

"the folks that disagree with us are welcomed to comment here just as much as the folks that support us (seriously, just take a spin through the posted comments and it will be evident) - as long as the comments conform to the posted comment policy."

West, you and I both know this is untrue. You routinely fail to post many critical comments, and ignore direct questions about TSA policy. Shame on you.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Who wants an unknown person carrying a loaded fire arm or a knife on a flight with them? "

And again, with ~70% failure rate, if you fly much at all, you already are, whether you want to or not.

Anonymous said...

Thanks West and Team for ignoring the trolls. It is the only way they will leave. I have to give you guy’s props for rarely being bated and exiting communication when it breaks down to politics or philosophy.

Jimmie Mac said...

"Exiting communication when it breaks down to politics our philosophy?" LOLOL

You only wish it were so. Instead, it's government employees ignoring and deleting legitimate questions and criticisms brought forth by citizens of the United States.

The "Team" even failed to answer who is currently on the team. The blog says Bob posts, but he had become Silent Bob, which is good in some ways because we don't get as much sneering patronization, but these police blotter style posts, like the only "Team" member that appears to exist, ignore serious, current, and important issues for the TSAnonymous and TSApologist fake comments and "kudos," like yours, TSAnonymous.

So, West, who is currently on Team Blotter?


GSOLTSO said...

Jimmie Mac sez - "So, West, who is currently on Team Blotter?"

If you are referring to the Blog Team, the current lineup consists of Bob, Lynn and myself. There are others that are involved from time to time, but we are the three listed here as the most active participants. We also have contributors from other departments from time to time.

West
TSA Blog Team

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"... People are so ridiculously critical of the TSA. Yes, just do away with all of them"

No one is, or has, advocated for getting rid of the TSA and having no security at all.

What would be effective, and also efficient, would be for the TSA to follow the same model as the FAA.

The TSA can write the standards for security and the airlines and airports can follow the standards using their own staff and companies.

It would save the taxpayers several billion dollars a year AND it would provide a level of security the TSA will never be able to do with its current one-size-fits-all staffing standards.

Pay more attention to the comment sections, you might be truly surprised at how much the so called trolls have to offer to this discussion.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "I have to give you guy’s props for rarely being bated and exiting communication when it breaks down to politics or philosophy."

Thanks, it is not often that I get props!

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Marshax3 sez - "West, it's good to see you not supporting ridiculous "if you don't like the TSA, you should leave the US" comments"

Disagreeing with someone does not mean that they should "leave the country" or even their city or town. It simply means we have differing viewpoints on how things should work - there are so many ways to do things that we are bound to disagree on things from time to time. I welcome the varying points of view that are represented here, and wish we had more active participation from more people.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Marshax3 sez - "West, it's good to see you not supporting ridiculous "if you don't like the TSA, you should leave the US" comments"

Disagreeing with someone does not mean that they should "leave the country" or even their city or town. It simply means we have differing viewpoints on how things should work - there are so many ways to do things that we are bound to disagree on things from time to time. I welcome the varying points of view that are represented here, and wish we had more active participation from more people.

West
TSA Blog Team

May 18, 2014 at 8:02 AM

.................
The people not participating are you TSA bloggers. Rarely are questions answered. If they are it is couched in CYA speak.