Friday, June 6, 2014

Empty AK-47 Magazines in Checked Bag at JFK



Empty AK-47 Magazines
Not Actual Items

There are stories circulating right now about something that’s not quite as newsworthy as it sounds. Two empty AK-47 magazines were discovered in a checked bag after TSA had screened that bag. That has led many to believe our officers and technology missed these items. You can seek out the stories for more details about the overall incident, but as far as TSA is concerned, our officers didn’t miss anything.



Our officers are looking for explosives in checked baggage that could cause catastrophic damage to the aircraft, not guns, knives, or empty AK-47 magazines. (Click here for details on how to properly travel with firearms in checked baggage.)



You see, travelers can’t get to their checked baggage while in flight. That’s why we allow passengers to travel with many items in checked baggage that are prohibited in carry-on bags.



If you take a look at our prohibited items list, you’ll see a side by side comparison chart of what can and can’t be packed in your checked and carry-on bags. 


 
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10 comments:

RB said...

Then why did TSA brag about this find, and yes it was in checked baggage?

"A plastic bag containing 67 pills hidden inside of a hollowed out textbook was discovered in checked baggage at Philadelphia (PHL)."

Sound like an illegal search to me. No danger to the aircraft in any way.

RB said...

Serious question that I would appreciate being answered.

It has been reported that some TSA screeners are confiscating medical nitroglycerin pills.

I think any sane person knows that these pills are not and cannot be converted to an explosive state due to adulterents added to the pills not to mention the very minute amount of active ingredient.

Exactly what is TSA's policy regarding medical nitroglycerin pills?

Is TSA aware that medical nitroglycerin is also prescribed in both patches and as an ointment? Are these forms of medical nitroglycerin also confiscated by TSA?

What is the Risk Based analysis that would suggest the need to confiscate medical nitroglycerin, a non-explosive life saving medicine?

What the heck is TSA thinking?

@SkyWayManAz said...

"Our officers are looking for explosives in checked baggage that could cause catastrophic damage to the aircraft, not guns, knives, or empty AK-47 magazines."

Almost every week on here I see a blog post about how your officers have found illegal drugs. I'm not condoning people using those illegal substances but it is technically beyond the mandate you've been given. When this point has been raised in the past you accurately state that if a screener encounters evidence of a criminal act they are supposed to contact a law enforcement officer.

I'm a little confused over why a screener would contact the Police over illegal drugs and not contact them over firearms not declared. This occurred in New York City, a jurisdiction with tough firearm restrictions, making it harder to understand. The TSA policy on checked firearms among other things states, "All firearms and firearms parts must be declared to the aircraft operator." You appear to be saying in this post that it isn't any of TSA's responsibility to confirm this has actually happened when they screen a checked bag. That's a little odd to argue it isn't your responsibility to confirm your policies are adhered to.

I also find it interesting the only reason they were stopped initially was for having more than $10,000 in their luggage. They had boarding passes for an international flight and there are Customs regulations about having that much cash. That makes it fall under the catch all about how they can summon law enforcement. However by arguments TSA made defending their actions in this case that shouldn't be something your screeners are actively looking for at the checkpoint either. There have been some highly publicized incidents of political campaign workers and business professionals being harassed by TSA in the past over this point for domestic travel. There is no law TSA can point to justifying those incidents.

At any rate whether or not you feel your policies were followed or not the public is right to question why you allowed this sort of thing to happen. The public doesn’t understand why they are required to submit to a pat down on intimate areas of their body while only being allowed to carry travel size toiletries if your screeners aren’t really that worried about illegal firearm shipments.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
Serious question that I would appreciate being answered.

It has been reported that some TSA screeners are confiscating medical nitroglycerin pills.

====================================================================
I did a web search and found nothing about TSA screeners confiscating Nitro pills. In my opinion this is a false story to make TSA look bad.

Medication is allowed in carry-on bags.

Charlie said...

It's not a random screening if I'm screened every time.

RB said...

 Anonymous said...RB said... Serious question that I would appreciate being answered.It has been reported that some TSA screeners are confiscating medical nitroglycerin pills.====================================================================
I did a web search and found nothing about TSA screeners confiscating Nitro pills. In my opinion this is a false story to make TSA look bad.Medication is allowed in carry-on bags.June 9, 2014 at 6:03 PM
-------------------------
Then you didn't look enough.

TSA also confiscates Clear Care brand contact lens solutions without reason.

Anonymous said...

Hey TSAnonymous who claims nitro pills haven't been confiscated, read the comments from the next post up. There are links.

Marsha x3 said...

The blotter team wrote: "There are stories circulating right now about something that’s not quite as newsworthy as it sounds."

1. You do not get to determine what the media and the public deem worthy of attention.

2. Screeners miss seven actual weapons for every three they find. Of course TSA employees miss things.

3. Patronizing the American taxpayer by stating the obvious, "You see, travelers can’t get to their checked baggage while in flight," is not only unnecessary, it is unprofessional.

4. Your chart could easily have been rendered as an actual HTML table instead of a pixelated image. You can take online classes to learn HTML basics. Talk to your boss about it.


screenshot

GSOLTSO said...

Marsha x3 sez - "The blotter team wrote: "There are stories circulating right now about something that’s not quite as newsworthy as it sounds."

1. You do not get to determine what the media and the public deem worthy of attention.

2. Screeners miss seven actual weapons for every three they find. Of course TSA employees miss things.

3. Patronizing the American taxpayer by stating the obvious, "You see, travelers can’t get to their checked baggage while in flight," is not only unnecessary, it is unprofessional.

4. Your chart could easily have been rendered as an actual HTML table instead of a pixelated image. You can take online classes to learn HTML basics. Talk to your boss about it."

From the screening point of view, unloaded magazines in checked baggage are not a concern. So, from the same point of view, not "finding" 2 unloaded magazines in a checked bag is TSA just doing the job as it is described. Hence the "not as newsworthy" thought. Empty magazines go through undeclared in checked baggage all the time - that is what is supposed to happen.

Had this been in carryon baggage, the regulations are different and the magazines are not allowed.

West
TSA Blog Team

Marsha x3 said...

West, you don't understand the meaning of "newsworthy."

The TSA is a government agency that downplays negative reports about itself in a dismissive and unprofessional manner quite often.

You could clarify or explain a common or normal situation, but the TSA, as the perpetrator of these situations, does not get to determine newsworthiness.