Friday, July 18, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 38 Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week (And Other Items of Note)


Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at Medford (MAF).
Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at Medford (MAF).

43 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 43 firearms, 38 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert 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.
  • A realistic replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Bradley (BDL).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag Syracuse (SYR).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at El Paso (ELP).
Inert grenade discovered in a checked bag at Syracuse (SYR).
Inert grenade discovered in a checked bag at Syracuse (SYR).
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. 
  • Credit Card Knives - 63 credit card knives were discovered this week. 11 were discovered at Tampa (TPA), 10 at Minneapolis (MSP), nine at San Francisco (SFO), six at Knoxville (TYS), six at Nashville (BNA), four at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), three at Minot (MOT), two at Medford (MFR), two at Providence (PVD), two at Rochester (RST), and the remainder were discovered at Billings (BIL), Columbia (CAE), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Grand Rapids (GRR),San Jose (SJC), Traverse City (TVC), Tri-Cities (TRI), and Wilmington (ILM). Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives.
  • A stun cane was discovered at Tampa (TPA).
  • An 8½-inch knife was detected in the lining of a carry-on bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
  • Three utility knife-blades were discovered inside the lining of a shoe in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC).
  • A 9-inch double-edged shank was detected concealed inside the lining of a zipper compartment in a carry-on bag at Medford (MFR).
  • A comb-knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Guam (GUM).
Stun cane discovered at Tampa (TPA).
Stun cane discovered at Tampa (TPA).
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 many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Stun Guns – 16 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Three were discovered at San Francisco (SFO), two at Denver (DEN), and the remainder were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago Midway (MDW), Dallas Love (DAL), Sacramento (SMF),  Baltimore (BWI), Denver (DEN), Tampa (TPA), El Paso (ELP), Las Vegas (LAS), Nashville (BNA), Orange County (SNA), Pensacola (PNS), Phoenix (PHX), and Sacramento (SMF).

Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered this week in a carry-on bag at the Denver (DEN) airport. 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 at: (Left - Right / Top to Bottom) FLL, HOU, TYS, ATL, SPS & FNT
Firearms Discovered at: (Left - Right / Top to Bottom) FLL, HOU, TYS, ATL, SPS & FNT

43 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 43 firearms, 38 were loaded and eight 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 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. 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.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

What kind of ID should I bring if I live in Washington, D.C. Your screeners do not view my license as valid. And believe I should have a passport since I do not live in the U.S. (I only live in Washington D.C. the nation's capital).

Please advise

Mike in Philadelphia said...

The real problem is the prohibition on carrying weapons on planes. It should not exist in the first place. People have a basic human right to defend themselves. This right does not end just because one wishes to board a plane.

Gertrude said...

Why would someone attempt to board any airline with illegal items is a mystery to me.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"... our officers also regularly find firearm components,"

You know something, the TSA has never explained why components would be prohibited items.

I understand if you have *all* of the components because that would basically be a firearm at that point.

But some parts?

Parts of a firearm are not a firearm. They are parts. A rifle barrel is nothing more than a metal tube and not much different than your average walking cane so if I can bring a cane on board but not a rifle barrel..... oh... wait... I just ran into the usual TSA logic with that one. You can't take your water through security because it might be dangerous, but we are going to simply through it away because its not like it dangerous or anything.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "What kind of ID should I bring if I live in Washington, D.C. Your screeners do not view my license as valid. And believe I should have a passport since I do not live in the U.S. (I only live in Washington D.C. the nation's capital).

Please advise"

The DC license and ID issued by the DC authorities are recognized forms of valid ID for the checkpoints, as long as they are not expired, they are valid.

Gertrude sez - "Why would someone attempt to board any airline with illegal items is a mystery to me."

Not all items found are necessarily illegal. Sometimes a person with an illegal item simply forgot they had the item, or was unaware that the item was illegal in the first place. Each different location has the regulations/laws that apply there, and they can vary widely from location to location.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

"...Gertrude said...
Why would someone attempt to board any airline with illegal items is a mystery to me."

Well, Gertrude, it is really simple. Something that are legal in one state are not in another.

Pot, for example, is legal in Colorado but not in New York. Having pot in your luggage in New York is illegal, having pot in your luggage in Colorado isn't.

Trying to judge others by the standards of your area is an exercise in futility.

Anonymous said...

Another week, another complete lack of any dangerous items that needed your slow, invasive, and dangerous naked body scanners to be found.

Meanwhile, how many innocent people had to suffer needless pat-downs from TSA screeners because of false alarms from the naked body scanners?

And why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper afraid to acknowledge, let alone answer, this question?

Anonymous said...

What do you have to say about Eric Slighton, the guy who posed as a TSA agent and groped women before any of the blue shirts noticed something was amiss?

Anonymous said...

Mike in Philadelphia said...
The real problem is the prohibition on carrying weapons on planes. It should not exist in the first place. People have a basic human right to defend themselves. This right does not end just because one wishes to board a plane.

July 18, 2014 at 8:25 PM
--------------
You sir,
have won the internet for the day!

Mike Toreno said...

"The DC license and ID issued by the DC authorities are recognized forms of valid ID for the checkpoints, as long as they are not expired, they are valid."

Clerk West, what happens to document checkers who are too lazy to learn which documents are acceptable? Are they fired? Has any TSA clerk ever been fired for incompetence? Has any member of the TSA blog team ever been fired for dishonesty?

Anonymous said...

I was recently told that it was a felony and I could be in big trouble for being in possession of a narcotic that was prescribed to me by my Costa Rican doctor during the 18 months I lived in that country. I had maybe 150 pills with me when I moved back to the US. I have the prescription container, my name, script date, etc.in English. If this is true then that means anyone who lives in a foreign country and visits the US cannot bring their prescription pain medication with them. Was this person just trying to scare me?

Susan Richart said...

In another thread, RB wrote:

"Search Results For:
cholesterol pills

Check or Carry-on

You may transport this item in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage. For items you wish to carry-on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane."

Yet if one does a search for "heart medication" the response is
as West has posted so often:

"TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection."

This says to me that the TSA believes it has the right to confiscate nitroglycerin pills if they want to do so.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

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.

RB said...

Susan Richart said...

In another thread, RB wrote:

"Search Results For:cholesterol pills

Check or Carry-on
You may transport this item in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage. For items you wish to carry-on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane."

Yet if one does a search for "heart medication" the response is as West has posted so often:"TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection."

This says to me that the TSA believes it has the right to confiscate nitroglycerin pills if they want to do so.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement
July 21, 2014 at 7:09 AM
.....
............

I have proven beyond all doubt that the TSA Can I Take tool does not give a useable response for medical nitro glycerin.

I noticed that TSA and its bloggers clam up when confronted with the truth and shows how spouting the TSA party line is both dishonest and an unacceptable level of public service.

How hard would it be to own up and say that yes the tool gives poor information and take steps to get it fixed.

It's easier to just confiscate life saving medicines at TSA.
.............................

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "Trying to judge others by the standards of your area is an exercise in futility."

It is also an entirely normal occurrence. Many people find themselves in trouble simply because of these differences in laws based on location. It does not mean the person is necessarily acting with criminal intent, it simply means that something allowed somewhere else is in a location that does not allow it. A good example of this is a shuriken. If I recall correctly, all 50 states have some form of regulation regarding the ownership or possession of them, but some states hold possession of them as a felony. In many cases, situations like this are simply a person being unaware of the differences in laws or regulations.

Anon sez - "I was recently told that it was a felony and I could be in big trouble for being in possession of a narcotic that was prescribed to me by my Costa Rican doctor during the 18 months I lived in that country"

I can not speak to your specific situation, but some information on bringing prescription medicines into the US can be found here at CBPs page.

Information regarding prescription medicines with regard to flying (for anyone coming here in the future) can be found here.

I would contact the organization (that you were speaking with when you were given this information) directly to make certain that you will be aware for certain in future travels. I hope this info helps.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Can you comment on the incident of the fake screener patting down women in a private screening room at the airport in San Francisco? How does TSA have authority over this case, given that investigations of public intoxication and sexual assault are not within TSA's purview? If what happened in the private screening room was sexual assault and/or illegal detention, how are TSA procedures in the private screening room not considered sexual assault and/or illegal detention as well?

From one article about the incident:

"...However, the case has largely gone hush-hush since the federal Transportation Security Administration, which oversees airport security, took over the investigation into how the breach happened."
--http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/SFO-s-alleged-fake-screener-is-a-high-powered-5628564.php

@skywaymanaz said...

West, you may or may not be aware that a reporter for a Washington, DC TV station was recently questioned about where the District of Columbia is by the document checker. Respectfully I understand why you have to say it is a valid ID, and it is, but how would you suggest we correctly challenge a screener who refuses to accept a TSA approved ID as valid? No passenger should ever be put into a situation where they may miss their flight because a poorly trained screener won't accept a valid TSA approved ID. There are numerous examples of screeners not accepting them over the years. Even Bob got quite the earful on here once when he challenged us to provide examples when/where screeners refused to accept the SENTRI card.

Richard B. Johnson said...

If there had been a theoretical "West Texas Airline" in which everyone was expected to carry weapons, there would never have been even the first hijacking to Cuba.

However, the government decided that we need to protect ourselves from ourselves. This is what we get.

@skywaymanaz said...

Anonymous said...
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/SFO-s-alleged-fake-screener-is-a-high-powered-5628564.php

This is EXACTLY why passengers should not be directed to a private room by TSA. Even if everything is professional the screener just opened themselves up to possible false allegations the public would find credible even before stories like this. The strip searches at JFK that many elderly passengers endured and law enforcement confirmed took place make almost anything someone says credible in that circumstance. TSA initially denied those allegations but eventually apologized only after their Congressman threatened an investigation.

Anonymous said...

Sexual assault is serious cause for concern. The successful impersonation of a TSA officer in an airport is serious cause for concern. Both need to be dealt with, yet one has to take precedence. And so only one agency can lead the investigation, including the other as appropriate to its scope of responsibility. Which concern is ultimately more dangerous to more people? The answer should guide the decision.

Anonymous said...

"Sexual assault is serious cause for concern. The successful impersonation of a TSA officer in an airport is serious cause for concern. Both need to be dealt with, yet one has to take precedence. And so only one agency can lead the investigation, including the other as appropriate to its scope of responsibility. Which concern is ultimately more dangerous to more people? The answer should guide the decision."

You are saying that the impersonation of a TSA employee is more worthy of investigation than the sexual assault of an air traveler!

TSA is not law enforcement, so TSA has no authority to investigate sexual assaults. If TSA is leading the investigation into the incident, it must mean that the federal government is more interested in the impersonation than in the assault. Given that the risk of an assault is higher than the risk of a terror incident (e.g., we have a documented case of TSA checkpoint assault before us and no documented cases of a terrorist bypassing a TSA checkpoint), the government has it wholly backwards! Who is the government trying to protect: travelers or TSA?

[screenshot]

Anonymous said...

Is Eric McLean Slighton in the PreCheck program?

Anonymous said...

A real law enforcement agency should investigate not TSA Keystone Kops.

TSA can review how Covenant lo lost control of their checkpoint.

euroPain said...

"....The real problem is the prohibition on carrying weapons on planes. It should not exist in the first place. People have a basic human right to defend themselves...."

that`s an interesting american point of view...

why would you need a gun?
in europe nobody needs a gun if not to commit a crime....easy as it sounds there is not need of a gun on a plane man.

Gretz from the democratic part of the world (Europe)

@skywaymanaz said...

Anonymous said...

"TSA has no authority to investigate sexual assaults."

Personally I don't think TSA wants that aspect of it investigated. From what global media have conditioned us to accept from the TSA it wouldn't surprise me if either of the women assaulted consider their experience unusual. Clearly it was unacceptable to most people but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the only difference between what this imposter did and what TSA does is that a woman would have been doing it instead. That's not to say he didn't do far worse but either neither of them thought it unusual or if they did they may have feard retalition for reporting it.

Anonymous said...

"Is Eric McLean Slighton in the PreCheck program?"

If he was he should be expelled and placed on the do not fly list. I'm not a big fan of the no fly list for reasons I won't get into here but as long as we have it he should be on it. Presumably he is awaiting his day in court on criminal charges placing him under sufficient suspicion to place him on the list for now and the rest of his life upon conviction. He could have done far worse to harm aviation security with his impersonation.