Friday, August 15, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 45 Loaded Firearms, a Fireworks Kit, Sword Canes, and More


Loaded Firearms Discovered in a Carry-On Bag at Charlotte (CLT)
Loaded Firearms Discovered in a Carry-On Bag at Charlotte (CLT)

51 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 52 firearms, 45 were loaded and 21 had rounds chambered.

Aluminum Powder - Two bags of aluminum powder, two mortar shells, and a fireworks making kit were discovered in checked baggage at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). All fireworks and explosive devices are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage.
Aluminum Powder Discovered Along With a Fireworks Kit at Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
Aluminum Powder Discovered Along With a Fireworks Kit at Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying prohibited items. 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. 
  • A lipstick knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • Two canes with concealed 12-inch blades were discovered at the checkpoint in Memphis (MEM).
  • A cell phone case doubling as a sheath for a push dagger was discovered at Tampa (TPA).
Sword Canes Discovered at Memphis (MEM) - Knife in Phone Case Discovered at Tampa (TPA)
Sword Canes Discovered at Memphis (MEM) - Knife in Phone Case Discovered at Tampa (TPA)
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 live smoke grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Tucson (TUS).
  • Three inert grenades were discovered in checked bags this week. Two were discovered at New York Kennedy (JFK), and one was discovered at Rochester (ROC).
  • An inert grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Detroit (DTW).
  • A spent mortar casing encrusted in dried mud was discovered in a checked bag at San Antonio (SAN).
Spent Mortar & Rounds & Live .50 Caliber Round (SAT), Inert Grenade (DTW), Smoke Grenade (TUS)
Spent Mortar & Rounds & Live .50 Caliber Round (SAT), Inert Grenade (DTW), Smoke Grenade (TUS)
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.
Compound Bow & Samurai Sword Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Austin (AUS)
Compound Bow & Samurai Sword Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Austin (AUS)
Fireworks - Cincinnati (CVG), Flare - Jackson (JAN), Knife - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
Fireworks - Cincinnati (CVG), Flare - Jackson (JAN), Knife - Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
Stun Guns –11 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Denver (DEN), Oakland (OAK), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Reno (RNO), San Diego (SAN), San Juan (SJU), Sioux Falls (FSD), and Stockton (SCK).
Airsoft Guns – Two Airsoft guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at the New Orleans (MSY) and Dallas Love (DAL) airports. 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

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Ammunition Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Houston (IAH)
Ammunition Discovered in Carry-on Bag at Houston (IAH)
Discovered in Carry-on Bags at (Left to Right / Top to Bottom) BWI, HOU, HOU, PDX, LAS, ORF
Discovered in Carry-on Bags at (Left to Right / Top to Bottom) BWI, HOU, HOU, PDX, LAS, ORF
Discovered in Carry-on Bags at (Left to Right / Top to Bottom) ICT, HOU, CLT, BZN, TUL
Discovered in Carry-on Bags at (Left to Right / Top to Bottom) ICT, HOU, CLT, BZN, TUL
51 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 52 firearms, 45 were loaded and 21 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:

SSSS for Some Reason said...

An increasing number of credit card knives and then..... nothing.

What happened?

Did someone higher up the org chart finally explain that an inch and a half blade is not a threat to civil aviation?

Pierre & Doris said...

It would be VERY interesting to read follow up reports as to how many people are delayed, Held, charged, etc. Might also be a deterrent.

David Gayle said...

Law enforcement seems to be doing a good job of finding firearms but not so good at deterring these type of offenses. Perhaps some jail time might help?

LAGirl said...

First - Bob, good to have you back. When there was a guest blogger last week, I worried that perhaps you'd gotten a job that wouldn't allow you to exercise your sense of humor.

Second - WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? I know THEY feel safer having their weapons (or have completely forgotten they have them at all), but the rest of us are freaked out, and for goodness' sake THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED IN CARRY ON LUGGAGE. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that with all the publicity and knowledge that everyone has of the rules of air travel that people disregard the law and risk arrest makes no sense at all. thank god the tsa is as good as they are

RB said...

 Anonymous said...I cannot believe that with all the publicity and knowledge that everyone has of the rules of air travel that people disregard the law and risk arrest makes no sense at all. thank god the tsa is as good as they areAugust 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM
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Please tell all of us where we can find, in one place, all of the TSA rules one must follow when transitting a TSA screening checkpoint.

Susan Richart said...

David Gayle wrote: "Law enforcement seems to be doing a good job of finding firearms but not so good at deterring these type of offenses."

TSA is NOT law enforcement even though they are dressed up to make gullible travelers believe they are.

The second half of your sentence is partially correct: TSA has obviously not deterred people from carrying all sorts of weapons and non-weapons through checkpoints.

Screen shot/DHS OIG statement

SSSS for Some Reason said...

David Gayle said...
"Law enforcement seems to be doing a good job of finding firearm"

Law enforcement isn't finding them.

The TSA is.

The TSA is not Law, they are not Officers, they can not detain or arrest. When they find something they have to call Law Enforcement.

CliffOnTheRoad said...

I have a desire to READ the project description for blog.tsa.gov

Akin to a 'job description' for a person, someone higher up must have put something on paper (oh, what an antique description).

Maybe "specs" or "specification for web page/site" including purpose.

Might produce a "why?" response from the moderator, but just as important as commenters want to help (as well as vent), it would be interesting to know things like IF a summary is sent up the chain of command.

I could continue but the wordage would be verbose. (?) I for one want to know if the valuable suggestions (useful comments) are ever seen by anyone other than users/viewers of each page on a weekly basis.

Otherwise, the impression might be "we do not care what the public thinks."

and a stupid thing; when the not-a-robot response is omitted, why is the name/URL disgarded on the redisplay. Someone makes decisions for this site, right?

Marsha x3 said...

Please note that the 45 guns allegedly found this week by screeners represents only 0.000375% of all people who flew last week. 0.0% of these weapons were found to be intended to be used for terrorist acts on an airline.

These numbers are in line with the number of guns found every week for the past several years. Nothing the TSA has done, including these incessant blotter posts, has reduced this number over this time.

In fact, the number of guns found by the FAA and private security back in the 1980s were more in quantity and a higher percentage of the flying public.

The flying public is not notably safer because the TSA found a few dozen guns. For every three they find, the TSA misses seven! This is per TSA's own tests and published results.

So, you are over twice as likely to be sitting next to a person who got a gun through screening than one whose gun was found by screeners. Still feel safe?

All in all, finding a non-air travel "threat" on 45 out of 12,000,000 passengers is miniscule and not statistically significant.

*screenshot*

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob, now that you are off probation or back from vacation or better now, perhaps you'll answer the question Lynn Dean and West Cooper failed to answer - what is the process for reporting missing items when a TSA employee is alleged to be culpable?

GSOLTSO said...

SSSS sez - "What happened?"

We have simply rotated focus, plus we had some other things that caught the collective eye this week. At the end of the year review post that will post tons of information and numbers and crazy stuff we see in the checkpoints.

P.S. We may see more information on the CC knives in future weekly posts.

David Gayle sez - "Perhaps some jail time might help?"

Not always a fitting action - many of the folks with prohibited items indicate that they simply forgot the item. Another thing to take into account, the local LEOs are responsible for any charges and/or arrests. We merely locate the items and contact the LEOs for certain types of items.

Anon sez - "I cannot believe that with all the publicity and knowledge that everyone has of the rules of air travel that people disregard the law and risk arrest makes no sense at all. thank god the tsa is as good as they are"

First, thanks for the kind comments!
Second, you would be surprised at how many folks simply forget something in their bags, regardless of the publicity and news stories.

West
TSA blog Team

Anonymous said...

So this blog entry is basically saying that TSA finds guns and knives with metal detectors and baggage x-rays. Wasn't this how it worked before TSA was created? (Yes.) Have shoe removal and use of naked body scanners somehow improved the detection of guns and knives since pre-9/11 days? (No.)

Anonymous said...

Another week, another complete absence of anything found with your slow, invasive, and dangerous naked body scanners.

Now, please, tell us: How many false alarms did the naked body scanners have last week? How many people had to needlessly undergo physical searches because you're using an ineffective technology that can't tell the difference between pleats and explosives?

And why are Curtis Burns, West Cooper, and other TSA bloggers unwilling to acknowledge, let alone answer, this simple question?

Mike Toreno said...

Clerks Pierre, David Gayle, LA Girl, and Anonymous as it happens, everyone who flew last week participated in a Red Team test and was carrying a gun, for a total of about 12.5 million guns brought to the TSA checkpoint. Of these 12.5 million, the TSA managed to find 45. So, the "as good as they are" TSA managed to miss about 12.5 million guns.

It's not an issue of deterring or not deterring, it's the fact that out of a very large population, it can be expected that a few low-probability events will occur.

RB said...

The item captioned as a smoke grenade is certainly not a grenade but a simple Day/Night flare. I carried 4 of them in my crewman survival vest when flying, they are stowed in most life rafts, and a version can be bought by civilians.

For you doubters read the instructions listed on the flare.

TSA again trying to make things out to be more than they are.

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...

Pierre & Doris said...
It would be VERY interesting to read follow up reports as to how many people are delayed, Held, charged, etc. Might also be a deterrent.

August 15, 2014 at 11:11 PM
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if you mean a deterrent for wasting the billionSS that we currently spend on this security theatre that makes us not one bit saafer but wastes huge amounts of time and resources, I agree ...
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David Gayle said...
Law enforcement seems to be doing a good job of finding firearms but not so good at deterring these type of offenses. Perhaps some jail time might help?

August 15, 2014 at 11:20 PM
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for forgetting that your carry gun is in your bag?? I forgot a Leatherman in mine a while back. ever forget?? happened to me. it might have happened with my carry gun, except a) it never leaves my person except to go back in the safe, and b) I finally stopped carrying regularly because some brain surgeon in Congress banned the carry of firearms on all federal facilities (Ft. Hood and Navy Yard showed us how well that worked). these folks represent one hundredth of one percent of the flying public and not ONE was a threat to aviation. give it a rest.
---------------------------------

LAGirl said...
Second - WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? I know THEY feel safer having their weapons (or have completely forgotten they have them at all), but the rest of us are freaked out, and for goodness' sake THEY'RE NOT ALLOWED IN CARRY ON LUGGAGE. Sigh.

August 16, 2014 at 12:07 AM
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perhaps you've hit upon the problem -- you are 'freaked out' by a law-abiding individual exercising a civil right. seems like the question should be 'what's wrong with you' ...
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Anonymous said...
I cannot believe that with all the publicity and knowledge that everyone has of the rules of air travel that people disregard the law and risk arrest makes no sense at all. thank god the tsa is as good as they are

August 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM
---------------------------------
again, they forget. ever forget something?? happened to me ... (with thanks to Ron White). and the TSA is nothing even vaguely like 'good'. their own testing results showed that they allow 7 prohibited items through for every 3 they catch. and that was before they stopped publishing the results because they were embarrassed by them.

GSOLTSO said...

Mike Toreno sez - "Anonymous as it happens, everyone who flew last week participated in a Red Team test and was carrying a gun, for a total of about 12.5 million guns brought to the TSA checkpoint. Of these 12.5 million, the TSA managed to find 45. So, the "as good as they are" TSA managed to miss about 12.5 million guns."

DISCLAIMER - The above statement is not factually correct, 12.5 million people were not part of a Red Team test, and all 12.5 million did not carry a firearm with them last week.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
Mike Toreno sez - "Anonymous as it happens, everyone who flew last week participated in a Red Team test and was carrying a gun, for a total of about 12.5 million guns brought to the TSA checkpoint. Of these 12.5 million, the TSA managed to find 45. So, the "as good as they are" TSA managed to miss about 12.5 million guns."

DISCLAIMER - The above statement is not factually correct, 12.5 million people were not part of a Red Team test, and all 12.5 million did not carry a firearm with them last week.

West
TSA Blog Team

August 19, 2014 at 4:44 AM
.............
How many people did participate in Red Team testing and what was the TSA failure rate?

We know it was 70% a few years ago.

(will this comment be censored like two others I submitted this week that fully complied with the illegal TSA posting guidelines?)

RB said...

Looks like TSA succeeded once again in wasting taxpayers monies.

TSA spent over $1 Billion dollars on Backscatter Whole Body Strip Search Machines and the devices didn't work as well as TSA claimed.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/08/20/study-tsa-full-body-x-ray-scanners-miss-guns-explosives-knives/

"Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University maneuvered weapons past the full-body X-ray scanners that were deployed at U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013 – at a cost of more than $1 billion.
“Frankly, we were shocked by what we found,” said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, in a statement. “A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques.”"


Now a Billion Dollars of our tax money goes in the garbage can along with the Explosive Trace Portals and who knows what else that TSA is hiding from the public.

GAO should do a top to bottom review of all TSA spending before the next piece of gear is purchased even if it is just a sheet of paper.

Anonymous said...

Just curious, read where a TSA screener was involved in a Bank ATM robbery. The guy that hit the ATM machine was wearing latex gloves and the TSA employee was the get away driver.

Question, were the gloves stolen from the government?

Waiting for the "We hold our employees to the highest ethical standards" except TSA seems to have a problem finding law abiding employees.

Wintermute said...

RB said...

"How many people did participate in Red Team testing and what was the TSA failure rate?

"We know it was 70% a few years ago."

Well, if we are to believe the GAO, that number has changed very little over time, so it should be roughly 70% still.

JIMMY said...

I KNOW THE RULES OF TSA AND REALLY NEVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH ANY OF YOU ALL SO I KNOW I WONT VIOLATE THE RULE RULES AND IM ALWAYS ALERT.

BUT HERE A QUESTION IF I SEE SOMETHING AND WANNA LET THE FLIGHT ATTENDENT KNOW WHAT WOUD BE A SAFEST WAY WITHOUT ALERTING THE PERSON AS A POTENTIAL TERRORIST?

Aunty Jimmy said...

HEY JIMMY!!!!

Stop yellling. Typing in all CAPS is considered yelling.

Don't expect a reply from the blotter team. (Though by making this statement, West just may reply to "prove me wrong." lol)

Since the chance of you even encountering a terrorist on a plane is zero, a reply isn't really needed, but here goes.

1. Don't stand up and scream, "TERRORIST!" while pointing at him.

2. Use your call button and quietly describe the issue to the attendant.

3. If the "terrorist" is sitting next to you, pretend you're going to the bathroom and then talk with the attendant who is likely nearby.

4. Make sure you think the man is a real, legitimate that to the plane, and not guilty of "flying while brown/foreign/odd-looking."

Happy flying!