Friday, September 5, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 35 Loaded Firearms, Inert Grenades, Lipstick Knife, and More



Loaded firearm discovered at Austin (AUS).

42 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 42 firearms, 35 were loaded and seven had rounds chambered. 
 
Lipstick knife discovered in a carry-on bag at LaGuardia (LGA).
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 LaGuardia (LGA).
  • A cane sword was discovered at Philadelphia (PHL).

Grenades Discovered at (L-R) ILM, SEA, AUS
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. 
  • Four inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. One was discovered in checked baggage at Austin (AUS), and the other three were discovered in carry-on bags at Wilmington (ILM), Minneapolis (MSP), and Seattle (SEA).
Knife Discovered In Carry-on Bag At San Diego
Discovered In Carry-on Bag At San Diego

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.
Bear Mace (ANC)
Bear Attack Deterrent Discovered in Carry-on Bag at (ANC)
Stun Guns –13 stun guns were discovered this week. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Portland (PDX), and the remainder were found at Atlanta (ATL), Boise (BOI), Chicago Midway (MDW), Cordova (CDV),  Dallas Love (DAL), Jackson (JAN),  Nashville (BNA), Richmond (RIC), and San Francisco (SFO).
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 (IAH)
Ammunition Discovered in Carry-on Bag at (IAH)
(Clockwise From Top Left) Firearms Discovered at MEM, LBB, SFO, ATL, ONT, BHM, SHV
(Clockwise From Top Left) Firearms Discovered at MEM, LBB, SFO, ATL, ONT, BHM, SHV
42 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 42 firearms, 35 were loaded and seven 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.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

35 guns or 42?

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"... 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. "

You have been finding roughly 40 firearms per week across your entire system. You don't get a gold star for that because it's your job, that is what you are supposed to do.

My question is why are there no reports of arrests?

I understand that you (the TSA, not you personally) are not Law Enforcement so you don't have the authority to arrest anyone. Anything you find that requires someone being detained or arrested and you have to call local LEO's. Why does an internet search not bring up any reports of people being arrested for all this blotter post finds?

Anonymous said...

Blotter team, if you can "note" weekly how many INERT, REPLICA, and TOY "weapons" you seize, then you can note how many other "prohibited items" you confiscate from the public.

You simply don't want to reveal that the "many other prohibited items too numerous to note" is water, soft drinks, soap, hair products, and medication.

Be honest with America, for once.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "35 guns or 42?"

The answer was in the first couple of lines and the title, 42 total guns discovered, 35 of them were loaded.

SSSS sez - "My question is why are there no reports of arrests?"

The arrest reports (if one is generated) are by the local LEOs, and not of them report things as publicly as other locations do. TSA is not truly concerned with arrests, as it is not a part of our function - we simply contact the LEOs when certain items are found. It may be that not many people are actually arrested - each location has their own set of laws governing the responses by those LEOs - some folks are simply issued a citation or summons and released (quick enough to make their flights in some cases!).

Anon sez - "Blotter team, if you can "note" weekly how many INERT, REPLICA, and TOY "weapons" you seize, then you can note how many other "prohibited items" you confiscate from the public."

The listing each week is not even close to being comprehensive, it is a selection of items discovered that week. We tend to post things that are unusual in order to help communicate to our audience that those items may cause them challenges if they bring them to the airport. Sometimes things are mentioned frequently because of the serious problems that can be created when they are discovered in the checkpoint (such as firearms and incendiaries, smoke grenades, etc). Sometimes things are lesser challenges like credit card knives are mentioned for a period and then we move to other items that we see trends on.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

How many harmless "f" bombs did TSA steal last week?

Anonymous said...

"We tend to post things that are unusual in order to help communicate to our audience that those items may cause them challenges if they bring them to the airport."

West, you seem like a decent person, but I can't accept your argument here when you post pics of guns, knives, and replica grenades EVERY WEEK. How are any of these items "unusual" at this point? Why not post pics of the large water bottles and toys to better inform travelers about what is allowed and what is not?

Peggy said...

Peggy said...

What about when the baby is born and parents are told they have to be subjected to a physically invasive patdown to be "allowed" by the TSA to carry food or drink for their child?

July 23, 2014 at 2:59 PM

----

Why haven't you responded? Parents want to know.

August 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm
----

11 days later. Still waiting.
August 18, 2014 at 6:59 AM
----

10 days even later. Still waiting.
August 28, 2014 at 10:30 PM
----

I posted the question above and followed up three times on the Pregnant Women blotter post and was totally ignored. Please answer my question. I have been waiting six weeks.

September 4, 2014 at 7:23 AM
---
I posted the question at the top and have followed up four times so far. Still being totally ignored. Please answer my question.

Anonymous said...

West, you didn't even try reply to my statement. More obfuscation.

The TSA blotter should note how many other "prohibited items" is confiscated from the public. It should also note what those items are: water, soft drinks, soap, hair products, and medication.

Why is the TSA blotter afraid to give the American public an accounting and a perspective of the tiny percentage of scaaaary items versus everyday private property?

Anonymous said...

You all have a tough joB and do the beSt you can. Thanks from one old traveler.

CliffOnTheRoad said...

Reasonable and appreciated reply to readers comments. Thanks.

Yet I would like to express my support for having this blog contain other, non firearm incidents.

The blog is not titled "guns" nor does its existence appear to be helping educate the public, so,

Unless your "charter" says to report only things which go boom (or not boom) or can draw blood, kindly entertain us and educate us and maybe the press will find reasons to come here to help educate the flying (riding/walking) public. One role is to reduce delays, right?

Tell the world that a jar of peanut butter was seized, or butter knives caused the TSA clerks (employees) to get real excited.

Tell us how some of the items were disposed of, and the cost associated. Be creative. Expand your job description.

Maybe we can come up with answers as to better use the liquid hair shampoo.

You will note that there aren't 40 people anymore crying out how the TSA hasn't added to public safety. And even I won't repeat that gunproof cockpit doors make firearms in the cabin moot.

2 addons. One; Police one State gives a monthly count of speeders, but will not supply details of the other types of tickets they issue. It's sad when the publics questions are dismissed so easily.

Two; I wonder if any official cares about the expense involved with closing an airport or rescreening passengers.It is almost "I do my job but every once in a while I get to bask in the spotlight." (This item is not composed well. sorry.)

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...

Another week, another complete lack of anything that you needed your slow, invasive, and dangerous naked body scanners to detect. Can you tell us how many false alarms resulting in needless physical searches your naked body scanners caused this week? Or are Curtis Burns and West Cooper for some reason unwilling to acknowledge, let alone answer, that question?

Anonymous said...

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.

September 8, 2014 at 9:48 AM
.......................



Major Nidal Malik Hasan was (is?) active duty Army and TSA would have given him Pre Check without question.

My 23 years of military service ending with retirement earn squat from TSA.

Anyone see a problem with this picture.

Anonymous said...

These are dry runs, They are running the odds. As soon as they get # consecutive successful dry runs, they will attack.
We need to have dogs at baggage check, we need to profile people. It's better to be safe than to be sorry.
It is the homegrown terrorist, we need to worry about. Air travel will take a dramatic twist, where people would have to come to Airline Check in, remove all garments and then given clothes like in a Hospital that they have to wear for the duration of the flight . Instead of free movies and drinks, they can have complimentary jump suits they can take home after a flight.
No Burkha's, No Naqab, No Turbans, no Kirpans, nothing, just plain jump suits made out of cheap chemical resistant fabric.

All passengers must be handcuffed to their seat at take off and will be released only on landing .
You want to fly American and jeopardize fellow passengers, here is how you do it.

For those of us who do not like flying commercial, the price of Charter is a small price to pay for comfort.

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys are finding some things. Here's what I found this week while traveling, unprofessional TSA security screeners dancing, clapping, laughing, and high fiving each other at the security checkpoint…i.e. paying zero attention to detail. I wonder how many guns and grenades slipped by while these folks demonstrated zero professional bearing.

On my return flight I was greeted by an incompetent, lazy, arrogant, rude security agent who wanted to get out of some work by telling everyone in our security line to walk down to the next checkpoint because they had more lines open. She took a condescending tone to anyone who stayed in line, basically insinuating that they were idiots.

She even tried to sway the crowd by promising us that her line was going to take 30 minutes to get through…in fact it took 5.

So I'm glad y'all are showing us the stuff you're catching…but I'm more worried about the stuff the incompetent "security" personnel are not catching while they are dancing or trying to get out of work by forcing their line to go somewhere else.

I tried to relay all of this to the TSA through the "talk to tsa" form on the web site…but much like the security folks I found this week…it doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Yes as for Retired Uniforms Services Member I am one. During my active duty service I had a Secret Security Clearance based on a Background Investigation by Office of Naval Intelligence. That would actually be a Top Secret Clearance, but I did not need to know Top Secret information. The security clearance was administratively terminated in order to reduce cost in keep the clearance up to date, and know longer having the need to know. How many uniformed service members walk through the line today with not even a confidential clearance that is nothing than a local records check within a unit. How many have a clearance and are the Personnel Reliability Program, some personnel who worked in my field would know what program that is or was.

pwrserge said...

So... What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." is unclear to you?

Susan Richart said...

Another bonehead move by the TSA. So glad this go recorded for posterity.

http://www.infowars.com/video-tsa-demands-to-conduct-full-body-pat-down-on-man-after-his-plane-already-landed/

scree shot/DHS OIG statement

RB said...

Where does TSA think it derives any authority to screen a person after they have completed their travel?

http://www.infowars.com/video-tsa-demands-to-conduct-full-body-pat-down-on-man-after-his-plane-already-landed/

"TSA DEMANDS TO CONDUCT FULL BODY PAT DOWN ON MAN AFTER HIS PLANE ALREADY LANDED"

Anonymous said...

I saw this online:

http://www.infowars.com/video-tsa-demands-to-conduct-full-body-pat-down-on-man-after-his-plane-already-landed/

What is the point of screening someone after they have arrived and are leaving the airport? I get that he wasn't properly screened at the original airport, but that's not his fault. Obviously the plane landed safely so why does it matter at that point?

Anonymous said...

Why are screeners stealing food out of people's bags?

http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/chow-town/article2043402.html

@skywaymanaz said...

"http://www.infowars.com/video-tsa-demands-to-conduct-full-body-pat-down-on-man-after-his-plane-already-landed/"

The only legitimate concern here is that a passenger not properly screened at the departure airport may have been making a connection after his arrival in Denver. Since that clearly was not the case it sounds to me like he did the correct thing that any of us should have done when presented with this situation. Film the interaction and when TSA says he's not being detained to calmly walk out of the airport immediately. TSA likes to play this game by saying we aren't being detained while clearly trying to detain us. All that needed to happen here was a screener or two could have followed him to make sure he did indeed leave and that should have been the end of it. I'm sure Bob and West will list all kinds of reasons why I'm wrong but remember the guy who impersonated a TSA screener at SFO? He directed people to private screening, exactly like they attempted to do with this passenger. No one should ever allow themselves to be screened privately by TSA. How would any of us know away from the checkpoint we aren't being deceived by a clever criminal? Since TSA has been known to employee criminals how would any of us know this wasn't a robbery? If the passenger was truly a threat Denver PD would have been involved as he exited the plane. That they were not is telling and should be correctly interpreted by any passengers as a sign they are facing an unknown and potentially hostile threat. I’m certain any woman flying alone would have this concern immediately. They should calmly make their way to the nearest exit and contact law enforcement if able. Unfortunately TSA has abused the public goodwill and trust enough to make these concerns valid.

Mike In Philadelphia said...

The real problem is that law abiding citizens are prohibited from carrying weapons on planes in the first place. They should be able to do so.

GSOLTSO said...

Cliff sez "Reasonable and appreciated reply to readers comments. Thanks.

Yet I would like to express my support for having this blog contain other, non firearm incidents.

The blog is not titled "guns" nor does its existence appear to be helping educate the public"

You are quite welcome!

While I understand the point you are making, the items you are mentioning will normally cost a traveler a few more minutes of time, where many of the items included on this blog will result in a serious increase in time spent in the checkpoint, as well as possible arrest in some locations. We have done posts on the LAG in the past, the signage is clearly posted at each checkpoint, and the normal interaction with TSOs after the discovery of one of these items is the process of finding the item (bag check), advising the passenger of their options, and following through on the resolution of the situation. When it involves a gun, or a boom item - the process becomes much more involved and time consuming - hence more focus on items of that nature. The "weird" or "crazy" items are things that may not be specifically posted on a sign in the checkpoint, so that is another reason we post items of that nature. So there is actually a method to the process here.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

pwserge sez - "So... What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." is unclear to you?"

Absolutely none of it. However, there are laws that dictate that firearms are not allowed in the carry-on bags, or on your person while on a commercial airliner. You are still able to transport your firearms with you on the planes, as long as they are declared and in the proper type of transport - which you can find the rules for here.

Anon sez - "Why are screeners stealing food out of people's bags?"

Based upon the article you provided -

"Mark Howell, a regional spokesman for TSA, said TSA representatives in Kansas City checked the logs and footage from when Porter would have checked his bag, but found nothing out of the ordinary."

So based upon the evidence presented by the article, TSA looked at the video feeds and saw nothing to indicate that they TSOs removed the BBQ in question from the bag. If you do find another link with some contradictory information, I would certainly be appreciative if you would include another link to it.

West
TSA Blog Team

Kerry, J. said...

West said, "...boom item..."

West also said, "...pwserge sez..."

How old are you, West? Writing like a nine year old girl who's texting is not professional nor a good use of our tax dollars.

You also said, "TSA looked at the video feeds and saw nothing to indicate that they [screener]s removed the BBQ in question from the bag."

Well, somebody did and what group of employees regularly opens baggage and paws through our private property? The TSA. You say it wasn't a screener, so who was it? Who was on the video, removing the man's property? If the TSA is supposed to keep planes safe, you should know if someone took something out of a bag OR put something in it.

What if this "non-screener" put a bomb in the bag? Would your video show that? Would that video be released to the public? We only have your word that it wasn't a screener.

"Mark Howel" didn't say they checked the video from the baggage search area. He said he looked at the video from the counter check in ("footage from when Porter would have checked his bag").

Not the same place and another failed attempt to lie to the American public, blotter team.

GSOLTSO said...

Kerry sez - "How old are you, West?"

Old enough (and some days I feel too old).

Kerry also sez - ""Mark Howel" didn't say they checked the video from the baggage search area. He said he looked at the video from the counter check in ("footage from when Porter would have checked his bag").

Not the same place and another failed attempt to lie to the American public, blotter team."

I think you may be reading too much into that comment, it indicates he looked at the footage from when Porter would have checked his bag, non-specific in its indication. It did not say he checked the film of the check-in, or the baggage area, or the checkpoint, he indicated he checked the "footage" and the "logs". The logs are maintained in the baggage room, which indicates to me that he reviewed all information available at the moment. It is a fairly simple process, when we have a complaint of this nature, the following happens:

1. Double check the time/date.
2. Review the logs in baggage to see if the bag in question is listed/specified.
3. Review any/all videos in the pertinent areas.

Hopefully this will clear up my previous comments for you.

West
TSA Blog Team

Kerry, J. said...

Not really, West. It had been publicly stated that TSA has video cameras in the baggage search area. The baggage search area is not open to nor accessible by the public.

Looking at video from where Porter checked in his bag is by definition not the baggage search area because Porter would not have access to it.

I'm glad Howell checked the logs, but it does not mean he did anything beyond that.

How fast does the TSA give up investigating when luggage under their control has items removed or put in it?

Wintermute said...

Blogger GSOLTSO said...

"Hopefully this will clear up my previous comments for you."

Not really. The BBQ was clearly removed from the bag (and, purportedly, a TSA slip was in it), so, either the TSA knows who took the item, as they've reviewed the video and logs, OR the video and logs are incomplete, in which case no one can conclusively state who removed the BBQ, and it could, indeed, have been a screener. And, as has been pointed out, if an item can be removed without the TSAs knowledge, than an item can be placed in just as easily. And that item might be one that goes boom.

Anonymous said...

As I'm sure everyone here knows, TSA does not actually load the bags onto the planes after they are screened. The airlines do that. Thus TSA is not the last one to handle bags.

Anonymous said...

"The arrest reports (if one is generated) are by the local LEOs, and not of them report things as publicly as other locations do. TSA is not truly concerned with arrests..."

I am certain someone in TSA is following the arrest reports. TSA knows it has a huge image problem, and announcing that a confiscated item led to the arrest of a would-be terrorist would be seen as good marketing.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"As I'm sure everyone here knows, TSA does not actually load the bags onto the planes after they are screened. The airlines do that. Thus TSA is not the last one to handle bags."

No one has said otherwise, and this just points out another flaw in the system. If they can take something out without the TSA knowing, then they can put something in as well... And as everyone in security knows, the insider threat is a much bigger threat than outside ones.