Friday, September 12, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 42 Loaded Firearms and a Strange Item at Albany



Loaded Folding Rifle Discovered in Carry-on Bag At DFW.
Loaded Folding Rifle Discovered in Carry-on Bag At DFW.
52 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 52 firearms, 42 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered. 

Strange Item Discovered at Albany - A notebook cover was discovered yesterday in a carry-on bag at Albany (ALB) that looked like an improvised explosive device on the X-ray monitor. There was no malicious intent, but it’s important to remember that homemade DIY projects can often look pretty ominous to our X-ray operators. If you have something you think might look a little odd, let our officers know prior to putting your bag through the X-ray.

Notebook Discovered At ALB.
Notebook Discovered At ALB.
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 double edged belt buckle knife was discovered at Piedmont Triad (GSO). 
  • A razor blade was detected in a boot at Savannah (SAV).
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.
  • Two inert grenades were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Phoenix (PHX), and Greensville / Spartanburg (GSP).  
  • An inert display of a firework shell was discovered in a carry-on bag at Springfield (SGF).
Inert Firework Shell Display (SGF)
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 – Eight stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Albuquerque (ABQ), Gulfport (GPT), Knoxville (TYS), Las Vegas (LAS), Oklahoma City (OKC), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), and Tulsa (TUL).
(Clockwise from top left) Firearms Discovered At MEM, FLL, TYS, AUS, LAS
*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. 

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram! 

Bob Burns

TSA Blog Team 

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

49 comments:

Anonymous said...

EVERY WEEK!

THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DUMB-ASSES THAT THINK THEY CAN CARRY LOADED FIRE ARMS ON COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES!

TRULY AMAZING!

George Kudszus said...

What happens to the confiscated items, especially firearms?

If TSA retains them, wouldn't a public auction of these items make sense to recover some of the expenditures with rounding them up. TSA could use a seller to dealer venue like Gunbroker.com, or auction arms.

Timmy the Hutt said...

How does a couple of semiconductors and LEDs look like an "improvised explosive device"? ROTFLMAO!

You actually are counting this as a "good catch" and posting this as a threatening object on this blotter?

You failed to say what it really is, blotter team.

What is the "dangerous" bit of electronics that sent your screeners into a tizzy?

No properly trained screener would think the homemade electronics in your "good catch" picture was "ominous." Different, sure. Worth a quick look with eyeballs, ok. Ominous? ROTFLMAO!

Do some real training on your screeners, TSA. You waste $8 billion taxpayer dollars every year. The least (really, the absolute least) you could do is train your employees.

Lance said...

52 firearms in one week?!?! That is absolutely insane. What are people thinking? Firearms have been prohibited on carry on luggage since FOREVER. Wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

Is there a YTD list of seized guns by airport available?

Anonymous said...

Why was the ALL CAPS comment with swearing allowed? That has to violate blog policy.

Anonymous said...

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

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

RB said...

Are TSA screeners still not finding 70% of weapons an such? If so then these weapons present very little risk and a yearly $8 Billion Dollar expense for a mediocre job by TSA.

TSA brags about everything else they do, why not stats for how effective screenings really are?

Anonymous said...

If 52 people were so accustomed to packing that they forgot they were, what percentage does this represent of the total of armed citizens out there?

Anonymous said...

I still think it would be instructive, at least monthly, to reveal how much of the contraband was testing the gate personnel. I find some of the "contraband" to be highly unlikely..............

Wintermute said...

How does that electronics project even remotely look like an IED? I'd be firing some TSAgents for wasting everyone's time rather than post it as a "good catch.' Then again, having it as a good catch helps prove just how incompetent the TSA actually is.

Anonymous said...

I give. The first item indicates the firearm was loaded but the caliber wasn't known.

Ever seen a bullet without the caliber indicated?

Wintermute said...

Also, the first comment above violates the blog's posted comment guidelines. If you are going to violate the public's 1st amendment rights, at least do it consistantly according to your own policies.

Anonymous said...

Lance, long before the TSA ever existed, when the FAA was in charge of flight security, people have been bringing gun on planes. The number found this and every week is not unusual. It is not insane. It is normal. It is typical for .000125% of passengers to be found carrying a weapon into an airport.

Nothing has changed, except the TSA being worse than the FAA in the 1980s in finding weapons.

The TSA misses 7 guns for every 3 they find. Wow? Not really.

Anonymous said...

Quoted
"Anonymous said...
I give. The first item indicates the firearm was loaded but the caliber wasn't known.

Ever seen a bullet without the caliber indicated?

September 13, 2014 at 8:05 PM"

In many cases the PD takes over when the image is detected on xray and TSA never actually gets to see the weapon. If PD does not provide the info to TSA, its calibre is unknown.

GSOLTSO said...

George sez - "What happens to the confiscated items, especially firearms?"

Final disposition of firearms is entirely up to the local LEOs that respond to the discovery at the checkpoint. TSA has no control over what happens to the firearm once it is given over to them. Other confiscated items are disposed of in various ways, we wrote a blog post on it way back in 2009.


Timmy the Hutt sez - "What is the "dangerous" bit of electronics that sent your screeners into a tizzy?"

Most likely the appearance the item had inside of a bag in the xray. As explained, an item like this can make TSOs on the xray a bit nervous when surrounded by other items in the bag.

Anon sez - "Is there a YTD list of seized guns by airport available?"

That is a decent idea, but it is not something we have available at the moment. We do a year in review post (in January) with the final tallies and a review of some of the most intriguing items we found throughout the year. You can find those here in the archives for the last couple of years.

Anon post hopped with this comment - "Why are screeners stealing food out of people's bags?"

As indicated on the first response, according to this article, TSA viewed the video and saw nothing to indicate that TSOs removed the BBQ in question. If you have another link disputing that, please post it here, as I would love to see it.

Wintermute sez - "I'd be firing some TSAgents for wasting everyone's time rather than post it as a "good catch.'"

Then you would fire almost every xray operator everywhere. When this item is in a bag with the normal accoutrements that are piled in with them, it looks pretty panic inducing. Including it as a "good catch" is to help and try to raise awareness that items like this may cause you some additional time at a checkpoint, and if it looks enough like an IED it may actually wind up with an EOD team destroying the bag (the latter is a pretty rare occurence, but it is a possibility in some cases).

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Sorry George, I meant to include this link in my last comment for the 2009 blog post.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work of 1) screening at the airport and 2) communicating with the public.
It appears that the TSA has a few critics, but that is what makes America great. People are free to debate and criticize. I'm glad you are keeping this stuff off of planes.

Wintermute said...

GSOLTSO said...


Wintermute sez - "I'd be firing some TSAgents for wasting everyone's time rather than post it as a "good catch.'"

Then you would fire almost every xray operator everywhere.


If that's what it takes to bring some common sense to the TSA...

Anonymous said...

Screeners are "nervous?!" Seeing electronics in a bag is "panic inducing?!"

This is the kind of people the TSA hires? This is the kind of training they are provided?

What kind of shoddy department is the TSA running?!

If they can't look at a bag xray without screaming in fear, they should not be a screener and my tax dollars should not be paying them.

Kerry, J. said...

West, "..But when he arrived home in D.C. Monday and opened his suitcase, the barbecue was gone. In its place, he says, was an empty plastic laundry bag and a note from the Transportation Security Administration that said it had gone through his luggage..."

Where is the footage from the hidden baggage search area? Who reviewed that? You know, the area where the TSA is too lazy to get the keys and cuts off our "TSA approved" locks?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Keep up the good work of 1) screening at the airport and 2) communicating with the public.
It appears that the TSA has a few critics, but that is what makes America great. People are free to debate and criticize. I'm glad you are keeping this stuff off of planes.

September 14, 2014 at 9:29 PM
----------------------------------
except that they are not 'keeping this stuff off planes'. they miss 70% (or is it more since they stopped publishing the red team results?). none of this stuff is threatening at all, or there would have been attacks with all the stuff that is missed. we are wasting Billion$ a year on this fraudulent security theatre.

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.

Susan Richart said...

West wrote: ".... it looks pretty panic inducing. Including it as a "good catch" is to help and try to raise awareness that items like this may cause you some additional time at a checkpoint,..."

If seeing something unknown and unidentifiable on an x-ray induces "panic" in your screeners, you have a problem with those people and they should be fired.

Further, since this blog can't seem to stem the tide of actual firearms brought to checkpoints, why point to an innocuous item as "good catch?"

A "good catch" would be one where the passenger was carrying an item and intended to use it on the plane.

Screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Susan Richart said...

The word "item" in my first post should have been "weapon."

Anonymous said...

Another week, another total lack of anything you needed your slow, invasive, and dangerous naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people had to undergo physical searches - pat-downs or worse - because you're using a technology that can't tell the difference between pleats in a pair of pants and an explosive? And why do Curtis Burns and West Cooper refuse to acknowledge, let alone answer, this simple question? Pathetic.

RB said...

re:

As indicated on the first response, according to this article, TSA viewed the video and saw nothing to indicate that TSOs removed the BBQ in question. If you have another link disputing that, please post it here, as I would love to see it.

West
TSA Blog Team

September 14, 2014 at 4:43 PM
...................................

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.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/chow-town/article2043402.html#storylink=cpy

.................................

West, the TSA spokesman didn't say a search and viewing of all video surveillance available was conducted, but only the logs and video when Porter would have checked his bag.

Are you suggesting that TSA employees are so stupid that they would log an act of thief?

Regardless, this statement was pretty much a meaningless statement. It doesn't address the report that a TSA Notice of Luggage Screening was found in the bag. Nor does it address the clear cut lack of security of travelers luggage.

What we do know is that the man claims to have had a food item in his checked luggage. We have a report that TSA left a Notice of Inspection in the luggage and a report that the food item was missing on arrival at the mans destination.

Now either the man lied, TSA employees did in fact steal the mans food item, or that someone else has access to luggage post TSA screening and the ability to remove, or insert, contraband.

Doesn't it trouble TSA that property control post TSA inspection is so weak that TSA hasn't a clue as to what is going on in our airport?

RB said...

In TSA Fantasy Land Nidal Malik Hasan a former United States Army psychiatrist and Medical Corps officer who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood mass shooting on November 5, 2009 would have been given TSA Pre Check without question yet Retired Military members who have served 20 or more years honorably and still carry a United States Military ID are not afforded the same consideration.

And TSA claims to be using a Risk Based approach to security screening.

RB said...

Can we now use words like DUMB-ASSES and other such words on the TSA Blog or has the TSA Blog team decided to only censor the speech of certain individuals?

Anonymous said...

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140913/06350828511/tsa-not-sure-if-it-groped-man-before-flight-demands-to-grope-him-after-flight-is-over.shtml

Care to explain this one bob?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140913/06350828511/tsa-not-sure-if-it-groped-man-before-flight-demands-to-grope-him-after-flight-is-over.shtml

Care to explain this one bob?

September 15, 2014 at 11:35 AM



Bobbie doesn't seem to answer any questions these days.

Perhaps he thinks he is to important to respond to readers of this blog.

OIG statement.

Anonymous 2 said...

Great link, Anonymous. Care to comment on this, blotter team?
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140913/06350828511/tsa-not-sure-if-it-groped-man-before-flight-demands-to-grope-him-after-flight-is-over.shtml

Anonymous said...

According to this report, TSA decided they needed to re-search a passenger (who had already been hit with the "SSSS" tag and fully screened before boarding) AFTER THE FLIGHT HAD LANDED. What's up with that?

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140913/06350828511/tsa-not-sure-if-it-groped-man-before-flight-demands-to-grope-him-after-flight-is-over.shtml

RB said...

Anonymous said...
EVERY WEEK!

THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DUMB-ASSES THAT THINK THEY CAN CARRY LOADED FIRE ARMS ON COMMERCIAL AIRPLANES!

TRULY AMAZING!

September 12, 2014 at 8:01 PM
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Poster Anon is suggesting that some travelers are DUMB-ASSES.

What should we call TSA Screeners who want to do a full body rub down on a traveler after their plane has landed?

Anonymous said...

A "good catch" would be one where the passenger was carrying an item and intended to use it on the plane.

How do you know they werent? Nobody knew the 9-11 hijackers intended to use the box cutters, until they used them.
I wish I was as perfect as all you nay sayers think you are...

Anonymous said...

"How do you know they werent?"

Because they were not arrested?

"I wish I was as perfect as all you nay sayers think you are..."

That's not an argument. Try again.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"...An inert display of a firework shell was discovered in a carry-on bag at Springfield (SGF)."

Was it allowed to fly?

If not, why not?

Susan Richart said...

To Anonymous who asked: "How do you know they werent?"

Because if TSA had ever found anyone with evil intent, it would be broadcast far and wide, that's how I know.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

"How do you know they werent?"

Because they were not arrested?

"I wish I was as perfect as all you nay sayers think you are..."

That's not an argument. Try again.

Had the 9-11 hijackers been caught with their box cutters, they would not have been arrested either.
You are not a terrorist until you commit the crime. Otherwise, you are just a passenger with a prohibited item. TSA is not charged with catching terrorist. They are charged with stopping prohibitted iteams from getting on airplanes. Has TSA been perfect? Well, al lI can say is since TSA, not one terror attack has been attempted or carried out on a US originating flight. Have they "caught" a terrorist? Dont know, its not their job.


RB said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"How do you know they werent?"

Because they were not arrested?

"I wish I was as perfect as all you nay sayers think you are..."

That's not an argument. Try again.

Had the 9-11 hijackers been caught with their box cutters, they would not have been arrested either.
You are not a terrorist until you commit the crime. Otherwise, you are just a passenger with a prohibited item. TSA is not charged with catching terrorist. They are charged with stopping prohibitted iteams from getting on airplanes. Has TSA been perfect? Well, al lI can say is since TSA, not one terror attack has been attempted or carried out on a US originating flight. Have they "caught" a terrorist? Dont know, its not their job.

September 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Box cutters were not prohibited on 9/11 under rules put forth by the United States government.

The screeners didn't miss anything that day.

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...

"Has TSA been perfect? Well, al lI can say is since TSA, not one terror attack has been attempted or carried out on a US originating flight."

And there have been no tiger attacks in central Ohio since I got this anti-tiger rock. And, as I continue to point out, tigers running loose in central Ohio, by some strange twist of fate, is more common than terrorist attacks involving aircraft. So, by your logic, the rock must be working, right?

daily deals said...

If 52 people were so accustomed to packing that they forgot they were, what percentage does this represent of the total of armed citizens out there?

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"... Well, al lI can say is since TSA, not one terror attack has been attempted or carried out on a US originating flight. Have they "caught" a terrorist? "

We have TSA doing their thing.

And we have no terrorist attacks using aircraft since September 11.

Two separate things completely unrelated to each other.

Anonymous said...

"Had the 9-11 hijackers been caught with their box cutters, they would not have been arrested either."

Yes--because box cutters were not prohibited items then. How is finding a non-prohibited item a "good catch"?

"You are not a terrorist until you commit the crime."

Exactly which crime do you speak of? The plotting itself could be the crime; intent to commit a crime and attempts to commit a crime are recognized in US criminal law. It sounds like you are saying a person could formally join a terror organization, be trained by them, contribute funding to them, recruit on their behalf, and even attempt to carry out a terror attack, but is not, in fact, a terrorist until he/she has successfully carried out a terror act.

"TSA is not charged with catching terrorist. They are charged with stopping prohibited iteams from getting on airplanes.

TSA's vision, as stated on TSA's web site, is to "provide the most effective transportation security in the most efficient way as a high performing counterterrorism organization." TSA was also established eight days after 9/11. Is that just a coincidence?

"Well, al lI can say is since TSA, not one terror attack has been attempted or carried out on a US originating flight."

I refer you to the numerous mentions of the magic tiger attack deterrent rock within this blog.

Anonymous said...

Im just glad so many TSA critics take the time to read the TSA blog.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"...Anonymous said...
Im just glad so many TSA critics take the time to read the TSA blog.


Know thy enemy.

Wintermute said...

SSSS for Some Reason said...
"...Anonymous said...
Im just glad so many TSA critics take the time to read the TSA blog.


Know thy enemy.


And, make no mistake, the TSA is as much an enemy of the United States as any. Some of us took oaths to defend our nation against ALL enemies, which includes elements within its own government. I do not merely have a right to speak out against the TSA on this blog; that oath means that I have a duty to do so.

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the dates are missing on the current posting. An oversight, or a new policy? The dates are valuable for me, as a researcher, as is the blog itself. Thanks for the tranparency!

Eastern Sunset said...

LOL at the Sept 29 Anonymous who thanked the blotter team for their "transparency."

The blotter team does not post about important and pertinent topics. The blotter team does not answer oft-asked questions. The blotter team deletes public comments that meet blog policy. The blotter team does not fix errors in posts. The blotter team obfuscates.

"Transparency" doesn't mean what you think it means.