Friday, October 3, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 41 Loaded Firearms, Knife in a Neck Pillow and More


Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.

46 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 46 firearms, 41 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered.
Knife discovered inside a neck pillow at PHL.
Knife discovered inside a neck pillow at PHL.
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 knife was discovered inside of a neck pillow at Philadelphia (PHL).  
  • A sword cane was discovered at San Antonio (SAT).
  • A lipstick knife was discovered at Detroit (DTW).
Sword Cane (SAT), Lipstick Knife (DTW)
Sword Cane (SAT), Lipstick Knife (DTW)

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 grenade belt buckle was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dickinson (DIK). It may look like a belt buckle to the naked eye, but it looks realistic on the X-ray monitor.  
  • Four novelty grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Nome (OME).

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.

Knives discovered at (L-R) JFK, IAH, JFK
Knives discovered at (L-R) JFK, IAH, JFK
Stun Guns – Fourteen stun guns were discovered this week at checkpoints across the nation: two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two more at San Jose (SJC) and the remainder were discovered at: Atlanta (ATL), Bradley (BDL), Charleston (CHS), Charlottesville (CHO), Chicago Midway (MDW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Denver (DEN), Laughlin (IFP), Minot (MOT) and Phoenix (PHX).
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 at (Clockwise from top left) MDW, IAH, OTZ
Ammunition discovered at (Clockwise from top left) MDW, IAH, OTZ
Firearms discovered at (Clockwise from top left) HOU, BUR, MSY, RDU, SEA
Firearms discovered at (Clockwise from top left) HOU, BUR, MSY, RDU, SEA
Firearms discovered at (L-R) FAI, IAH
Firearms discovered at (L-R) FAI, IAH
46 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 46 firearms, 41 were loaded and 14 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.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!


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

34 comments:

Barbara said...

Every week I am so amazed by what TSA finds at airports. Thank you so much for the work that you do! Is it my imagination, or does that knife found in the neck pillow look like it is decorated in a middle eastern style? Wow! I can only imagine how much has been prevented by your vigilance. Keep up the good work!

JOANNE WEISS said...

THIS IS QUITE A DISGUSTING HAUL OF FIREARMS AND ILLEGAL CARRY-ON ITEMS. IT IS SAD TO SEE, BUT I AM SO GLAD YOU FOUND THEM AND STOPPED THEM.

RB said...

Question asked in the 9/30 travel tips article was if TSA reuses or disposes of ETD swab patches after each use.

Seeing as how ebola in the US is a fact and patient #1 traveled by air and through a TSA checkpoint it would be a reponsible act for TSA to disclose its policy in this area.

So is TSA acting responsibly or is TSA acting in a less than responsible manner that will help spread a deadly illness among travelers?

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"...A grenade belt buckle was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dickinson (DIK). It may look like a belt buckle to the naked eye, but it looks realistic on the X-ray monitor. "

Was it allowed to fly? If not, why not? It is a belt buckle to the naked eye so once the bag, and belt buckle, were inspected there should be no reason to prohibit the item.

Anonymous said...

So will any comments be approved, or at least not deleted, while West is on vacation?

Anonymous said...

I CANT BELIEVE THE "GOOD" GUNS PEOPLE TRY TO BRING ONBOARD!I WOULD USE AN ELCHEAPO!

Anonymous said...

As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something you found with the naked body scanners?

Gary Nelson Harper said...

"The passenger with the knife in the pillow is a real pain in the neck!" Sorry Bob, I couldn't resist. I have to say I am completely astonished at the number of guns found on passengers trying to board an AIRCRAFT! For the most part the act seems willful! I am very curious about their reaction when their whatever caliber is pointed out as "Not being something we allow on airplanes". I know Big Bad Bob takes a substantial amount of heat for what to me, represents a very good faith attempt at transparency with respect to the DHS Mission and why airport security is a mandatory formation. I would like to know approximately how many of these cases result in convictions. It really seems as if the majority of the discoveries of weapons is not a case of "Oh I forgot that was in my computer case". Love ya Big Bad Bob.. keep up the good work.

Denver Veteran said...

How does anyone think that they could ever get this stuff through security? lol

Anonymous said...

why is there nothing about Ebola response posted from the TSA? Cannot believe this!

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...

I wonder how many of the weapons that are brought aboard aircraft are done so by people with no confidence in the TSA and who are only wanting to protect themselves.

Anonymous said...

October 2, 2014 at 11:32 AM is the date stamp of the last comment posted to the TSA Blog.

4 full days and not a single comment has been approved and posted.

Rhode Island Photographer George Ross said...

A very simple observation after reading this and looking at the disturbing photos of weapons...what is wrong with people? Ugh. Thanks for doing what you do.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't forget to say that some people might think it's OK to transport the remains of loved ones on flights without having them disturbed, but they'd be wrong... DEAD wrong! lol!

Anonymous said...

What happens when you are an agent and you find a gun in someone's luggage? Do you ask the passenger if it's a gun, do you just assume it is, do you confiscate it, do you arrest the person?

If I found a loaded gun in the bag of somebody who was 3 feet away from me (and KNEW they weren't supposed to bring one) I would be terrified.

Anonymous said...

Blotter team, the link in "Denver Veteran's" name violates blog policies.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Barbara said "...Wow! I can only imagine how much has been prevented by your vigilance. Keep up the good work!"

You can call it good work if you like, that is your opinion.

As for the prevention part of your statement.... by the TSA's own numbers as much as 7 in 10 items are missed and make it past the security check point.

That would indicate, to me at least, that the lack of anything happening on or in a commercial aircraft has very little to do with the TSA.

If you read back over the last several 'incidents' on aircraft you will find that none of them involved the TSA at any level and all of them were prevented by passenger or crew.

Oh, and for what it is worth, I miss the guy who is on vacation this week. It is very apparent he is away because so many of the approved posts so far are from the TSA Cheerleaders and amount to little more than "gosh the tsa is great and gee-wilickers how did we ever get along without them?"

Susan Richart said...

You let another spam post through, West. Denver Veteran.

It seems as if all it take to get one's spam posted to the TSA Blog is a comment that is supportive of the TSA.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

RB said...

Apparently the TSA Blog Team is back on siesta.

Understandable for government workers.

Anonymous said...

When is TSA going to post photos of the confiscated items that are not as scary as guns but have nevertheless been confiscated by the thousands?

I'm talking about the confiscated bottles of water, bottles of shampoo, snowglobes, gel candles, creams, etc.

Anonymous said...

"I have to say I am completely astonished at the number of guns found on passengers trying to board an AIRCRAFT!...I know Big Bad Bob takes a substantial amount of heat for what to me, represents a very good faith attempt at transparency..."

Methinks you contradict yourself, Anonymous. If you read this blog regularly enough to conclude that Bob has made a 'good faith' effort and to decide that he takes a lot of heat, you would not be astonished by the number of discovered guns, since the number of guns has been rather constant since TSA started showcasing them weekly here.

RB said...

Bob, as Social Media Analyst with the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs would you classify the public's perception of TSA to be positive as reflected in various media?

I'm sure your unrelenting TSA work schedule will delay the posting and response to this message.

Perhaps a better question, why does TSA even have such a position as "Social Media Analyst? How does that contribute to improving the safety of mass transportation systems?

And if you bother to answer the above questions how about the one about how TSA uses (and reuses) the Ebola Transfer Device (ETD) swabs? Social media wants to know!

And with three bloggers on staff don't you guys have the skills to work out some sort of rotation plan so comments get posted on a somewhat regular basis, or is that above the skill level of TSA employees?

Anonymous said...

Rhode Island Photographer George Ross said "...what is wrong with people? Ugh."

You seem to be implying that people with pointy things, or guns, or parts of guns, or things that look like grenades but obviously aren't, that all those people are lesser people, criminals even. You make is seem like you have never had something in your bag that someone else would think is a problem, like you are so much better than those 'others' you go ugh about.

Van Nuys said...

This is my first time visiting this blog but not my last. I can't believe what people are trying to sneak in their luggage. And what are these people doing? Thank goodness their plans got stopped.

GSOLTSO said...

Anon sez - "So will any comments be approved, or at least not deleted, while West is on vacation? "

I am fairly sure that some were moderated while I was out fishing, as a matter of fact, I know that some were moderated. It is nice to be missed though!

Anon sez - "I CANT BELIEVE THE "GOOD" GUNS PEOPLE TRY TO BRING ONBOARD!I WOULD USE AN ELCHEAPO!"

I would opt for saving myself the trouble that normally ensues discovery of a firearm at the checkpoint by not bringing ANY firearm in my carry-on, but that is just me. (you guys know that as long as you declare them and package them correctly, you can bring firearms on the plane in checked bags! See here for the rules )

Gary Nelson Harper sez - "It really seems as if the majority of the discoveries of weapons is not a case of "Oh I forgot that was in my computer case". Love ya Big Bad Bob.. keep up the good work."

Firstly, thanks a ton for the nice comments!
Secondly, the vast majority of weapons discovered have been more a case of "I forgot that was in there" (or at least some variation thereof).

Anon sez - "why is there nothing about Ebola response posted from the TSA? Cannot believe this!"

The lack of posting is probably due to the relatively small amount of interaction by TSA in any form of screening for Ebola at this point. We have five airports that are currently conducting Ebola screenings in any way shape or form, so TSA is pretty much a non-entity in this process right now. As always, our participation may change in the near future or never depending upon policy changes by HQ and above. You can read more on the current process here.

George Ross sez - "Thanks for doing what you do."

We appreciate the kind words George!

Anon sez - "What happens when you are an agent and you find a gun in someone's luggage? Do you ask the passenger if it's a gun, do you just assume it is, do you confiscate it, do you arrest the person?

If I found a loaded gun in the bag of somebody who was 3 feet away from me (and KNEW they weren't supposed to bring one) I would be terrified."

I can't go into specifics, but the basic overview is, we notice the firearm, notify the Supe on scene, then contact the LEOs - usually in a fairly quick manner. There is no reason to be terrified of the gun itself as long as it is not being acted upon by an outside force (such as someone holding it, or physically manipulating it). As we have indicated on the blog before, the most common explanation we get for a firearm being in a bag is some form of "I forgot that was in there".

Anon sez - "Blotter team, the link in "Denver Veteran's" name violates blog policies."

As explained in another thread last week, it does not. As long as the comment is relevant, the links in the name are mostly inconsequential - the reader can choose to click upon the links embedded or simply ignore them.

SSSS sez - "Oh, and for what it is worth, I miss the guy who is on vacation this week."

Awww, shucks....

Susan sez - "You let another spam post through, West. Denver Veteran."

As previously explained, the comment is allowed.

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

Rhode Island Photographer George Ross said...
A very simple observation after reading this and looking at the disturbing photos of weapons...what is wrong with people? Ugh. Thanks for doing what you do.

October 6, 2014 at 1:23 PM
---------------------------------
you should see a therapist about your irrational fear of ordinary objects. firearms are not 'disturbing' to most. what is disturbing is that number of tax dollars wasted in trying to prevent ordinary folks from exercising two Constitutionally protected rights - the one to travel freely, and the one to carry a firearm. pathetic.

Susan Richart said...

West wrote:

"As previously explained, the comment is allowed."

Even when that comment is a copy and paste of comments by others?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

Susan Richart said:


Even when that comment is a copy and paste of comments by others?

~~

It appears that the bloggers can't tell the difference between an honest comment and one submitted just to get their link on the site.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said…
[[prevent ordinary folks from exercising two Constitutionally protected rights - the one to travel freely, and the one to carry a firearm. pathetic.]]

Two things wrong with your analysis Anon. 1. No-where in the constitution or in any subsequent case law is there a “right to travel freely” without regulation. It just is not there. 2. There have always, since the very establishment of our nation, been restrictions on where one may carry a firearm. This is no different.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...
Anonymous said…
[[prevent ordinary folks from exercising two Constitutionally protected rights - the one to travel freely, and the one to carry a firearm. pathetic.]]

Two things wrong with your analysis Anon. 1. No-where in the constitution or in any subsequent case law is there a “right to travel freely” without regulation. It just is not there. 2. There have always, since the very establishment of our nation, been restrictions on where one may carry a firearm. This is no different.


October 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM
---------------------------------
wrong again, TSORon. freedom to travel has been addressed in SCOTUS cases regarding Constitutionality (Crandall v. Nevada; Saenz v. Roe, etc.), where it is viewed as protected by the "privileges and immunities" clause in Article IV, § 2, as well as inextricably tied to the freedoms of association and expression protected by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution; in US Code (49 U.S.C. § 40103"Sovereignty and use of airspace"). no one ever said anything about "without regulation", but anything that puts an excessibe burden without yielding an overwhelming "public good" is unConstitutional (or at least SCOTUS has always held as such thus far). restrictions on 2nd Amendment rights are similar - any regulation or restriction needs to be justified by an overwhleming "public good". TSA has never elucidated any risk-based reasoning for any of their policies, so you cannot show any overwhelming "public good" to burden or restrict our rights. if you ever show transparency and actually justify your actions, then perhaps we can talk.

RB said...

TSORon said...Anonymous said…[[prevent ordinary folks from exercising two Constitutionally protected rights - the one to travel freely, and the one to carry a firearm. pathetic.]]Two things wrong with your analysis Anon. 1. No-where in the constitution or in any subsequent case law is there a “right to travel freely” without regulation. It just is not there. 2. There have always, since the very establishment of our nation, been restrictions on where one may carry a firearm. This is no different. October 15, 2014 at 11:41 PM

:::::::::::::::::::
TSORon pops in once again and demonstrates his complete lack of understanding.

The Constitution does not grant rights to the people, it limits federal government. Even if TSORon can't grasp that concept the 9th Amendment should be easy enough to understand.

Sandra said...

TSORon is TSOWrong yet again.

screen shot

A.M Oktarina said...

Freedom to travel has been addressed in SCOTUS cases regarding Constitutionality (Crandall v. Nevada; Saenz v. Roe, etc.), where it is viewed as protected by the "privileges and immunities" clause in Article IV, § 2, as well as inextricably tied to the freedoms of association and expression protected by the 1st Amendment of the Constitution; in US Code (49 U.S.C. § 40103"Sovereignty and use of airspace"). no one ever said anything about "without regulation", but anything that puts an excessibe burden without yielding an overwhelming "public good" is unConstitutional (or at least SCOTUS has always held as such thus far). restrictions on 2nd Amendment rights are similar - any regulation or restriction needs to be justified by an overwhleming "public good"