Friday, November 21, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 40 Loaded Firearms, 92 Pounds of Marijuana, Explosives Training Kit & More



An explosives training kit was discovered in a traveler’s checked bag at Northwest Florida (VPS).
IED Training Kit (VPS)
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 respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An explosives training kit was discovered in a traveler’s checked bag at Northwest Florida (VPS).
  • 3 inert/empty 105mm mortar shells with live primers were discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at St. Petersburg (PIE).

92 Pounds of Marijuana
92 Pounds of Marijuana (PHX)
92 Pounds of Marijuana: As we’ve said before, we’re not looking for illegal narcotics, but we have to report them to law enforcement when discovered. With that said, it’s pretty hard to not come across 92 pounds of marijuana as our checked baggage screening officers did in Phoenix (PHX). In a separate event, 18 bags of heroin were discovered on the leg of an Atlantic City (ACY) passenger during Advanced Imaging Technology screening.  

Loaded Firearm (ATL)
Loaded Firearm (ATL)
50 Firearms Discovered This WeekOf the 50 firearms, 40 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.


Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying any prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A marijuana pipe was discovered concealed inside a hollowed out peanut butter jar in a checked bag at Denver (DEN).
  • After being screened by Advanced Imaging Technology, a small jar of peanut butter with marijuana inside was discovered above the waistband of a Sacramento (SMF) passenger.
Illegal Narcotics
Illegal Concealed Narcotics Discovered at (L-R) SMF & DEN
What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:

  • A San Francisco (SFO) traveler stated to a nearby U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer, “I have a bomb.” His statement led to a one-hour delay that affected 358 passengers and 20 crew members. He didn’t have a bomb, but he was arrested by law enforcement on a state charge.

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.

Bang Stick (IAD) & Giant Scissors and Other Sharp Objects (SEA)
Bang Stick (IAD) & Giant Scissors and Other Sharp Objects (SEA)
Stun Guns – 15 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two more at New York Kennedy (JFK), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Long Beach (LGB), Oakland (OAK), Orlando (MCO), Pensacola (PNS), Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN), Seattle (SEA), and Spokane (GEG).

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.
(Clockwise From Top) Forearms Discovered At: MEM, MEM, LBB & IAH
(Clockwise From Top) Firearms Discovered At: MEM, MEM, LBB & IAH

(Left - Right) Firearms Discovered At: BNA, LGB & FLL
(Left - Right) Firearms Discovered At: BNA, LGB & FLL



50 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 50 firearms, 40 were loaded and 16 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...

Why were the cell phones confiscated? They all look like "burner" phones.

Tanja Meece said...

You do a great job, but aren't you afraid you are teaching criminals to,learn and improve upon the techniques of those who've gotten caught?

Agrippa said...

How do TSA screeners know that these items identified as drugs are really drugs? Training or personal use and experience?

Anonymous said...

Why don't TSA arrest these people, set an example and I guarentee that they will remember and anyone else. You pack a bag and try to remember what you need to pack, how do you forget you have a gun in your bag? I don't buy that.

Anonymous said...

I am just concerned that the more we advise the public of 'what not to say at the airport', the more flights will be delayed and the more passengers and crews will be disrupted. Some folks just crave the negative attention it brings and are jeapordizing the flow of air traffic as a result. Please keep reporting the things not to pack or conceal, but please refrain from telling the public about flight disruptions because of 'bomb talk'.

The Teacher said...

The TSA is not as smart as average criminals unless they are the criminals, so the TSA isn't teaching criminals anything. People have been carrying drugs and weapons onto planes the entire history of flight.

The TSA screeners are not law enforcement, so they cannot arrest anyone, despite the department's lame attempt to make the public think they are.Weapons laws vary by city and state, so not everyone who had a weapon at an airport is breaking the law.

The whole "Don't joke about bombs Ann's hijacking!!!!!" thing had been around for decades. Remember that scene from the movie Airplane? The TSA and flight attendants just takes it to new, ridiculous heights by refusing to hear tone and context and see expression.

Saying, "That latest Transformer movie was the bomb!" is not illegal, is Constitutionally protected, and should not provoke government employees to harass innocent people.

@SkyWayManAz said...

"A marijuana pipe was discovered concealed inside a hollowed out peanut butter jar in a checked bag at Denver (DEN)."

I was not aware a pipe was a prohibited item. The TSA app says a smoking pipe is allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. You are inferring it was for illegal purposes That said Head shops were perfectly legal to operate in this country long before anyone decriminalized marijuana. Even if only a fool couldn't tell the products they sold were for illegal purposes the shops themselves didn't sell the illegal items in question. Now I get that if a screener sees something they believe may be illegal they need to summon law enforcement, escpecially if it is concealed. Unless there was marijuana in the pipe though even they wouldn't take action. Now perhaps you were a little too vague in the descritpion here but your policies for years have seemed to be more about drug use than terrorism.

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 dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?

RB said...

 Anonymous said...Why don't TSA arrest these people, set an example and I guarentee that they will remember and anyone else. You pack a bag and try to remember what you need to pack, how do you forget you have a gun in your bag? I don't buy that.November 22, 2014 at 12:57 AM
********************************
You do realize that TSA screeners are not law enforcement and have no power to detain or arrest other than what is available to every citizen.

Shauna C. W. said...

What happens is TSA finds one round of ammo accidentally left in a carry on bag? What are the consequences?

RSS said...

Hey Bob and West, what kind of rewards are your friends getting for posting favorable comments here?

Anonymous said...

No one but your screeners are terrified of "giant scissors!"

ROTF!

SSSS for Some Reason said...

You took away the giant scissors? How are we supposed to cut the ribbon at the grand opening now?

Anonymous said...

"...Anonymous said...Why don't TSA arrest these people,"

Because the TSA is not a Law Enforcement Agency. They have tin badges and no legal powers to detain or arrest citizens.

Agrippa said...

The picture of a handgun supposedly found at Atlanta isn't listed in the list of airports with guns found. Is TSA just making up these claims and can't keep the lies straight?

GSOLTSO said...

Agrippa sez - "The picture of a handgun supposedly found at Atlanta isn't listed in the list of airports with guns found. Is TSA just making up these claims and can't keep the lies straight?"

As explained before, the published findings in the weekly reports are not comprehensive. Sometimes we get the information on the weapons before the list is compiled, sometimes we get it after. The year end review post will be comprehensive, and include a statistical break down for all of the firearms found. Thanks for posting!

West
TSA Blog Team

Anonymous said...

I was not aware a pipe was a prohibited item. The TSA app says a smoking pipe is allowed in carry-on and checked luggage.

Correct, but wouldnt you agree that a jar of peanut butter is an odd place to put a pipe? Would you also agree that if you are looking at an x-ray image of a jar with an item in the middle of the jars contents, it would justify another look? Only a fool would see such an item and disregard it. Only a bigger fool would suggest it be done. Come on people, the are common sense actions.

Agrippa said...

GSOLTSO said...Agrippa sez - "The picture of a handgun supposedly found at Atlanta isn't listed in the list of airports with guns found. Is TSA just making up these claims and can't keep the lies straight?"

As explained before, the published findings in the weekly reports are not comprehensive. Sometimes we get the information on the weapons before the list is compiled, sometimes we get it after. The year end review post will be comprehensive, and include a statistical break down for all of the firearms found. Thanks for posting! WestTSA Blog Team November 24, 2014 at 3:55 AM

This answer doesn't make sense.

I can understand something not being included if found late in the reporting cycle but for something found early enough to be used as the image heading up the "Guns Found" section it doesn't stand to reason not to be included. That is unless the images are just stock pictures and not really the actual items found.

Anonymous said...

Stop crowing about finding illegal drugs in luggage! It is outside TSA's mission to look for and confiscate anything but weapons, incendiaries, and explosives! Stop wasting taxpayer funds on the drug searches, and using this blog to lend a veneer of legitimacy to your mission creep!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Why were the cell phones confiscated? They all look like "burner" phones.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The phones are part of the Explosives Training Kit. The kit was most likely turned over to Law Enforcement or the FBI.

@SkyWayManAz said...

Anonymous said...

"wouldnt [sic] you agree that a jar of peanut butter is an odd place to put a pipe? Would you also agree that if you are looking at an x-ray image of a jar with an item in the middle of the jars contents, it would justify another look?

I believe I already addressed your concern. "Now I get that if a screener sees something they believe may be illegal they need to summon law enforcement, escpecially [sic] if it is concealed."

My concern though is that it is not a prohibited item. It was clearly listed after the following words, "Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places." The passenger concealed it all right and if that inconvenienced them too bad but it's not prohibited. If that seems like much ado about nothing only a fool as you say wouldn't notice TSA routinely confiscates or ruins life saving prescription medication. That's where the paranoia over illegal drugs seems to lead TSA and that shouldn't be their mandate.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, is that just a guess about the phones or do you actually have knowledge on the subject?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Hey Anonymous, is that just a guess about the phones or do you actually have knowledge on the subject?

November 27, 2014 at 6:39 AM

Look at the caption for the image.

Susan Richart said...

Why was the IED training kit an issue since it was found in checked luggage? If the butane containers were full, I can see those being confiscated, but why are you crowing about the entire kit? Did your screeners think they caught a terrorist trainer?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense. now you're even allowing college kids (kaydets) to endure more reasonable screening, but those who sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!!

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. now you're even allowing college kids (kaydets) to endure more reasonable screening, but those who sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!!

Anonymous said...

hmmm.. I wonder what you could do
with a large pair of scissors?

Are you serious people? really?
You don't think these could be
used as a weapon?

Now I suppose some of you people would say box cutters not dangerous.

It's the length of the scissors that
is in question. Can it reach your heart if its plunged into the pilots chest? Think about it people. common sense.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
hmmm.. I wonder what you could do
with a large pair of scissors?

Are you serious people? really?
You don't think these could be
used as a weapon? ...Can it reach your heart if its plunged into the pilots chest? Think about it people. common sense.

First, the silly.... you aren't reaching my heart by stabbing the pilot.

Then the serious.... Giant Scissors could certainly be used as weapons.

So could knitting needles and they are allowed in the cabin.

You can't take a knife through security but there is a nice restaurant inside the secure area that has very nice, very pointy, steak knives. I could take one with me on the plane with little difficulty.

So the question gets returned to you.... Are you serious? Really? Are you just as unimaginative as the TSA when it comes to potential weapons?

Think about it, use some common sense. The TSA does't, and apparently you don't either.

Anonymous said...

Yes, common sense. Cockpit doors are locked. Scissors with blades up to 4" are allowed.

Think about it.

Box cutters aren't going to allow any potential hijacker to take over a plane. Cockpit doors are locked. Flight crews and passengers will attack and overwhelm any stupid person trying to take over a plane with a little boxcutter.

The TSA wanted to allow small pocketknives to be in carryons and in people's pockets on planes. Still scared?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"Now I suppose some of you people would say box cutters not dangerous."

Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

"It's the length of the scissors that
is in question. Can it reach your heart if its plunged into the pilots chest? Think about it people. common sense."

This is a satirical post, right?

How exactly will the scissors-wielding terrorist get through the cockpit door?

Assuming that's possible, and assuming that the crew and passengers don't notice an effort to break through the door and stop it, is the pilot going to stand up and face the terrorist so that the terrorist has the correct angle to stab him/her in the heart? More likely, the terrorist would just slice the pilot's throat from behind with a tiny razor blade--in which case weapon length is irrelevant.

screenshot

RJ Reynold said...

It's only considered a marijuana pipe if it contains marijuana residue. I'm fairly certain it was not brand new straight from the " head shop."