Friday, June 6, 2014

TSA Week in Review – 18 Firearms Discovered in One Day


One of the 18 firearms discovered on June 4th.This one was discovered at Memphis (MEM).
One of the 18 firearms discovered on June 4th.This one was discovered at Memphis (MEM).

Record Number of Firearms Discovered in One Day - On June 4, 18 firearms were discovered around the country in carry-on bags. That broke the previous record of 13 set in 2013.

47 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 47 firearms, 36 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert hand 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 in carry-on bags this week at Houston (HOU),and Palm Beach (PBI).
Two inert grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Houston (HOU),and Palm Beach (PBI).
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure prohibited items are not inside. 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. 

  • 45 credit card knives were discovered this week at checkpoints. Twelve were discovered at Minneapolis (MSP), eight at Nashville (BNA), six at Kansas City (MCI), six at San Francisco (SFO), six at Tampa (TPA), three at St. Louis (STL), and the remainder were discovered at Branson (BBG), Long Beach (LGB), Shreveport (SHV), and St. Petersburg (PIE). Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives.
  • A knife was detected inside the lining of a bag behind the support column at Cleveland (CLE).
A knife was detected in the sole of a shoe at Los Angeles (LAX).
A knife was detected in the sole of a shoe at Los Angeles (LAX). 

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: 

  • After alarming the explosives trace detection machine at Midway (MDW), a traveler stated that she “wouldn’t mind blowing this whole place up.”
  • A traveler at Reno (RNO) waiting at the gate to board his plane began telling passengers that he had a bomb in his carry-on bag. There was no bomb in his bag.

Stun Guns14 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Four were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), three at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Buffalo (BUF), Redmond (RDM), Norfolk (ORF), and St. Croix (STX).

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 a lot of sharp pointy things…


(L-R) Throwing Knives (RDU), Throwing Knives (SJC), Switchblade (MDW), Knuckle Blade (EWR)
(L-R) Throwing Knives (RDU), Throwing Knives (SJC), Switchblade (MDW), Knuckle Blade (EWR)
Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered this week in a carry-on bag at Pullman-Moscow (PUW). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling with Airsoft Guns
Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags 
(L-R) Derringers discovered at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Lynchburg (LYH).
(L-R) Derringers discovered at Washington Dulles (IAD) and Lynchburg (LYH).

Clockwise from top left - Firearms discovered at FLL, RDU, DEN, PHX, and JAN.
Clockwise from top left - Firearms discovered at FLL, RDU, DEN, PHX, and JAN.


Clockwise from top left - Firearms discovered at MEM, DAL, MCO, and SNA.
Clockwise from top left - Firearms discovered at MEM, DAL, MCO, and SNA.
47 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 47 firearms, 36 were loaded and 10 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 $7,500.00. 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.

Empty AK-47 Magazines in Checked Bag at JFK



Empty AK-47 Magazines
Not Actual Items

There are stories circulating right now about something that’s not quite as newsworthy as it sounds. Two empty AK-47 magazines were discovered in a checked bag after TSA had screened that bag. That has led many to believe our officers and technology missed these items. You can seek out the stories for more details about the overall incident, but as far as TSA is concerned, our officers didn’t miss anything.



Our officers are looking for explosives in checked baggage that could cause catastrophic damage to the aircraft, not guns, knives, or empty AK-47 magazines. (Click here for details on how to properly travel with firearms in checked baggage.)



You see, travelers can’t get to their checked baggage while in flight. That’s why we allow passengers to travel with many items in checked baggage that are prohibited in carry-on bags.



If you take a look at our prohibited items list, you’ll see a side by side comparison chart of what can and can’t be packed in your checked and carry-on bags. 


 
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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.


TSA Travel Tips: A frequent flyer profile, a frequent flyer number, a Known Traveler Number and TSA Pre✓™: what does it all mean?



TSAprecheck Logo
If you have a known traveler number, you might want to pay attention to this blog post. Why? Your next TSA Pre✓™ opportunity may be impacted by how you use this information.

We have learned that TSA Pre✓™ travelers who receive their KTN only add it directly to their frequent flyer profile. You may think you are all set, but more may be required to be eligible for TSA Pre✓™ on your next flight.

Your frequent flyer profile – for one of the 11 TSA Pre✓™ participating airlines – makes the booking process easier, quicker and more efficient when booking on that particular airline website ONLY for future flights; your name, KTN and other personal/billing information is automatically populated when you use that site for future reservations. 

But we want to make a few very important points about this process:

  • If you add your KTN to your profile and have reservations that have been already booked, your frequent flyer profile will NOT update past reservations with this number. Solution: contact your air carrier directly to add your KTN.
  • If you make reservations via a third-party website (not on the airlines’ website directly) and/or travel agency, sometimes they won’t transmit your KTN to the airline. Some systems don’t allow you to enter a KTN and only have a “Redress” field. (Never enter your KTN in the redress field.) Solution: contact your air carrier directly.
  • Even though you save your KTN in your frequent flyer profile, it will not associate your KTN with reservations automatically. Solution: contact your air carrier directly.
Contact your air carrier  

We recommend that when in doubt, call your air carrier to verify that your Secure Flight data matches and make any corrections. Verify that the airline has your first/middle/last name and correct date of birth exactly as you applied and/or received your KTN. (For participants in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection trusted traveler program, your PASSID is your KTN.)

Your individual reservation — not just your frequent flyer profile — must include your KTN. Incorrect name and/or date of birth information will not clear you to receive TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening on that flight. This also will happen if you incorrectly enter your KTN or enter it in the redress field. 

Some airlines allow you to pull up your individual reservation, and verify your KTN is in that record. We recommend you check, just to be sure. It only takes a few minutes of your time. 

What happens if I didn’t receive TSA Pre™? What are my options? 

Travelers with a KTN are more likely to receive TSA Pre✓™ expedited screening on a consistent basis. If you didn’t receive it, most likely it was due to one of these issues outlined above.

If you check-in online before your flight and don’t see a TSA Pre✓™ indicator on your boarding pass, contact your air carrier. They can update your Secure Flight information right away. If everything matches, you will be able to re-print your boarding pass again, hopefully with TSA Pre✓™ this time! 

Other tips from TSA  

Check out these tips/previous blog posts to help troubleshoot the issue. We want to make sure that those who applied for a KTN receive TSA Pre✓™ when they fly.
As always, TSA continues to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening. 

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Ross Feinstein, TSA Press Secretary 

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