Friday, June 27, 2014

TSA Week in Review – A Plethora of Credit Card Knives are Being Discovered (as well as some other interesting items)


Credit Card Knife
Credit Card Knife (BUF)

Credit Card Knives - There has been a growing trend in the number of credit-card knives discovered at checkpoints. Including this week, 186 credit card knives have been discovered. Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives. 61 credit card knives were discovered just this week alone. 10 were discovered at San Francisco (SFO), nine at Nashville (BNA), five at Knoxville (TYS), five at Little Rock (LIT), four at Tampa (TPA), three at Billings (BIL), three at Grand Rapids (GRR), three at Long Beach (LGB), three at Minneapolis (MSP), two at Cincinnati (CVG), two at Colorado Springs (COS), two at Providence (PVD), two at Tri-Cities (TRI), and the remainder were discovered at Grand Forks (GFK), Manchester (MHT), Petersburg (PIE), Sarasota (SRQ), St. Croix (STX), Traverse City (TVC), Minneapolis (MSP), Williston (ISN), and Wilmington (ILM).
Spent Artillery Shell and Rounds (HNL), Inert Grenades (PDX)
Spent Artillery Shell and Rounds (HNL), Inert Grenades (PDX)
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 in a carry-on bag at Portland (PDX).  
  • An inert flashbang grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at St. Louis (STL).
  • A spent artillery shell was discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL).
Brush Dagger (DEN), Razor Blade in Hat (TPA), Stun Phone (RIC)
Brush Dagger (DEN), Razor Blade in Hat (TPA), Stun Phone (RIC)

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. 

  • A razorblade was discovered in the hatband of a baseball cap at Tampa (TPA).
  • A hair brush dagger was discovered in a carry-on bag at Denver (DEN). 
  • Two knives were discovered under the lining of a hard-sided carry-on bag at Denver (DEN).

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…
Hatchet (MHT), Dagger (ORD)
Hatchet (MHT), Dagger (ORD)
Knuckle Stunner (PHX), Wolf Bow (ORD), Road Flare (LAN)
Knuckle Stunner (PHX), Wolf Bow (ORD), Road Flare (LAN)
Three Throwing Stars (JFK), Throwing Knife (JAX), Throwing Star (IAH)
Three Throwing Stars (JFK), Throwing Knife (JAX), Throwing Star (IAH)
Knuckle Knives - Top (JFK), Bottom (HNL)
Knuckle Knives - Top (JFK), Bottom (HNL)
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:

  • An Albuquerque (ABQ) passenger stated the following to a gate agent: “I have explosives in my pocket. We all have bombs. I have cyanide in my wallet.” He didn’t have explosives or cyanide.
  • A Rochester (ROC) passenger approached a ticket counter to check in and stated to the ticket agent that he had a bomb in his bag. He didn’t have a bomb in his bag.
Airsoft Gun (SMF)
Airsoft Gun (SMF)

Stun Guns – 25 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Kansas City (MCI), Las Vegas (LAS), two at Phoenix (PHX), two at San Diego (SAN), and the remainder were discovered at Akron (CAK), Albuquerque (ABQ), Anchorage (ANC), Austin (AUS), Baltimore (BWI), Burbank (BUR), Denver (DEN), Kodiak (ADQ), Nashville (BNA), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Northwest Arkansas (XNA), Portland (PDX), Richmond (RIC), Sacramento (SMF), Texarkana (TXK), and Vegas (LAS).
Ammunition (SAN)
Ammunition (SAN)

Airsoft Guns – An Airsoft gun was discovered this week in a carry-on bag at Sacramento (SMF). 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.




40 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 40 firearms, 35 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. 

Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) OMA, HOU & GPT
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) OMA, HOU & GPT
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) ATL, LAS, IAD, TVC, GSO & PIT
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) ATL, LAS, IAD, TVC, GSO & PIT
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B)DAL, AUS, PDX & CHS
Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B)DAL, AUS, PDX & CHS
40 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 40 firearms, 35 were loaded and eight 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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