Thursday, July 3, 2014

TSA Week in Review – Samurai Sword, Stun Cane, 33 Firearms, and More

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, this report is being posted on Thursday vs. Friday and only reflects the last six days (6/27 - 7/2). 

M-1000 fireworks discovered in carry-on bag at MDW.
M-1000 fireworks discovered in carry-on bag at MDW.

Samurai sword discovered in a carry on bag a BOS.
Samurai sword discovered in a carry on bag at BOS.
Loaded firearms discovered in a carry on bag at PBI.
Loaded firearm discovered in a carry on bag at PBI.
33 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 33 firearms, 25 were loaded and eight had rounds chambered. 

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. 
  • Credit Card Knives - 38 credit card knives were discovered this week. 10 were discovered at San Francisco (SFO), four at Providence (PVD), three at Nashville (BNA), three at Tampa (TPA), two at Beaumont (BPT), two at Grand Rapids (GRR), two at Shreveport (GRR), and the remainder were discovered at Billings (BIL), Bismarck (BIS), Cincinnati (CVG),  Colorado Springs (COS), Knoxville (TYS), Minneapolis (MSP), Muskegon (MKG), Philadelphia (PHL), Rochester (RST), St. Cloud (STC), St. Croix (STX), and Williston (ISN). Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives.
  • A knife and a multi-tool with a knife were found concealed in a coffee cup at the Fairbanks (FAI) airport.
  • A hair brush dagger was discovered at the San Francisco (SFO) airport. 
  • A stun cane was discovered at the airport checkpoint in Tampa (TPA).
Stun Cane (TPA) - Brush Dagger (SFO)
Stun Cane (TPA) - Brush Dagger (SFO)
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…

Sword discovered in carry-on bag at CMH.
Sword discovered in carry-on bag at CMH.
Octagonal sais (top) and shukos (bottom) discovered at MDW.
Octagonal sais (top) and shukos (bottom) discovered at MDW.
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 carry-on bags this week at the New York Kennedy (JFK) and Savannah (SAV) airports.
Stun Guns – 12 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Four were discovered at Denver (DEN), two at San Francisco (SFO), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP), Jacksonville (JAX), Lawton (LAW), Orlando (MCO), Portland (PWM), Sacramento (SMF), and Springfield (SGF). 
Airsoft gun discovered in carry-on bag at BHM.
Airsoft gun discovered in carry-on bag at BHM.
Airsoft Guns – Two Airsoft guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at the Phoenix-Mesa (IWA), and Birmingham (BHM) airports. 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 discovered in carry-on bag at FSD.
Ammunition discovered in carry-on bag at FSD.
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 at: (T/B - L/R) MEM, PDX, AEX, DEN, SMF, TUL
Firearms discovered at: (T/B - L/R) MEM, PDX, AEX, DEN, SMF, TUL

33 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 33 firearms, 25 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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