Friday, September 12, 2014

TSA Week in Review - 42 Loaded Firearms and a Strange Item at Albany

Loaded Folding Rifle Discovered in Carry-on Bag At DFW.
Loaded Folding Rifle Discovered in Carry-on Bag At DFW.
52 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 52 firearms, 42 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered. 

Strange Item Discovered at Albany - A notebook cover was discovered yesterday in a carry-on bag at Albany (ALB) that looked like an improvised explosive device on the X-ray monitor. There was no malicious intent, but it’s important to remember that homemade DIY projects can often look pretty ominous to our X-ray operators. If you have something you think might look a little odd, let our officers know prior to putting your bag through the X-ray.

Notebook Discovered At ALB.
Notebook Discovered At ALB.
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 double edged belt buckle knife was discovered at Piedmont Triad (GSO). 
  • A razor blade was detected in a boot at Savannah (SAV).

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 this week in carry-on bags at Phoenix (PHX), and Greensville / Spartanburg (GSP).  
  • An inert display of a firework shell was discovered in a carry-on bag at Springfield (SGF).
Discovered inert firework shell display
Inert Firework Shell Display (SGF)
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. 

Stun Guns – Eight stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Albuquerque (ABQ), Gulfport (GPT), Knoxville (TYS), Las Vegas (LAS), Oklahoma City (OKC), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), and Tulsa (TUL).

Discovered firearms
(Clockwise from top left) Firearms Discovered At MEM, FLL, TYS, AUS, LAS

Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags list
*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! 

Bob Burns

TSA Blog Team 

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