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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