Friday, December 26, 2014

TSA Week in Review: 33 Loaded Firearms, Five Inert Grenades, Black Powder Pellets & More



Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at ATL.
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at ATL
44 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 44 firearms, 33 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered. (Edited 1/1/15)

Primers & Pellets - 40 shotgun primers and 39 black powder pellets were discovered in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC).  
40 shotgun primers and 39 black powder pellets were discovered in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC).
Primers and pellets discovered in carry-on bag at SLC

Concealed Knives PHL
Concealed Knives PHL
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.

  • An anomaly was detected with Advanced Imaging Technology in the center chest area of a Philadelphia (PHL) passenger. After a pat-down, a pen and highlighter combo was discovered that was concealing small knives.
  • A knife was discovered in a small box wrapped in foil at Tallahassee (TLH).

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.

  • Five inert grenades were discovered this week. Four were discovered in carry-on bags at Dallas Love (DAL), Chicago Midway (MDW), New Orleans (MSY), and Oakland (OAK), and one was discovered in a checked bag at Los Angeles (LAX).
From left, inert grenades discovered at: DAL, MSY & MDW
From left, inert grenades discovered at: DAL, MSY & MDW

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.
knives and throwing stars
From left, items discovered at: TUS, BDL, PIT, SAN, DTW & SNA
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.
Stun Guns – 20 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Denver (DEN), and the remainder were found at Albuquerque (ABQ), Atlanta (ATL), Bismarck (BIS), Buffalo (BUF), Dallas Love (DAL), Detroit (DTW), Dickinson (DIK), Lafayette (LFT), Las Vegas (LAS), Minneapolis (MSP), Nashville (BNA), Norfolk (ORF),  Phoenix (PHX), Pitt-Greenville (PGV), Reno (RNO), Sacramento (SMF), Salt Lake City (SLC), and St. Louis (STL). 

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 left, firearms discovered at: HOU, RSW, ATL, RDU, LAS & ATL
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: HOU, RSW, ATL, RDU, LAS & ATL
Loaded Firearms
Top (HOU), Bottom (DTW)
44 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 44 firearms, 33 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered.
(Spreadsheet Edited 1/1/15) *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 

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