Friday, January 23, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 33 Loaded Firearms & Strange Vials


Some of the 2,212 fireamrs discovered in 2014
Some of the 2,212 firearms discovered in 2014
Year in Review - Our 2014 Year in Review blog post was published this morning. A record breaking 2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags in 2014. Be sure to check it out for a rundown of all the notable items our officers discovered in 2014.

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at ORF
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at ORF.
42 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 42 firearms, 33 were loaded and 15 had rounds chambered.
  
Strange Vials - After a checked bag alarmed at Long Island MacArthur (ISP), a search revealed four vials labeled: West Nile, Swine Flu, Small Pox and Chicken Pox. The bottles were sent to a laboratory for further testing. The passenger stated she was a doctor/holistic healer, and the vials were watered down versions of the viruses.

Knife concealed in an Eiffel Tower replica
Knife concealed in an Eiffel Tower replica
Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items – Artfully concealed is a term used to describe an item that was intentionally hidden. It could be anything from a knife sewn into the lining of a bag to a sword hidden inside of a walking cane. If a concealed prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are  examples from this week where an artfully concealed item was found by our officers.

  • An 8-inch double-edged knife was detected concealed in a replica statue of the Eifel Tower in a carry-on bag at Oakland (OAK).
  • A cane sword was discovered in a passenger’s accessible property at Orlando (MCO).
  • A stun cane was discovered in a passenger’s accessible property at San Diego (SAN). Marijuana was discovered in the false bottom of an aerosol can in a carry-on bag at Buffalo (BUF).

Stun Cane (TPA) - Sword Cane (MCO)
Stun Cane (TPA) - Sword Cane (MCO)
Miscellaneous Prohibited Items In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, 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.

Arrows (PHX), Throwing Knife (PVD), Bullet Knife(EWR), Flare Gun (SAN)
Arrows (PHX), Throwing Knife (PVD), Bullet Knife(EWR), Flare Gun (SAN)
Stun Guns – 12 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Three were discovered at Denver (DEN), three more at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Phoenix (PHX), Reno (RNO), Sacramento (SMF) and Tampa (TPA).

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 corner, firearms discovered at: ATL, ATL, IAH, MIA, ATL, LBB
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered at: ATL, ATL, IAH, MIA, ATL, LBB
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered at:SNA, TPA, PWM, PGD
Clockwise from top left corner, firearms discovered at:SNA, TPA, PWM, PGD


42 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 42 firearms, 33 were loaded and 15 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. 

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 & 2013.  

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.

31 comments:

Chris Boyce said...

Any chance we'll see pictures of the "vials"? ("Of course not" is the answer.) I'll bet you thought you had made a big drug bust.

Counting Blue Lies said...

LOL, that knife in the Eiffel Tower wasn't CONCEALED. It was in its sheath. Stop acting like you've made a GOOD CATCH by finding something so obvious - the handle is sticking out! ROTFLMAO!

Try noting the "many other prohibited items too numerous to note." Just once. Try making a semi-comprehensive list.

Just once. Admit you take millions of items that are not a threat to aviation safety.

Anonymous said...

More like because of someone's "Holistic Dreams" an entire airport gets shut down, a HAZMAT team and CDC are called and hundreds if not thousands of people are inconvenienced.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

You know, after reading this blog for a very long time I am just going to start asking a simple question when these blotter posts come up....

So what?

You found some stuff and some of it was even within the scope of stuff you are supposed to find.

Why are you bragging so hard about doing the absolute minimum part of your job?

The rest of us do our jobs every day and don't have to gin up the base line in such a way as to sound like we accomplished anything.

You have been at this for over ten years, we have paid you over 80 billion dollars in that same amount of time, we expect better from you.

Anonymous said...

Why do you bother mentioning the looooong blotter post immediately below this one?

Anonymous said...

"double edged knife" in the Eiffel Tower?? what a load. you can tell fro the picture it is dull - you've confiscated a letter opener, TSA. thank goodness someone may have done their correspondence on the plane!!

Anonymous said...

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense. now you're even allowing college kids (kaydets) to endure more reasonable screening, but those who served and sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!!

Anonymous said...


As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?

Anonymous said...

Thank you TSA for helping to keep our airlines safe.

Big Shamu said...

What happens to all the banned items confiscated at security checkpoints and lost and found items held for 30 days? Is there a surplus store where they are sold like in Harrisburg PA?

RB said...

And there is still the issue of 129 guns that evaded all 20 layers of TSA security.

Can TSA even be considered a Security agency if 129 guns can walk right by TSA without detection?

Susan Richart said...

Surely the TSA would not claim stats are "SSI" so as not to embarrass itself, would it? :-)

"....but it declared many of the details classified to try to hide the embarrassing information from the public, the agency’s internal auditor charged in a report released Friday."

http://tinyurl.com/nh95fcl

and

http://tinyurl.com/nukg6fo

and finally:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/24236490-post9.html

The arrogance of this entity, the TSA, is beyond belief.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

AirRifle said...

I want to know how many travelers have had their tsa locks TAKEN off their bags and not placed back on after search? I had two tsa approved locks TAKEN and not placed back on my Pelican hard case bag. I don't know if it was tsa that took them or baggage handlers. If I'd had a legally packed firearm in that case I'm sure it would be gone. Fortunately, I trusted my instincts and didn't pack anything valuable. But the locks were torn off.
Those tsa locks are a joke. They don't even keep the honest people out of your bags.

Anonymous said...

Chris Boyce said...
Any chance we'll see pictures of the "vials"? ("Of course not" is the answer.) I'll bet you thought you had made a big drug bust.

Nothing itellegent to add?
Were drugs even mentioned? you just have to search for something negitive as ussual. That is why the nay-sayers have no credibility.

RB said...

TSA makes a big deal about guns and other weapons found at TSA screening areas but have been completely silent about the 129 guns that evaded all 20 whatever layers of so-called TSA security.

Why is that TSA? Afraid to acknowledge that TSA security is nothing more than poorly acted theater?

That with TSA on the job there really isn't any security?

Are possibly TSA employees are just incompetent drones without a clue?

To put the number of guns found into perspective based on 1.7 million travelers per day there were 620,500,000.00 flyers last year and TSA only found 2,212.00 firearms out of all those passengers. A very minor number indeed and certainly nothing to rate a weekly tally for the public.

Roll in the DHS OIG report of DHS Information Systems at JFK [http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/2015/OIG_15-18_Jan14.pdf] where TSA insisted on hiding from the public information that again demonstrates TSA incompetence and the picture becomes clear.

TSA is poorly managed, has incompetent employees, and is more of a danger to America than terrorist.

Taxpayers deserve better for our $8 Billion Dollars that TSA consumes each year.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
And there is still the issue of 129 guns that evaded all 20 layers of TSA security.

Can TSA even be considered a Security agency if 129 guns can walk right by TSA without detection?

~~

And now we read this:

"This month a Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector was found with a gun in his carry-on bag when he arrived in New York from Atlanta, the FAA said."

http://tinyurl.com/om4ko26

Alex Chambers said...

TSA doesn't care about drug busts. Just weapons.

Alex Chambers said...

As far as I know they are auctioned off in bulk

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"... That is why the nay-sayers have no credibility."

Says the man posting as Anonymous.

Spellbinding said...

@Bold Blotter Intern Should we call you Ollie?

Please use the spellcheck. Slow down your typing and review your posts before you send, then approve them.

Your "credibility" is in question with such poorly written, vitriolic posts.

bryan said...

Wow, these are actually very artfully hidden. Pretty awesome!

bryan said...

I'm not sure if my last comment went though, I didn't get a confirmation. Hope this isn't a repeat, but I was saying:

These weapons are actually hidden very artfully. It's really cool.

RB said...

Alex Chambers said...TSA doesn't care about drug busts. Just weapons.
January 28, 2015 at 7:17 PM
..................................
Then why does the TSA Blog report them in the weekly recap?

Any drugs found during a limited TSA Administrative Search should be excluded as evidence in any legal proceeding.

Anonymous said...

RB said...
Alex Chambers said...TSA doesn't care about drug busts. Just weapons.
January 28, 2015 at 7:17 PM
..................................
Then why does the TSA Blog report them in the weekly recap?

Any drugs found during a limited TSA Administrative Search should be excluded as evidence in any legal proceeding.

January 31, 2015 at 9:03 AM
------------------------
HAH HAH HAH!
You Ok with letting drug dealers, Child pornographers, counterfeiters, people providing money to terrorism, etc. off because they were stupid enough to leave their illegal goods/evidence in a bag they knew was subject to search? Wonder how the 9/11 families would feel about that.

Anonymous said...

"... That is why the nay-sayers have no credibility."

Says the man posting as Anonymous.

responds the anonymous poster..

Please use the spellcheck. Slow down your typing and review your posts before you send, then approve them.

Your "credibility" is in question with such poorly written, vitriolic posts.

If you are concerned about spelling, your concerns are misdirected, but thanks.

Anonymous said...

"You Ok with letting drug dealers, Child pornographers, counterfeiters, people providing money to terrorism, etc. off because they were stupid enough to leave their illegal goods/evidence in a bag they knew was subject to search? Wonder how the 9/11 families would feel about that."

When people (like you) run out of arguments, they often attempt to misrepresent their opponent's arguments by attributing to their opponent a false premise called a "straw man" (as you have done), which they (you) then attack because they (you) have decided that the opponent's actual argument is unassailable. It's a poor way to argue. Abusing the 9/11 victims at the same time is an innovative twist, though.

There are other public agencies that are responsible for child pornography, etc. you know. I'm surprised you would actually want TSA to get distracted by things that other agencies are already taking care of.

RB said...

Anonymous said...

HAH HAH HAH!
You Ok with letting drug dealers, Child pornographers, counterfeiters, people providing money to terrorism, etc. off because they were stupid enough to leave their illegal goods/evidence in a bag they knew was subject to search? Wonder how the 9/11 families would feel about that.

February 1, 2015 at 3:46 PM

.............

What I am ok with is the United States Constitution and the Fourth Amendment which limits searches unless cause can be shown.

In the case of TSA a claim of an Administrative Search carve out for Weapons, Explosives, and Incendiaries is in play. OK, but going above that carve out violates the Fourth Amendment.

As far as the 9/11 families. Are you one of the poorly educated people who think the hijackers brought aboard prohibited items that day?

If you are in favor of illegal searches you surely would support police entering your home unannounced to search for illegal items, right?

TSA screeners are not law enforcement so they should restrict their activities to what the regulations allow.

A Limited Administrative Search.

Spellbinding said...

Ah, again the Bold Blotter Intern, or can I call you Lyyn?, appears and can magically spell - or it's one of her friends pretending to be her for further TSA misdirection.

I'm not a TSA employee. How about you?

band saw said...

Really good job on the site, Keep up the good work!I love (TSA) blog

Salomon said...

How many gun-related incidents have there been aboard US aircraft in the last ten years?

Fishdog said...

More like because of someone's "Holistic Dreams" an entire airport gets shut down, a HAZMAT team and CDC are called and hundreds if not thousands of people are inconvenienced.