Friday, January 30, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 37 Loaded Firearms, Sword Canes, and More


Firearm discovered in carry-on bag at RSW.
Firearm discovered in carry-on bag at RSW.

40 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 40 firearms, 37 were loaded and 11 had rounds chambered.

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.

  • A New York (JFK) passenger was arrested after one kilo of cocaine was discovered concealed inside a stereo amplifier in his carry-on bag.
  • Two sword canes were discovered this week at Raleigh-Durham (RDU) and Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP).
  • A comb knife was detected in a carry-on bag at Richmond (RIC).
From the top: Comb Knife (RIC), Sword Cane (RDU), Sword Cane (MSP)
From the top: Comb Knife (RIC), Sword Cane (RDU), Sword Cane (MSP)

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 discovered 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. 
  • Two inert/novelty grenades were discovered at Eagle County (EGE) and San Jose (SJC). 

Inert Grenade (SJC), Monster With Inert Grenade (EGE)
Inert Grenade (SJC), Monster With Inert Grenade (EGE)
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.
 
Misc. Items Discovered in Carry-on Bags: Bullets & Knife (JAX), Road Flares (SJC), Punching Tool (LAS), Butane (SDF)
Misc. Items Discovered in Carry-on Bags: Bullets & Knife (JAX), Road Flares (SJC), Punching Tool (LAS), Butane (SDF)
Stun Guns - Ten stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago Midway (MDW), Houston International (IAH), Las Vegas (LAS), Nashville (BNA), Oakland (OAK), Orange County (SNA), Phoenix (PHX), and Sacramento (SMF).

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 in carry-on bags at: TUL, HOU, ATL, BNA, GSP & ATL
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at:PIT, BFL, BNA, ORF, AUS & FAY
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: PIT, BFL, BNA, ORF, AUS & FAY
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, SAT, FLL & RDU
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, SAT, FLL & RDU
40 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 40 firearms, 37 were loaded and 11 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. 

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35 comments:

Thomas Joy said...

I get this email all the time and I always post a comment in hopes people traveling on aircraft will and should be aware that they are carrying a firearm or any prohibited item.

I carry my firearm everywhere I go and always know that it is on my person and always know where I can and cannot carry it into a prohibited establishment. When I see an establishment that says I cannot conceal carry, I do not enter it and go elsewhere. However, I do let the management/owners by email or by written communication why I do not frequent their facility.

How anyone cannot know they are carrying just amazes me. Is this the same type of person who leaves their children in a vehicle when leaving the vehicle and or leaving their child in the store that they just left and not realizing it until they get home. There is no excuse for stupidly but it seems to be increasing all the time.

If you can't remember your carrying or have children you should be banned from having kids or firearms. You can't cure STUPID.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Yawn.

Nothing that was a threat to aviation. Not even slightly.

Nothing that was worthy of arresting anyone.

And the TSA spent roughly 153 million this week to bring you this bit of nothing news.

Seriously TSA. We expect better.

Susan Richart said...

From another thread:

"The absolute rediculousness of some of these comments amazes me. How do you know there was no threat? When questioned, a POTENTAIL terrorist doesnt say, oh, by the way, Im a terrorist. Also keep in mind, TSA does not look for terrorists. They look for threat iteams. Their job is to keep threat iteams off of planes. Nowhere does it say they are looking for terrorists.
That said, iteams dont have to be "live" to be a threat. What happens if somoeone pulls a fake grenade or that bomb looking alarm clock out of his bag at 30,000 feet? Pandimonium is the answer. Some of you people are so in the dark as to the threats facing this country and what is going on to prevent it. Had the 9/11 highjackers had their box cutters taken by TSA, nobody would have ever known they exsisted and you fools would be questioning why they took a box cutter from a person who was not a threat. of the thousands of iteams taken, if only one was taken from a terrorist, thousands of lives would have been saved by TSA. If only one threat iteam was not taken on board because TSA was a detourant, thousands of lives may have been saved.
You whinners can cry all you want and post usless and usless garbage about things not being a threat. Fact is, you know not of which you speak. I prefer to think that perhaps, TSA has prevent thousands of un needed deaths."

Our Anonymous friend who might work in the TSA's Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs, really needs to learn how to write and spell.

It's "ridiculousness" not "rediculousness."

It's "deterrent" not "detourant."

I could go on and on: "usless", "iteams", "doesnt", "dont", "exsisted", "potentail" and my favorite: "whinners."

If you want to be taken seriously, please learn to spell.

And while we are at it, please enlighten those of us who are in the dark about the "threats facing this country."

Finally, if the TSA is not looking for terrorists, then why the background checks on those who fall for the TSA's PreCheck extortion; why do we have to have our names exactly match our ID and BP; why check IDs at all if they TSA isn't looking for terrorists; why does TSA want our social media postings monitored? The TSA is most definitely looking for individual terrorists.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

How many of these perps are arrested, convicted and fined or otherwise punished? Why isn't the area beyond security in an airport under Federal jurisdiction?

Anonymous said...

Where's the post about the Office of Inspector General report about Audit of Security Controls for DHS Information Systems at John F.
Kennedy International Airport (Redacted) (Revised)

http://www.oig.dhs.gov/assets/Mgmt/2015/OIG_15-18_Jan14.pdf

Don't you want to share your good news with the taxpaying public, blotter team?

Anonymous said...

Why aren't you promoting the precheck expansion proposal and telling the American public about it?

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=04b51eb59438c0ac31daa7b96a07b8c9&tab=core&_cview=1

In January 2013, TSA issued a Request for Information to conduct market research, technical demonstrations and testing of private sector capabilities to perform prescreening
of individuals for TSA Pre✓®. TSA requested that the respondents include the use of commercial, publicly available, and public records data (hereinafter
collectively referred to as “commercial data”)
and algorithms to validate identity and perform low-risk determinations at an acceptable standard of performance at the selected risk threshold.

4.3.3 Recurrent Vetting
The Contractor shall be capable of conducting recurrent eligibility evaluations and
propose a recurrent applicant vetting strategy. This capability may or may not be turned on
at initial deployment as directed by TSA.

Anonymous said...

From Statement_of_Work_-_TSA_PreCheck_Expansion_(12-194)_FINAL.pdf

The Contractor must clearly distinguish the completion of the enrollment process for TSA Pre✓® before requesting permission from applicants to continue communication
regarding any other marketing opportunities not affiliated with TSA Pre✓®.
Any such marketing communications would require the applicants to affirmatively opt-in to such additional marketing.

What if the American citizen goes through your expanded precheck conducted by the private contractor and opts out of the private contractor's spamming, er, marketing to him? What's to prevent the private contractor from moving the person from the "OK" list to the "Not OK" list during one of the recurrent reviewing of the citizen's online personal data??

Anonymous said...

"A New York (JFK) passenger was arrested after one kilo of cocaine was discovered concealed inside a stereo amplifier in his carry-on bag."

What training do TSA screeners get to detect and classify drugs, legal or otherwise?

And why does it seem that TSA is actually searching for drugs during a Limited Administrative Search that is only permitted to search for Weapons, Explosives, and Incendiaries?

Anonymous said...

SSSS said, "Seriously TSA. We expect better."

Getting you to your destination safely. What more do you expect than that?!?

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...

SSSS for Some Reason--not sure that I agree with the statement that nothing was a threat to aviation. I can think of several ways the firearms and road flares could be a threat to the airplane. I guess you're not a pilot and you're not knowledgeable about aircraft systems.

Anonymous said...

Susan Richart said... blaa blaa blaa
Thanks Susan, I appreciate your feedback. Unfortunatly due to dyslexia, my spelling is not as great as many people. And I really dont care to worry about spell check. I do however posess an IQ that would put me in the top 5% of mensa members. Your comments really fall on deaf ears.
If you choose to critique my spelling rather than the content of what I post, that is on you.
You have a choice I guess, continue to badger a person with a learning disability who has overcome it to earn 2 masters degrees and a BA, or discuss the content of what was posted. Ill assume you will focus on spelling...

Ma'am, there are people who fly in this country everyday who have ties to terror organizations.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
SSSS said, "Seriously TSA. We expect better."

Getting you to your destination safely. What more do you expect than that?!?

TSA had nothing to do with my safe arrival. You, and they, try to claim success but it is an empty claim.

Thanks for trying. But you are falling far short of what we expect from you for 8 billion dollars a year.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
SSSS for Some Reason--not sure that I agree with the statement that nothing was a threat to aviation. I can think of several ways the firearms and road flares could be a threat to the airplane. I guess you're not a pilot and you're not knowledgeable about aircraft systems.

My lack of a pilots license is not relevant to my imagination or your lack of one.

All of the things listed *could* be a threat to aviation, but almost everything else in the cabin of the craft is equally dangerous in the hands of someone who is determined.

If you are trying to remove the treats to aviation then there has to be nothing, not even seatbelts, in the cabin of the craft. Or you have to sedate every single person aboard.

And even those extreme suggestions will actually secure an aircraft in any meaningful way because less than half of the materials in the luggage bay have been screened in any meaningful way. It doesn't matter how much you do to screen the passengers if the bomb is in the luggage bay.

Susan Richart said...

To our anonymous allegedly dyslexic friend:

You didn't earn two master's and a BA writing the way you do and you certainly aren't in the top 5% of Mensa members.

Further, you failed to enlighten us about the "threats to this country."

Telling us that people fly every day who have links to terrorist organizations doesn't tell us anything. After all, Janet Napolitano considered returning vets to be a threat to airline travel.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...Ma'am, there are people who fly in this country everyday who have ties to terror organizations.

Really?

Why hasn't TSA found them yet?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
SSSS for Some Reason--not sure that I agree with the statement that nothing was a threat to aviation. I can think of several ways the firearms and road flares could be a threat to the airplane. I guess you're not a pilot and you're not knowledgeable about aircraft systems.

I guess you don't know as much as you think about aircraft systems. Many companies, and even more pilots, have a firearm with them in the cockpit. Every aircraft has at least one flare-gun, some have as many as 12.

And then there are the knives in they galley. The various lever bars in the cockpit or galley areas (long metal pipes). If you want to get creative there are pots of near boiling water/coffee. You could also just start chucking full cans of soda at someone.

The fact that everyone arrives safely at their destinations has nothing to do with the TSA making us take our shoes off and everything to do with the fact that terrorism, and terrorists, are so incredibly rare.

Anonymous said...

SSSS for Some Reason--not sure that I agree with the statement that nothing was a threat to aviation. I can think of several ways the firearms and road flares could be a threat to the airplane. I guess you're not a pilot and you're not knowledgeable about aircraft systems.

Almost anyone with any level of common sense can figuer out how all of these items can be a threat to aviation.. People assume, if it wont bring aplane down, it isnt a threat. Does anyone remember hijackings? You dont have to take over a cockpit to hijack a plane. A pilot is going to do anything he can to keep his ship in the air, including following directions from a terrorist who may have a "fake" bomb or an "empty" gun. You dont have to crash a plane to be effective.

Anonymous said...

"... I do however posess an IQ that would put me in the top 5% of mensa members..."

Nobody who reads your comments would doubt that.

Anonymous said...

" I do however posess an IQ that would put me in the top 5% of mensa members."

Then why are you working for the TSA?

CliffOnTheRoad said...

two part post.

I had wanted to see if the reduction of flights due to recent storms reduced the # of items found by TSA, and a far fetched notion that no passengers yielded a lower payroll OR at least the TSA employees did something productive (ie, training.) Response requested.

2nd, I quote:

A New York (JFK) passenger was arrested after one kilo of cocaine was discovered concealed inside a stereo amplifier in his carry-on bag."

And why does it seem that TSA is actually searching for drugs during a Limited Administrative Search that is only permitted to search for Weapons, Explosives, and Incendiaries?

-end quote. IMO TSA calls the police because they can and the citizens let the TSA get away with it.

Outgoing checks are NOT the same as US Customs function.

Since the stereo did NOT cause an explosives alert, what right does TSA have to disassemble it or do secondary testing for drugs or call the police? Suppose the cocaine was just sugar?

Submitting to TSA pre-flight is like inviting the police into your house. If they see drugs, you are busted, which is also why people do not give consent to search a car even when they can be sweet talked or threatened.

Customs is like a search warrant for your house, and rightfully so' You get what you deserve for trying to bring that crap into the US.

But the TSA has as much clout and money to spend as the people let them, which increases as they hammer us with fear mongering.

Soon will be the day of "thank you for keeping me safe" as the police throw you against the wall just in case you might have a gun, or a joint, or they believe you might have intentions of conspiring to liter while you walk with your family to church. That is a police state and no longer Land of the Free.

Arial said...

The Bold Blotter Intern, or should we call you Lisa?, suddenly appears to be able to spell (or use spellcheck) and again goes on about how educated she is...following a pattern seen in previous posts over the past couple of months.

This time she throws three gauntlets down, but at least does so politely. (Unless again, this is the mispelling TSA employee's friend pretending to be BBI for more TSA misdirection.)

1. I'm super educated, with multiple degrees and have a genius IQ! I just don't bother with silly things like spelling, capitalizing, etc.

2. I have a learning disability! You can't pick on me because that makes you even more of a big meanie! (And by the way, my learning disability makes me even more amazing!)

3. I'm going to make an unprovable claim that justifies my continued employment! Despite the lack of any evidence. Despite the fact that the TSA had to admit in court that no terrorist groups are trying to take down planes. Despite the fact that planes are not falling out of the sky even though thousands of weapons are missed by the TSA every year. Despite the fact that TSA employees are committing security breaches for their own ideology or money every day.

AirRifle said...

The TSA reuses photos of guns allegedly found each week. What else are they lying about?

Anonymous said...

"A New York (JFK) passenger was arrested after one kilo of cocaine was discovered concealed inside a stereo amplifier in his carry-on bag."

What training do TSA screeners get to detect and classify drugs, legal or otherwise?

And why does it seem that TSA is actually searching for drugs during a Limited Administrative Search that is only permitted to search for Weapons, Explosives, and Incendiaries?


who said TSA was screening for drugs? Im no xray expert, but I do possess a good amount of common sense. Im guessing if you see something inside of a amliphier, you are probably goin gto want to see what it is. If drugs are found, Im guessing they are required to notify law enforcment. Again, just using some (not so) commmon sense..you should try it.

RB said...

TSA jails innocent traveler when he asks to file a complaint

"Vanderklok repeated the aggressive finger-pointing two more times, [name edited] the TSA Supervisor testified."

"But here's the thing: Airport surveillance videos show nothing of the sort."

"But that same supervisor's behavior on April 8, when he swore under oath to things that were not true, is not evidence of a bad day. It's evidence of someone who will stick to his story even if it means an innocent man may go to jail."

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

Another fine example of TSA Professionals in action!

Anonymous said...

Why is this TSA agent still employed?

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150204_TSA_jails_innocent_traveler_when_he_asks_to_file_a_complaint.html

------

APPARENTLY, working as a supervisor for the Transportation Security Administration at Philadelphia International Airport comes with a perk: You get to throw people in jail for no good reason and still keep your job.

If that's not the case, why is [Name Redacted] still employed by the TSA?

Under oath, [Name Redacted] told the court that he had been monitoring Vanderklok's interaction with the bag screener because "I saw a passenger becoming agitated. Hands were in the air. And it's something we deal with regularly. But I don't let it go on on my checkpoint."

[Name Redacted] intervened, he said, and that's when Vanderklok complained that the screening was "delaying him." While he said this, he "had both hands with fingers extended up toward the ceiling up in the air at the time and shaking them."

Vanderklok also "put his finger in my face. And he said, 'Let me tell you something. I'll bring a bomb through here any day I want.' And he said you'll never find it."

Vanderklok repeated the aggressive finger-pointing two more times, [Name Redacted] testified.

But here's the thing: Airport surveillance videos show nothing of the sort.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
SSSS said, "Seriously TSA. We expect better."

Getting you to your destination safely. What more do you expect than that?!?



February 1, 2015 at 11:39 AM
--------------------------------
TSA doesn't do that. the pilot has a lot to do with it, as do the air controllers. TSA does nothing but waste our time and our money.

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 sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!! it's pretty clear that TSA doesn't understand risk assessment or risk-based anything, much less security.

Bob said...

Hmm. Will we ever get the statistics on the number of deadly bottles of water and shampoo that are confiscated each week?

Less flippantly, is it a TSA/US government requirement or a foreign government requirement when there are at-the-gate water search stations to catch bottles purchased after security on US-bound flights? The last time I asked in Beijing, they blamed the US. I can't find confirmation that the US has a particular distrust of flights from China, though.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Susan Richart said... blaa blaa blaaThanks Susan, I appreciate your feedback. Unfortunatly due to dyslexia, my spelling is not as great as many people. And I really dont care to worry about spell check. I do however posess an IQ that would put me in the top 5% of mensa members. Your comments really fall on deaf ears.If you choose to critique my spelling rather than the content of what I post, that is on you. You have a choice I guess, continue to badger a person with a learning disability who has overcome it to earn 2 masters degrees and a BA, or discuss the content of what was posted. Ill assume you will focus on spelling...Ma'am, there are people who fly in this country everyday who have ties to terror organizations.February 2, 2015 at 11:03 AM
...........................
Wow, someone who claims to be at the level of the top 5% of Mensa's and can't be bothered to communicate well.

Your learning disability is not your handicap.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said..." Im no xray expert, but I do possess a good amount of common sense. "

Debatable.

You claim to have a good amount of common sense so maybe you can answer this question.....

If water bottles are too dangerous to allow through security why are they not dangerous enough to have their own special disposal system?

Or maybe this question.....

If a one quart zippy bag can hold seven three ounce containers, what makes the 21 ounces in the baggy safe but the 16 ounces in the water bottle dangerous?

Or maybe this question.....

What makes a laptop inside of a travel bag so much more dangerous than a laptop placed in its own little grey bucket? Or conversely, why would my laptop being surrounded by my socks and underwear make your job any more or less difficult when viewing the xrays?

Not difficult questions, should be easy with all that common sense you have just bubbling out of you.

Arial said...

To the TSAnonymous who claims to have two master's degrees, is this you? Were you working for the TSA in the DC area in 2009?

http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2009/03/tsa-core-values-in-action.html

"A man sits in the row of seats behind [the author], he sees the emblem and asks, "What does integrity, innovation and team mean?" He seems genuinely curious.She looks at him like he's from another planet.

He points to her shoulder and says, "Your badge."

She says, "That says TSA."

He goes, "No, the words integrity, innovation and team spirit."

She finally looks at the emblem sees the words, and says to him, "I'm not working now, I don't have to tell you anything."

He replies, "Well, you figure you would know what it means. It's on your uniform."

She replies, "I don't have to tell you what I know." But then does tell him, "I have two Masters degrees.""

Arial said...

Bold Blotter Intern...why haven't you responded to my comment above? Are you that self same TSA screener who worked in DC in 2009?

RifleMasters said...

I think we will continue to see elevated numbers of "attempted" carry on's simply because people DO indeed forget they are carrying. It's a common mistake believe it or not. I do however think that TSA is stepping up their game at catching these, especially knives.

Anonymous said...

When bodies (like you) run out of arguments, they generally advance to adulterate their opponent's arguments by advertence to their adversary a apocryphal apriorism alleged a "straw man" (as you accept done), which they (you) again advance because they (you) accept absitively that the opponent's absolute altercation is unassailable. It's a poor way to argue. Abusing the 9/11 victims at the aforementioned time is an avant-garde twist, though.