Friday, March 20, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 41 Loaded Firearms, Lipstick Stun Gun, Hatchet & More!



Loaded firearm discovered at LAX
Loaded firearm discovered at LAX
45 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 45 firearms, 41 were loaded and 13 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 some examples from this week where artfully concealed items were discovered by our officers.

  • A folding credit card knife was discovered concealed in a cardboard instant coffee container in a carry-on bag at Bishop International (FNT).
  • A lipstick stun gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago Midway (MDW).

Lipstick Stun Gun (MDW) & Concealed Credit Card Knife (FNT)
Lipstick Stun Gun (MDW) & Concealed Credit Card Knife (FNT)
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.

Clockwise from top left, items discovered at: LGA, JFK, HOU, ORD, SFO, MEM, PHL and AUS
Clockwise from top left, items discovered at: LGA, JFK, HOU, ORD, SFO, MEM, PHL and AUS
Roman Candle (ALB), Monkey Fist & Cat Knuckles (MDW)
Roman Candle (ALB), Monkey Fist & Cat Knuckles (MDW)
Stun Guns - 20 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Three were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Jacksonville (JAX), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago Midway (MDW), Denver (DEN), Gulfport (GPT), Las Vegas (LAS), Minneapolis (MSP), Quad City (MLI), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington Dulles (IAD).
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at HTS.
Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at HTS.
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: PHX, LAX, BNA, PHX, CMH, OMA & TUL
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: PHX, LAX, BNA, PHX, CMH, OMA & TUL
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, SAT & MDW
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, SAT & MDW
45 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 45 firearms, 41 were loaded and 13 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 $11,000. 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 and 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.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

How do they think that they are going to get away with these things? I pray that no one gets hurt taking these things away from these nuts!

SSSS for Some Reason said...

WHy was the MOnkey's Fist voluntarily surrendered? (the ball of string pictured with the cat shaped knuckles) Is paracord now a prohibited item?

Anonymous said...

You used the same picture twice in one weekly round-up, Bob. Isn't that (pun intended) duplicitous?

BTW, if the TSA immediately calls real law enforcement when a weapon is discovered and turns said weapon over to law enforcement, why is that duplicitous picture taken on a background of the TSA logo? It looks to me as if someone from the TSA took possession of the gun in order to take the picture.

Anonymous said...

"Monkey Fist"

...Now certain types of KNOTS are forbidden??

Please tell me the TSA's stance on the following:


Alpine butterfly knot
Bowline
Constrictor knot
Figure-eight knot
Grass bend
Monkey's fist <--- we already know about this one.
Prusik
Sheet bend
Double sheet bend
Spanish bowline
Square knot
Versatackle
Water knot

Also, are Hitches included? Specifically:

Clove hitch
Buntline hitch
Diamond hitch
Rolling hitch
Taut-line hitch
Timber hitch
Trucker's hitch

Lastly, is this the real reason the TSA makes people take off their shoes- so they have to untie their laces??

Anonymous said...

What is the threat from the small "Monkey Fist" keychain. The ballend made from thread is only about an inch in diameter.

Anonymous said...

Seems pretty obvious to me that the "fist" could be undone and used as a garote to strangle another person

Anonymous said...

Those of you curious about the "monkey fist" item pictured. I can speculate, from experience, that it most likely contained a lead or steel ball and is intended as a defensive weapon.

Anonymous said...

When are former TSO's RB and Susan going to share their wisdom?

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...

TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right. If you don't like the rules, you do have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
Seems pretty obvious to me that the "fist" could be undone and used as a garote to strangle another person

March 21, 2015 at 11:12 AM
...............

Should TSA confiscate shoe laces?

Or how about the cord in the hood of a hoody?

Or how about the various electric charging cords that people carry with them nowadays?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right. If you don't like the rules, you do have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane.

March 23, 2015 at 8:59 AM

In the United States travel is a right.

Failed high school did you?

Anonymous said...

"TSA doesn't owe you an explanation."

TSA is a government agency paid for with tax dollars. It is incumbent on TSA, like every such agency, to be as transparent as possible in its decision-making and policies. TSA has consistently failed to do this, which is one of the many reasons the agency is so distrusted.

Lisa Simeone said...

Anonymous said...
TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right. If you don't like the rules, you do have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane.
March 23, 2015 at 8:59 AM


Apparently you've never heard of VIPR.

Nor the Supreme Court, which ruled in Kent v. Dulles, U.S. v. Guest, and Shapiro v. Thompson that flying is a right. Also U.S. Code.

In 49 U.S.C. § 40103, "Sovereignty and use of airspace," the Code specifies that "A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit through the navigable airspace."

'The “public right of freedom of transit” by air is guaranteed by the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, and the TSA is required by Federal law (49 USC § 40101) to consider this right when it issues regulations. Freedom of movement is required in order for us to exercise our right to assemble, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment. Freedom of movement is also guaranteed by Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a human rights treaty signed and ratified by the United States.'

Quoting United States Code TITLE 49—TRANSPORTATION > SUBTITLE VII—AVIATION PROGRAMS > PART A—AIR COMMERCE AND SAFETY >subpart i—general > CHAPTER 401—GENERAL PROVISIONS > § 40101. Policy:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right. If you don't like the rules, you do have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane.

March 23, 2015 at 8:59 AM
----------------------------------
100% incorrect. the courts have weighed in on this, and freedom to travel via any means of choice is a right protected by the Constitution. govt can regulate, but must use least intrusive means to do so. TSA ain't it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Those of you curious about the "monkey fist" item pictured. I can speculate, from experience, that it most likely contained a lead or steel ball and is intended as a defensive weapon.

March 22, 2015 at 5:27 AM
--------------------------------
what a joke. yes, it may have had a metal core, but it is a miniature of the monkey fist that Boatswain's Mates create to wieght a heaving line. it is a symbol of one's occupation, not a weapon. TSA, pull your heads out!!!

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...

Once more, Bobby is holding up TSA-critical comments, even as he allows personal attacks by pro-TSA commenters to sail through moderation.

Further, Bobby still hasn't answered a question that really OUGHT to be simple and easy for any agency with any SHRED of ethics or integrity:

Does the TSA consider PERJURY by its employees, as was seen in the PHL case mentioned here a few weeks back, to be acceptable employee behavior?

A simple, one-word answer will suffice. "Yes" or "no", that's all you need to say.

Try and gather the courage to answer, Bobby; we're all waiting to hear what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

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

TSA will never acknowledge dishonest questions on this site. And the passive-aggressive former Officers who compulsively rant here will never acknowledge the truth. But logic never has thwarted uneducated conspiracy theorists, why start now?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
"When are former TSO's RB and Susan going to share their wisdom?"

How many times is this known falsehood going to be allowed to be posted? Bob? West? This is obviously a troll attempting to get a rise out of these two individuals, thus violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the comment policy. Or is this a TSAnonymous with the power to approve their own comments?

Another Anonymous said...

"TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right"

TSA, as a government agency, does, indeed, owe an explanation, if not to us directly, at least to Congress and the GAO. They refuse to provide them one as well.

And yes, air travel is a right. Look it up.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
TSA doesn't owe you an explanation. Air travel is a privilege not a right. If you don't like the rules, you do have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane.

No.

Travel is a Right in this country.

ANd TSA is in the train stations. Look up the incident in Savannah where they inspected people getting off the train at their destination.

And TSA is in the bus stations, just look up TSA and Bus Stations.

And which bus will get me to Hawaii, or Japan, or Tahiti?

And which train will get me to England, or Africa?

Anonymous said...

"...Anonymous said...
Those of you curious about the "monkey fist" item pictured. I can speculate, from experience, that it most likely contained a lead or steel ball and is intended as a defensive weapon."

Then why wasn't that mentioned?

From the photo it is a really small knot, not much more than an inch, maybe an inch and a half, in diameter.

If it is meant to be defensive weapon it is going to be rather ineffective because even if you pulled out the entire weave of the straight you would get about a foot of cord. Sure you could make someone say ow if you hit them with it, but you aren't stopping anyone.

If it is meant to be offensive, then it is even more fail because even whipping around that thing on a foot long cord isn't going to do anything more than cause a nice bruise regardless of the core.

No, that is a 'survival' item. The Paracord-Bracelets that are still popular these days have some measure of paracord knitted into a bracelet so it can be worn on the person or kept in a small space. This monkey fist is the same thing, a measure of paracord tied into something attractive and probably marketed in the same survivalist manner as the paracord bracelets.

This is obviously an over-eager screener thinking they are preventing some terrible weapon from getting on board an aircraft. And the passenger can't challenge the claim because the information is SSI and if you would just step over here please and talk to these nice (real) Police Officers.

Anonymous said...

In the United States travel is a right.

nowhere does anything say you have the right to travel commercially and be exempt from screening proceedures and/or rules.

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

Monkey's Fists generally carry a heavily weighted lead or stainless ball inside that is capable of killing a person.

Anonymous said...

A monkey fist is a well know self-defense tool. Self-defense items are prohibited past security. The person was probably given the ability to keep the monkey fist if he/she wanted to put it back in the car or whatever. A small inconvenience if anything.

Anonymous said...

"TSA will never acknowledge dishonest questions on this site."

What in the world makes a completely legitimate question about the false positive rate of TSA's primary screening technology "dishonest"?

Anonymous said...

"Further, Bobby still hasn't answered a question that really OUGHT to be simple and easy for any agency with any SHRED of ethics or integrity:"

It's TSA. Explains everything!

RB said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
In the United States travel is a right.

nowhere does anything say you have the right to travel commercially and be exempt from screening proceedures and/or rules.

March 24, 2015 at 12:37 PM


Do you think the United States Constitution specifies rights of the citizens?

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
In the United States travel is a right.

nowhere does anything say you have the right to travel commercially and be exempt from screening proceedures and/or rules.

And no one here is claiming we want *no* security. Other than you, I mean.

Anonymous said...

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...
Monkey's Fists generally carry a heavily weighted lead or stainless ball inside that is capable of killing a person.

Maybe if you choked on it.

With a key-chain sized monkey fist, like the one pictured, the best you could hope for would be a bruise. If your mom is around you might could put out an eye (your gonna put your eye out!).

And the way you phrased that.... why are we to be rendered defenseless just because we want to travel by air?

Wintermute said...

Anonymous said...
In the United States travel is a right.

nowhere does anything say you have the right to travel commercially and be exempt from screening proceedures and/or rules.


Who said anything about being exempt from screening procedures? I certainly haven't seen anyone make that argument. I *have* seen people arguing that those procedures need to be changed based on their Constitutionality, but nothing about not following them.

Anonymous said...

"TSA owes you an explanation because the US is a government of, by, and for the people and the government is answerable to its citizens and taxpayers. Air travel is a right as established in the US Code and case law. You are free to travel by commercial jet just as you have every right to take a train, bus, walk or charter your own plane."

Fixed it for you.

Anonymous said...

Air travel is a right; though an airline can deny you boarding for any reason it sees fit (planes are private property). But before you board, you will process through a checkpoint governed by TSA regulations and procedures. Don't like it? Too bad. You don't make the rules, but will certainly follow them.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[When are former TSO's RB and Susan going to share their wisdom?]]

First and foremost, I hope your guess is totally wrong. Secondly, if true it would explain why they would now be known as “former”. But I just cannot imagine that either would have been TSO’s in the past, they just don’t have the knowledge needed to be screeners, given many of their statements here. “Wisdom” is not a term I would use in conjunction with either.

TSORon said...

SSSS for Some Reason said…
[[Travel is a Right in this country.]]

SSSS has this 100% correct. What he fails to mention is that there is no “right” to travel without regulation or other legal requirements. Every mode of transportation has its regulations and restrictions, no exceptions. Air travel is no different. Our world is no utopia, there are bad people out there, and companies that would like to increase their profit margins by eliminating certain regulations and the heck with the safety of the consumer. Regulation in travel has its reasons, but those who choose to see the world through their own agenda have problems understanding that.

Anonymous said...

A hatchet? Really? Dont people think any more?

Anonymous said...

"§40103. Sovereignty and use of airspace
(a) Sovereignty and Public Right of Transit.—(1) The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.
(2) A citizen of the United States has a public right of transit through the navigable airspace."

I looked and you are right about the US citizens but flying is a privilige for the non citizens and the visitors.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

TSORon said...
SSSS for Some Reason said…
[[Travel is a Right in this country.]]

SSSS has this 100% correct. What he fails to mention is that there is no “right” to travel without regulation or other legal requirements

Thank you Mr TSORon.

But!

I have never claimed that there should be -no- security.

I have claimed that the government providing that security is against the Constitution. Put the actual security back in the hands of the private companies where it belongs.

Anonymous said...

TSORon said...

"But I just cannot imagine that either would have been TSO’s in the past, they just don’t have the knowledge needed to be screeners,"

Tell me again the educational requirement to be a screener? And the percentage of screeners who are aware of, and adhere to, 100% of TSA's SOP. Because from the outside, it appears that a lot of you make stuff up as you go along. And if TSA procedures do not allow a TSO to stop a known terrorist from using precheck simply because a checkmark is missing somewhere, then those procedures would seem to indicate that the TSA does not trust its rank-and-file to make the most basic of decisions.

Anonymous said...

Nice personal attack, TSORon. According to the TOS, such attacks are not allowed. Why was this comment approved, GSOLTSO?

TSORon said...

SSSS for Some Reason said...
[[Thank you Mr TSORon.}

Welcome, credit where credit is due.

[[I have claimed that the government providing that security is against the Constitution. Put the actual security back in the hands of the private companies where it belongs.]]

That is all well and good, but you have a "belief" there and not a fact. So far SCOTUS has supported TSA's screening methods. That of course can change if/when a new case is heard, but until that happens SCOTUS says its both legal and constitutional. There are plenty of cases that SCOTUS and other courts of jurisdiction have ruled that say it is.

TSORon said...

Anonymous said...
[[Nice personal attack, TSORon. According to the TOS, such attacks are not allowed. Why was this comment approved, GSOLTSO?]]

I can help with that. Read the information at the link below, your answer is there.

http://blog.tsa.gov/2008/01/comment-policy.html

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous TSORon said...There are plenty of cases that SCOTUS and other courts of jurisdiction have ruled that say it is.

Actually, no, there aren't.

The TSA is using court decisions from many years ago and applying them to current situations. For example....

The court determined that the Walk-through-Metal Detectors could be called an 'administrative search' basically because it was applied generally (everyone had to do it, not just some) and was the least intrusive way of doing it (you just walked through).

The TSA makes the claim that the Naked Scanners are covered under that same court decision. That is wrong because the naked scanners don't even remotely comply with the Administrative Search carve outs.

But..... no case regarding the new system has made it through the system to be heard by SCOTUS. I will bet you a dollar, no... I will bet you five dollars, that when a case involving the naked scanners finally makes it to SCOTUS it will be deemed unconstitutional.

But What do I know, I am just a guy who comments on a government run blog.

Wintermute said...

TSORon said...

"That is all well and good, but you have a "belief" there and not a fact. So far SCOTUS has supported TSA's screening methods. That of course can change if/when a new case is heard, but until that happens SCOTUS says its both legal and constitutional. There are plenty of cases that SCOTUS and other courts of jurisdiction have ruled that say it is."

Nic misinformed belief you have there, Ron. Show me where SCOTUS has ruled on the naked body scanners? Also, you say they've ruled on their METHODS, not on them doing security themselves. Even if I conceded the first point, there is still a difference between allowing TSAs methods (only partially... ie, limited Administrative searches) and allowing TSA to do them. So far, TSA has managed to avoid going in front of SCOTUS on both counts, so, no, SCOTUS has not ruled in favor of TSA.

Puddintane said...

No, Ron, the Supremes have NOT supported the TSA's screening practices because none of them have come before the Court.

As for your link to the blog's TOS, what about this do you not understand:

"We will not post comments that contain vulgar or abusive language; personal attacks of any kind; or offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups... Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted."