Friday, July 10, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 63 Firearms, a Cannon Ball and More

“Due to the Fourth of July holiday, this report reflects the last eight days (7/2 - 7/9).”
 

Loaded firearm.
63 Firearms Discovered Over the Last Eight Days – Of the 63 firearms discovered, 47 were loaded and 16 had a round chambered. The firearm pictured above was discovered in a carry-on bag at ATL.
Lopping shears, a sling shot, a carving knife, a hatchet, a limb saw and a machete.
A Columbia (CAE) traveler had the following items in his carry-on bag: Lopping shears, a sling shot, a carving knife, a hatchet, a limb saw and a machete.
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.

  • An inert cannonball was discovered in a checked bag at Lexington (LEX).
  • Six inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Five were discovered in carry-on bags at Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Jacksonville (JAX), Los Angeles (LAX) and Santa Fe (SAF). An inert/replica grenade was also discovered in a checked bag at Santa Fe (SAF).



Inert/Novelty/Replica Grenades
L-R: Inert Grenade (SAF), Replica Flash Bang Hot Sauce Grenade (BWI), Novelty Grenade (JAX), Cannonball (LEX)
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 is an from this week where an artfully concealed item was discovered by officers.

Concealed knives.
L-R: Belt Buckle Knife (ORF), Comb Knife (MCI)
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.

Bladed objects.
Counterclockwise, items discovered at: PHX, LGA, CHS, SAN, SAT, AUS, ANC, DAL, MDW, GRR and CLE
Fireworks
Fireworks were discovered this week at: BOI, DAL, ICT, OGG, RNO, SAN and MDW
Stun Guns - 29 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags around the nation this week. Five were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), four at Dallas Love (DAL), three at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Norfolk (ORF), two at San Francisco (SFO), and the remainder were discovered at Atlantic City (ACY), Charleston (CHS), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Kansas City (MCI), Lafayette (LFT), Minneapolis (MSP), Nashville (BNA), Newark (EWR), Portland (PDX), Raleigh Durham (RDU), Roanoke (ROA) and San Diego (SAN).

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.

Loaded firearms.
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-onbags at: ATL, TYS, BQN, MIA, LAS, PGS and COD

63 Firearms Discovered Over the Last Eight Days – Of the 63 firearms discovered, 47 were loaded and 16 had a round chambered.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.

*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.


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 @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team


If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

32 comments:

RB said...

I think what these weekly recaps prove is that TSA has no deterrent value. None!

Why hasn't TSA addressed DHS Secretary Johnson's 10 point plan to combat the dismal failures of TSA Screeners?

Perhaps TSA screeners might perform better by sticking their specific area of responsibilities and stop conducting illegal searches for cash and drugs.

Face it, if you work for TSA you're a failure.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

"...An inert cannonball was discovered in a checked bag at Lexington (LEX)."

Was it allowed to fly?

If not, why not?

RB said...

SSSS for Some Reason, surely you don't expect these fine upstanding TSA workers to answer any substantial questions do you?

Anonymous said...

Since when is a canon ball explosive? Canons shoot solid metal spheres which, although heavy, are don't in any way resemble a weapon.

If it can explode, then it's a grenade or an artillery shell, not a canon ball.

RB said...

Anonymous said...Since when is a canon ball explosive? Canons shoot solid metal spheres which, although heavy, are don't in any way resemble a weapon.If it can explode, then it's a grenade or an artillery shell, not a canon ball.July 11, 2015 at 7:31 PM
?.......................?

Not standing up for TSA but cannon balls can be explosive.

In 2008 Sam White was killed by a Civil War cannonball he was trying to restore. He was a recognized expert in these weapons. It exploded even after all the time since the Civil War. It had enough explosive force to send a piece of shrapnel through a porch a quarter mile away. Explosive shells (cannonballs) have been around for 500 years

If you notice in the picture posted by TSA you can see the core of the cannonball is empty, this is were the explosive charge goes. It's clear this one was inert and harmless.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

RB said...
SSSS for Some Reason, surely you don't expect these fine upstanding TSA workers to answer any substantial questions do you?

Substantial questions? No, I do not. If they tried to answer the substantial ones it would invariably be a self-proclaimed breach of SSI. If they send their little bold-posting intern to try he will just make the TSA sound even sillier than they do for trying to stop a large metal ball from flying. He'll try and say it would scare the passengers if they saw it fall out of a bag in flight or something equally inane.

Do I expect the TSA to answer the simple questions, like did the large metal ball fly? I can dream, can't I?

Anonymous said...

Yes cannon balls were filled with explosives and grapeshot. They had a time fuse and were timed to explode when they were overhead of the enemy.

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.

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...

So RB, is it true, are you an ex-TSA employee? You can't measure the effectiveness of the Blog by judging how many firearms are found each week. Maybe if some of the naysayers would help by forwarding the blog to the shooting public, just maybe the rate of incidence would go down. You all continue to miss the point in that while we believe the majority of the firearms/explosives/inert objects found have nothing to do with terrorism, they slow the screening process to a snail's pace when they are found and the authorities (not just TSA) go through the process to determine its not a threat. TSA doesn't really like negative comments--I think they would like to get the public through the screening process as quick as possible since some of us can't seem to get to the airport on time. That is much easier when people don't put things in their bags they're not supposed to. No, I am not a TSA employee, but obviously I sit close enough to it to understand the process.

handyman said...


Why hasn't TSA addressed DHS Secretary Johnson's 10 point plan to combat the dismal failures of TSA Screeners?

Anonymous said...

And another (slightly long) week passes in review.

Once more, Bob brags about the 63 firearms, 29 stun guns, assorted ammo, and an unspecified number of bullets and metallic weapons TSA screeners found while screening some 15 million passengers. Once more, Bob ignores the 1197 firearms, 551 stun guns, and the 95% of metallic bullets and weapons TSA screeners failed to find, along with the fact that no harm to aviation occurred despite the 95% of weapons the TSA failed to interdict from airplanes.

He also yet again ignores the fact that the 5% of those items that the TSA found could have been found with the metal detectors and x-ray machines that were in place before the TSA (and its strip-search scanners and other intrusive "layers") existed.

Next week, more of the same. Presumably with different numbers, if not different pictures.

Anonymous said...

You know, I really miss the days when this blog was the "TSA Pravda" that provided the Official Truth about the latest TSA employee's act of misconduct, arrogance, or incompetence that attracted enough publicity to be embarrassing.

Unless the act was a crime so indefensible that the employees had to be fired, Bob would first let us know that the TSA's internal investigation concluded that the officer acted appropriately (as if were actually possible for any TSA self-investigation to conclude that an employee did not act appropriately). Then he would justify, excuse, and defend (as appropriate) what the officer did, assuring us that there was a good reason for it, even if that reason is classified or SSI (which it usually was). And finally, he would explain why the "incident" was entirely the fault of the passenger.

We could always count on Good Ol' Bob to keep us informed, and to relentlessly convey the Official Truth that the TSA is a highly competent, highly effective bulwark against terrorism, whose highly professional, courteous officers are incapable of ever doing anything wrong!

But now that Lisa Farbstein is under attack, and urgently in need of Bob's masterful defense, where is he? Ms. Farbstein, of course, is the "social media spokesperson" who tweeted about the interdiction of $75,000 in cash carried by a passenger on a domestic flight. She apparently was so desperate to trumpet a TSA "success" (and to vilify a passenger) that she ignored several facts: Cash is not a "prohibited item." Carrying any amount of cash on a domestic flight violates no law or regulation. Cash poses no threat to aviation. The TSA has no authority to refer a passenger to law enforcement (who of course will eagerly seize the cash for themselves) when no violation has occurred.

Bob should be setting us straight with the Official TSA Truth (and commendation of Ms. Forbstein's excellent performance), just as he should be setting us straight about the latest dismal showing in GAO testing. But apparently either he or his higher-ups have decided that "communicat[ing] with the public about all things TSA related" now means a boring weekly report touting the 5% of prohibited items TSA officers somehow stumble upon.

How the mighty have fallen!

Chris said...

What a sick agency. You seized _gardening tools_ from someone at CAE and consider it worthy of posting on your blog? Did you expect the person to _prune_ other passengers on the flight?

And with all this, Americans _still_ must take their shoes off in order to get through the theater entrance. A tremendous, tremendous joke.

RB said...

http://www.flyertalk.com/articles/marijuana-legalized-on-in-state-flights-at-portland-international-airport.html

"Since July 1, recreational marijuana use has been legal in the state of Oregon. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has said that it will not stand in the way of passengers who are in compliance with state law from flying with permitted amounts of weed so long as those passengers are not flying across the state line."

Ok, after all of these years of TSA screeners saying they are required to report any evidence of a crime that apparently will no longer be the case for marijuana in Oregon.

So were the employees of TSA being dishonest when saying that evidence of all crimes had to be reported to law enforcement if found? Marijuana possession is still a clear violation of federal law.

If TSA screeners can turn a blind eye to this particular crime then why are TSA screeners required to report other criminal acts?

So why did TSA screeners report a person for legally carrying cash money recently? What evidence of a crime did TSA have?

And who at TSA decides which criminal act gets reported and which ones don't? We already know that not all criminal acts must be reported. The real question is why TSA should report any criminal acts at all?

And what if any training do TSA screeners have that equip them to know if any given circumstance is criminal in nature?

And TSA wonders why it has no credibility with the public.

RB said...

This article was posted on July 11 and on July 14 only 4 comments have been allowed.

Surely more comments have been submitted so why is it that Bob, Lynn, and West can't seem to be able to coordinate and arrange a regular posting schedule? Is this just one more demonstration of the incompetence of TSA employees, like the screeners who miss 90+ percent of target items when being covertly tested?

So tell us, what is it that TSA employees can actually do well?

20:08 CST 7/14/15

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous Anonymous said..."...You all continue to miss the point in that while we believe the majority of the firearms/explosives/inert objects found have nothing to do with terrorism, they slow the screening process to a snail's pace when they are found ..That is much easier when people don't put things in their bags they're not supposed to. "

Blame the victim much? It's our fault the TSA can't do their job efficiently or effectively?

One of the most egregious problems with the TSA is there being a very unclear set of rules regarding what is and what is not allowed to fly. Yes, guns can't fly, that much is clear. But breast milk seems to be a problem. Plastic toys seem to be a problem and I don't mean plastic toy guns, I mean plastic hammers that are cartoon colored and cartoon shaped. Suitcases full of cash seem to be a problem these days which is not illegal nor has it ever been illegal.

What makes it worse is the Agent on the Line can make it up as they go along. What is allowed in one airport is not in another, what is allowed yesterday has the cops called on you today.

No. TSA has outlived its usefulness and has become a parody of itself. When the TSA detains people who have done nothing illegal, calls in local law enforcement to investigate the not illegal act of carrying cash in a suitcase, advertises the detainment as 'a good catch' on a personal twitter account.... it is an Agency out of control drunk on its own power. When Agents still say 'Do you want to fly today' to passengers who have done nothing more than decided the best method of travel is by air.... TSA will be defunded. Maybe not soon enough, but they will be defunded and we can look back on this time with our heads hung in shame for allowing them to ever be put in place in the first place.

RB said...

Anonymous said...
So RB, is it true, are you an ex-TSA employee?
.............
I've answered this question several times but let me be crystal clear in my response once again.

I am not now nor have I ever been an applicant for employment or an employee of TSA.

To put it bluntly I have more self respect for myself than to stoop that low.

Anonymous said...

To the close-enough-to-smell-them TSApologist:

You are right about one thing when you said, "TSA doesn't really like negative comments..."

Perpetuating (your) ridiculous assertion that RB ever worked for the TSA is a straw man argument looking for a bale of hay.

And how do you know what American citizens you call naysayers do or don't do outside of this blog? Several whom I've identified in other online locations do share valuable information on how to get through a screening area with as little assault as possible.

What are YOU doing away from this blog, TSApologist? Spreading the "good word" about the TSA?

Anonymous said...

So tell us, what is it that TSA employees can actually do well?
unlike any other private or government agency including police, fire, Dr's Lawyers, boarder patrol, ICE...TSA has a 100% success rate. Not a single terror attack carried out on an American based flight for over 11 years. Test scores? Irrelevant and meaningless. How many Terrorist have carried out an attack? None, zero, zip. How many families were safely reunited? 100% of them
That is what TSA does well.

SSSS for Some Reason said...

Anonymous said...
So tell us, what is it that TSA employees can actually do well?
unlike any other private or government agency including police, fire, Dr's Lawyers, boarder patrol, ICE...TSA has a 100% success rate.

ME TOO!

I switched toothpaste on September 12th and we haven't had a terrorist attack in the air since! That makes me awesome! You can all thank me later. And to those families that were safely reunited.... You're Welcome.

Wintermute said...

unlike any other private or government agency including police, fire, Dr's Lawyers, boarder patrol, ICE...TSA has a 100% success rate. Not a single terror attack carried out on an American based flight for over 11 years. Test scores? Irrelevant and meaningless. How many Terrorist have carried out an attack? None, zero, zip. How many families were safely reunited? 100% of them
That is what TSA does well.
--
This is what one would call a logical fallacy. Correlation does not imply causation. I have this anti-tiger rock. Since getting it, there have been no tigers spotted roaming free in central Ohio. Which, by some strange twist of fate, was at least as common as terrorists attempting to take over US based commercial flights.

Anonymous said...

"How many Terrorist have carried out an attack? None, zero, zip."

Of course, there's precious little evidence to suggest that any terrorists at all were even PLANNING an attack. We certainly know that TSA has never stopped a terrorist attack by screening anyone. And we also know that their current primary screening technology is incredibly invasive yet stunningly ineffective, since it has a false positive rate so high that Curtis Burns, West Cooper, and other TSA bloggers pretend no one has ever asked a question about it.

Anonymous said...

To get away from all the TSA bashing in these comments... Is anyone else out there surprised that people STILL try to board airplanes while carrying a gun/ammunition? The law forbidding guns onboard pre-dates the TSA by 30 years or more. (Remember when screeners were supplied by private companies?) Why are people so stupid to think that they can carry a gun on board an airplane??? It's not like it's a secret law that nobody knows about. Sure, the typical excuse is "I forgot it was there." In my mind, that's no excuse. I shake my head each week when I read this blog and see the large (and larger) numbers of found and confiscated fire arms. Doesn't give me much faith in the intelligence of my fellow passengers...

RB said...

Anonymous said...
So tell us, what is it that TSA employees can actually do well?
unlike any other private or government agency including police, fire, Dr's Lawyers, boarder patrol, ICE...TSA has a 100% success rate. Not a single terror attack carried out on an American based flight for over 11 years. Test scores? Irrelevant and meaningless. How many Terrorist have carried out an attack? None, zero, zip. How many families were safely reunited? 100% of them
That is what TSA does well.

July 16, 2015 at 2:07 PM
.....................
By evidence of TSA testing failures, TSA employee criminal activity, and failure to secure the sterile area of airports, as evidenced at DFW, I submit that no group or person has attempted a single terror attack against commercial aviation since TSA's inception.

That would be a ZERO PERCENT success rate for TSA!

Susan Richart said...

"unlike any other private or government agency including police, fire, Dr's Lawyers, boarder patrol, ICE...TSA has a 100% success rate. Not a single terror attack carried out on an American based flight for over 11 years. Test scores? Irrelevant and meaningless. How many Terrorist have carried out an attack? None, zero, zip. How many families were safely reunited? 100% of them
That is what TSA does well."

We've been through this before and your version of "logic" was soundly beaten back.

Look back to February 13th. Read especially the first few sentences of your comment of 2/17/15. Snort!

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Anonymous said...

LOL!!! Wow, you sure don't know much about statistics, facts, evidence, testing, or security, Bold TSApologist.

You once again dismiss the 95% failure rate of TSA screeners in recent testing.

You once again choose to forget that the TSA themselves have admitted in a court of law that terrorist groups aren't planning to attack flights in the US.

You once again crow like a rooster about an agency with abysmal public opinion and pathetic employee satisfaction. This same agency violates the flying public every day and confiscates millions of dollars of private property every year.

The TSA does not do any good thing well.

Anonymous said...

Are you high on dogfood? If the TSA did its job as they should, there would be no need for all the bad coments.

Anonymous said...

We should be nervous about the home grown terrorist, which seem to be happening more and more. If TSA takes weapons or tools (ex: garden tools)away from people this is a good thing. There was a case at LAX where a home grown terrorist who shoot and killed a TSA officer and wounded two others. I have been to the airport and been screened for 2 minutes, what's the big deal. Stand on a crowded NYC subway and you'll be groped more. Also to the writer of the retired military, why should you get special treatment? If I remember correctly within the past year an active soldier killed his follow soldiers in a home grown terrorist attack. TSA is not the best agency but its a young agency that needs to be improved not destroyed by your hatred. Do you want a government screening agency with control over it or a private company with no government control. How about no screening at all, have fun with that!
Jay

RB said...

Anonymous said...
We should be nervous about the home grown terrorist, which seem to be happening more and more. If TSA takes weapons or tools (ex: garden tools)away from people this is a good thing. There was a case at LAX where a home grown terrorist who shoot and killed a TSA officer and wounded two others. I have been to the airport and been screened for 2 minutes, what's the big deal. Stand on a crowded NYC subway and you'll be groped more. Also to the writer of the retired military, why should you get special treatment? If I remember correctly within the past year an active soldier killed his follow soldiers in a home grown terrorist attack. TSA is not the best agency but its a young agency that needs to be improved not destroyed by your hatred. Do you want a government screening agency with control over it or a private company with no government control. How about no screening at all, have fun with that!
Jay

July 17, 2015 at 7:23 PM
...................
TSA is over a decade old and it is only getting worse, not better. To call it a young agency is getting pretty tired. Why not demand excellent performance from our government employees no matter how long their agencies have been around. And TSA is ranked near the bottom of all federal agencies by its own employees.

Most retired military members have given 20 plus years of service to their country, often sacrificing family life to defend the United States from its enemies. Those that have given fewer years have been wounded or disabled making them eligible for retirement. If you can't trust someone who has done such who can you trust?

And the point you made about a military person killing others, TSA gives all active military members automatic Pre-Check so that soldier would have been able to use Pre Check by TSA's own rules.

Airport screening prior to TSA was done by civilians but the rules and oversight was by the government. So who failed on 9-11? The screeners did not allow anything on the planes that day that the government did not allow! So 9-11 was a failure of the federal government to not have screening standards that were adequate.

So who should be doing the screening? It should be the responsibility of the owners of the airplanes and airports to protect their business assets and their customers, certainly not the federal governments. I have no problem with government having an oversight role but they will have to do a better job of it than they have with TSA and its criminals.

Who has suggested no screening at all? I keep seeing such statements being made but posters can never produce evidence of such claims.

Wintermute said...

AnonymousJuly 17, 2015 at 6:54 PM
"Are you high on dogfood?"

Best. Comment. Ever. You, anonymous, now owe me a new keyboard for all the coffee I just spewed across mine from laughing so hard.

Anonymous said...

Bob, the tiny knife inside the cane head isn't "artfully concealed." Did the owner even know it was there? Was the cane confiscated?