Friday, February 13, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 49 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week



Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at PHX.
Loaded firearm discovered in a carry-on bag at PHX.

49 Firearms Discovered This Week Of the 49 firearms, 43 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft.  Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • An inert hand grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Raleigh Durham (RDU).
  • An replica grenade used as a stick shift attachment was detected in a carry-on bag at Oakland (OAK).  
L-R: Grenades discovered at RDU & OAK
L-R: Grenades discovered at RDU & OAK

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.

Axes (BWI), Gun Knife (BWI), Bows & Arrows (LAS)
Axes (BWI), Gun Knife (BWI), Bows & Arrows (LAS)
Stun Guns - 19 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Three were discovered at Denver (DEN), three at Sacramento (SMF), two at Atlanta (ATL), and the remainder at Baltimore (BWI), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Eugene (EUG), Kansas City (MCI), Las Vegas (LAS), Milwaukee (MKE), Newport News (PHF), Norfolk (ORF), Orlando (MCO), and Tallahassee (TLH). 

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: BNA, CLT, PHX, RSW & RAP
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: BNA, CLT, PHX, RSW & RAP
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: PHX, OAK, HRL & FLL
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: PHX, OAK, HRL & FLL

49 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 49 firearms, 43 were loaded and 16 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 & 2013



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