Friday, March 27, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 44 Loaded Firearms, Smoke Grenade, a Belt Buckle Knife, and More

This loaded firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at HOU.
This loaded firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at HOU.
53 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 53 firearms, 44 were loaded and 24 had rounds chambered.
     
Live Smoke Grenade (LAS), Cologne Grenades (TPA & DEN), Firework Grenade (SFO)
Live Smoke Grenade (LAS), Cologne Grenades (TPA & DEN), Firework Grenade (SFO)
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. 

  • Three replica grenades were discovered this week. Two were grenade-shaped cologne bottles discovered in carry-on bags at Denver (DEN) and Tampa (TPA). The third was a hot sauce container designed to look like a flash-bang grenade. It was discovered in a carry-on bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD).
  • A grenade shaped homemade firework was discovered in a carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO)
  • A live smoke grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Las Vegas (LAS).

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 four-inch belt buckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at New York Kennedy (JFK).
Belt Buckle Knife (JFK)
Belt Buckle Knife (JFK)

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.
 
Knife (JFK), Fireworks (BOI), Rifle/Torch Lighter (PBG), Spiked Kubotan and Mustachioed Pepper Spray (BUR)
Knife (JFK), Fireworks (BOI), Rifle/Torch Lighter (PBG), Spiked Kubotan and Mustachioed Pepper Spray (BUR)

All of these items were discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag at MCI: Ammunition, Knife, Tactical Spike, and Pepper Spray
All of these items were discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag at MCI: Ammunition, Knife, Tactical Spike, and Pepper Spray

Stun Guns - 18 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Three were discovered at Portland (PDX), two at Denver (DEN), two at Las Vegas (LAS), two at San Francisco (SFO), and the remainder at Atlanta (ATL), Austin (AUS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago Midway (MDW), Dallas Love (DAL), Memphis (MEM), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Salt Lake City (SLC), and San Juan (SJU).

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: IND, PHX, TYS, BNA, and AUS
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: IND, PHX, TYS, BNA, and AUS

Clockwise from top, firearms discovered at: CVG, LAS, SDF, and ATL
Clockwise from top, firearms discovered at: CVG, LAS, SDF, and ATL

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at:MDW, OAJ, TPA, and PHF
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at:MDW, OAJ, TPA, and PHF

Top - Bottom, firearms discovered at MEM, and ATL
Top - Bottom, firearms discovered at MEM, and ATL



53 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 53 firearms, 44 were loaded and 24 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 and 2013.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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