Friday, May 15, 2015

TSA Week in Review: 57 Firearms, Live Smoke Grenades, Bear Mace and More

57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered.
57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 were loaded and 16 had rounds chambered. 
750 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition and two military smoke grenades were discovered in a checked-bag at Tucson (TUS).
750 rounds of 5.56 caliber ammunition and two military smoke grenades were discovered in a checked-bag at Tucson (TUS).
Bear mace.
A container of bear spray was detected in a carry-on bag at Anchorage (ANC). Bear repellent is prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft. You can pack bear repellent in your checked bag if the volume is less than four ounces and if it has less than a two percent active ingredient of either CS or CN. Most bear repellents exceed these limitations.
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.
  • A replica grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Seattle (SEA).
Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered at PHX, MDW, SFO, IAD, LAS, LAS, SAN, PNS, and PBI.
Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered at PHX, MDW, SFO, IAD, LAS, LAS, SAN, PNS, and PBI.
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.

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 example from this week where an artfully concealed item was discovered by our officers.
  • A 22 caliber starter pistol was discovered under the zipper lining and tucked above the wheels of a carry-on bag.
  • A sword cane was discovered in divested property at Appleton (ATW).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Oakland (OAK). 

Belt Buckle Knife - Oakland (OAK)
Belt Buckle Knife - Oakland (OAK)
Key Chain Stun Gun - BWI
Key Chain Stun Gun - BWI
Stun Guns - 13 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Baltimore (BWI), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Durango (DRO), Honolulu (HNL), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Ontario (ONT), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO), 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 in carry-on bags at GRR, DAL, MDW, LAS, RDU, SMF, and SMF.
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at GRR, DAL, MDW, LAS, RDU, SMF, and SMF.

57 Firearms Discovered This Week – Of the 57 firearms, 49 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 and 2013.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team


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