Saturday, February 20, 2016

TSA Week in Review: February 12 - 18

53 firearms were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 53 firearms discovered, 46 were loaded and 20 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below.
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 our explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on board the aircraft. Two inert mortar shells were discovered in a checked bag at Longview (GGG).
A cane sword was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property at Pensacola (PNS).
A shaving cream can with a false bottom was discovered in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS). When the false bottom was removed, officers discovered a small plastic bag with marijuana, a metal pipe, a spoon, a lighter and a hair clip.
Clockwise from the top, these items were discovered in carry-on  bags at LAS, AUS, AUS, IAH, PHX, IAH and TYR.


In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline.


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 2015 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, and 2014.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

43 comments:

Robert said...

LOL at the pot stash

Fix the TSA said...

Waiting for the February 18th, 7:50am comment I made on an earlier post to be approved. The post met blog policy.
Comments submitted later were approved.

Fix the TSA said...

Another week. More manipulated photos.

The first gun photo (left) in the third row has a fake ruler added.

The last photo (right) in the fourth row appears to have blue diagonal lines added. This photo needs to be investigated further.

The bottom right corner gun photo is cut off.

RB said...

The pot stash in a shaving cream can is proof of illegal searches by TSA. The can was over 3.4 ounces so a good catch. That should have been the end of TSA's involvement. But no, TSA screeners went well beyond the allowed Administrative Search by conducting a search for items not on TSA's list of WEI and LGA's.

TSA should have their Administrative Search authority revoked.

Fix the TSA said...

How can the TSA actually do its mission when the head of the TSA refuses to turn over records to the Congressional oversight committee?

No wonder this blog and all TSA screening areas are such a mess. The trouble starts at the very top.

https://oversight.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2016-02-16-JEC-to-Neffenger-TSA-Misconduct-Follow-Up-due-2-19.pdf

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about the pot stash is that the person probably could have got it through security if they didn't put it in the shaving cream can. That can would be well over 3.4 oz if it was real. It's like the guy with the coke in the mouse battery compartment from last week. It looks suspicious because the x-ray screener is expecting to find a battery in there, which would show up much differently than a bag of coke.

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?

CliffOnTheRoad said...

Question: Does this site use SPAM filters which would prevent a comment from ever being seem by the moderator?

Reason 4 question: I have written comments intended only for the moderator and, to prevent it from getting published, would add in "to insure this is private, I include a profanity f$^@"

Not often, and not recently, but I now wonder if I wasted my time typing.

Lisa Simeone said...

Oh no -- not the dreaded Pure Silk Moisturizing Shave Cream, in Cherry Blossom, no less! Weapon of mass destruction extraordinaire! Please, please say it ain't so!

Anonymous said...

Put a gun and ammunition in a checked bag and there is a high probability it will be stolen. An honest friend who was a baggage handler told me he was shocked at how many coworkers regularly rifled checked luggage and stole things. I never put medications or anything of value in checked bags.

PJ said...

The 'fake' parts of those pics are simply table surfaces. Very common, and not fake at all.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "The pot stash in a shaving cream can is proof of illegal searches by TSA."

Actually, it proves that TSA inspects things that are possible threats. Unknown items (organic, inorganic) in a location they are not normally found, is exactly what TSOs are tasked with finding and checking. Many of the same tactics used by people trying to smuggle illegal drugs, can also be used to try and smuggle in dangerous items. As explained here many, many, many times before, when a TSO finds what is suspected to be illegal items, they are obliged to notify the STSO and local LEOs.

West
TSA Blog Team

GSOLTSO said...

Fix the TSA sez - "The first gun photo (left) in the third row has a fake ruler added."

Actually, that is a simple evidence photographic ruler. They come in tons of different formats and color schemes. You simply lay it down on the surface to give a size reference as you take a photo. See some examples here -

https://www.google.com/search?q=evidence+ruler+measure&biw=1680&bih=955&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj7_KiuhY7LAhVKKiYKHVrdCtMQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=evidence+ruler+for+photography

Fix also sez - "The last photo (right) in the fourth row appears to have blue diagonal lines added. This photo needs to be investigated further."

Actually, all of those types if things you are pointing out are simply the background the item is placed upon for photography. There are myriad versions of the measurement images, from a simple wooden ruler, to high speed versions that measure to tiny amounts.

Lisa sez - "Oh no -- not the dreaded Pure Silk Moisturizing Shave Cream, in Cherry Blossom, no less!"

I know right? Everyone knows that Skintimate Cashmere Rain is where it's at.

West
TSA Blog Team

Fix the TSA said...

West, I do know what a ruler looks like and I do know what grid backgrounds and the other tables, mats, etc. that the various TSA screening areas look like.

There is something off about that ruler, but it could be that the photo's color was enhanced, which makes the yellow "pop" unrealistically. I'll give it a more-than-likely okay pass.

I also admit I was wrong about the blue diagonal lines. On my first couple of views, it was quite difficult to tell what was shadow and what was object, even when zoomed in and running the photo through image testing software.

True to my word, I did further investigation and was able to separate shadow from object on this new viewing and see that the diagonal gridlines don't overlay the gun itself.

RB said...

 GSOLTSO said...RB sez - "The pot stash in a shaving cream can is proof of illegal searches by TSA."Actually, it proves that TSA inspects things that are possible threats. Unknown items (organic, inorganic) in a location they are not normally found, is exactly what TSOs are tasked with finding and checking. Many of the same tactics used by people trying to smuggle illegal drugs, can also be used to try and smuggle in dangerous items. As explained here many, many, many times before, when a TSO finds what is suspected to be illegal items, they are obliged to notify the STSO and local LEOs.WestTSA Blog TeamFebruary 23, 2016 at 8:27 AM
____________________________________
I disagree West. The anomoly was the greater than 3.4 oz shave cream can. That's where the screening was complete for that item. But no, TSA went on an illegal search at that point.

Exactly what training does TSA provide to screeners that equips one to open a can that may contain an IED? You did state this was an inspection for an unknown threat!

GSOLTSO said...

Fix sez - "West, I do know what a ruler looks like and I do know what grid backgrounds and the other tables, mats, etc. that the various TSA screening areas look like."

I am glad we were able to clear that up.

RB sez - "I disagree West. The anomoly was the greater than 3.4 oz shave cream can. That's where the screening was complete for that item. But no, TSA went on an illegal search at that point.

Exactly what training does TSA provide to screeners that equips one to open a can that may contain an IED? You did state this was an inspection for an unknown threat!"

I disagree right back, until the unknown item is identified as a threat or non-threat, the search/clearance procedures continue until the item is identified, or at least ruled out as a dangerous item. Just because an item does not present like the old school ACME bombs from Wile E Coyote lore (newsflash, they rarely, ever look like those now), does not mean that it is not part of a dangerous item. There is a whole process in place to open/not open items of this nature - evidently this one fell into the category that the crew was able to open it without fear of causing harm.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

I disagree right back, until the unknown item is identified as a threat or non-threat, the search/clearance procedures continue until the item is identified, or at least ruled out as a dangerous item. Just because an item does not present like the old school ACME bombs from Wile E Coyote lore (newsflash, they rarely, ever look like those now), does not mean that it is not part of a dangerous item. There is a whole process in place to open/not open items of this nature - evidently this one fell into the category that the crew was able to open it without fear of causing harm.WestTSA Blog TeamFebruary 24, 2016 at 10:09 AM
______________________
The shave cream can would clearly be over 100 ml so all in itself would not be permitted in carry-on. No problem there.

I clearly question the skill set of any front line screener to open any device that may potentially be an IED and in doing so demonstrated a clear lack of judgement and supervision and very likely a hunt for something that was known to not be a dangerous item. Opening an unknown item at the checkpoint is just pure TSA idiocy. Why risk all of the travelers standing in the slow, backed up screening lanes while playing around with a possible IED.

The only logical conclusion is that the contents were known or suspected to be drugs which made that search illegal.


Anonymous said...

Who cares?

Alfred said...

amazing list of firearms, love this

Anonymous said...

So you found some drugs inside of a fake can of shave cream. Why are you posting pictures of it? You have said repeatedly that you aren't looking for drugs and that when found you call local Law Enforcement. So why do you have pictures of the drugs all laid out like you found some WEI? And why did your clerks open the can when it could have been explosive in nature?

Wintermute said...

Isn't it a bit irresponsible to open a potential IED instead of calling the EOD team and evacuating the terminal? Otherwise, TSA is either A) putting everyone's lives at risk, or B) looking for items other than WEI, which would exceed their authority to perform and administrative search.

Wintermute said...

West, where is my comment? If followed guidelines. You claim you've never deleted comments that followed guidelines. That assertation is false.

Fix the TSA said...

West, the Alfred comment (February 25, 2016 at 6:42 AM) is obviously a bot-spam. Strange that the spam filter didn't catch that one, but critical comments are constantly marked as spam or deleted for other unknown reasons.

Wintermute said...

Ah. So you approve some comments, leaving mine in the queue. Then I question where mine went, and you approve it. Delaying comments is no better than deleting them, West. The only difference is that you can still say you didn't technically delete it. Is that what you do? Leave them in the moderation queue so that you can continue to make that false assertaion?

Wintermute said...

West doesn't care that it's spam, only that the link isn't within the body of the comment. West is part of the spam problem now.

Anonymous said...

why are all these internet experts questioning why an officer opened a shaving cream can? This is so simple I'm amazed the experts have to even discuss it. If an officer can see that there are no power sources, no timers, no source of detonation, clearly it is NOT an IED. However a mass of some sort could be C-4, could be PETN but without the others, it is harmless. I think there is no harm nor risk of any sort for the officer to open the can to see what was in it. But then again, I don't see black TSA helicopters like the experts who post and question everything TSA does.

GSOLTSO said...

Wintermute sez - "West doesn't care that it's spam, only that the link isn't within the body of the comment. West is part of the spam problem now."

I do not send SPAM, although I do have it for lunch once in a while.

Wintermute also sez - "Ah. So you approve some comments, leaving mine in the queue. Then I question where mine went, and you approve it. Delaying comments is no better than deleting them, West. The only difference is that you can still say you didn't technically delete it. Is that what you do? Leave them in the moderation queue so that you can continue to make that false assertaion?"

Not at all, I moderate when I can, as much as I can, but my primary duties are to work at my airport.

West
TSA Blog Team

Wintermute said...

So, why was mine left in the queue until after I asked where it went? Approving comments out of order breaks the conversation. "Too busy" means you need relieved of the duties of one of your job functions so you can concentrate on the other. The blog should be part of the PR team, run by spokespeople as part of their full-time jobs, not as a hobby by a few TSAgents.

Susan Richart said...

You're sure the screeners can't see that there are no detonators, etc. in the can, Boldy?

Bob's comment says: "screeners discovered a small plastic bag with marijuana, a metal pipe, a spoon, a lighter and a hair clip." Doesn't appear that they saw the metal pipe, spoon lighter and hair clip on the x-ray, now does it?

BTW, I altered Bob's comment to remove the word "officers" and insert the word "screeners."

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Wintermute said...

How does the TSAgent know there was no source of detonation? Or do they magically know that what's in the can isn't sealed, and dangerous to expose to air? Either the item is potentially dangerous, in which case, call the EOD unit, or it's not, in which case opening it is beyond the scope of the TSA's administrative search. So, either the TSA is putting lives at risk or searching for drugs.

SSSS for some reason said...

Bold POsting Intern said "... This is so simple I'm amazed the experts have to even discuss it. If an officer can see "

So once again you admit you actually do work for the TSA because you know all these things about what was found and what it looked like. So I guess we are going to quit calling you BPI and address you by your real title as one of those Explosive Team guys that are dispatched every time a fake grenade is found. I guess we have to start calling you Bold Posting Explosive Guy.

Fix the TSA said...

West has yet to explain why he delays approving comments so they appear out of order.

Anonymous said...

Bold Posting Intern said "...This is so simple I'm amazed the experts have to even discuss it. If an officer can see that there are no power sources, no timers, no source of detonation, clearly it is NOT an IED. "

So the Terrorists are so sneaky that they are going to try and sneak explosive materials on board an aircraft by hiding it in grandma's crutches or a little kids plastic hammer. They are sneaky enough that they might try and hide weapons underneath a mans turban, or in a bottle of mother's milk. Some of the terrorists are so sneaky they might try and smuggle explosive liquids onto an aircraft. All these sneaky terrorists require extreme and constant vigilance from the security clerks at the TSA.

But the terrorists are so dumb that they would never put something dangerous or explosive or otherwise toxic in a simple can of shave cream that a security clerk is sure to find and then open for further inspection. At least not without a bunch of wires or a cell phone, or even one of those old wind-up alarm clocks to show how potentially dangerous the stuff inside is. Stupid terrorists would never be able to do something so sneaky.

I guess if it wasn't for the double standard the TSA wouldn't have any standards at all.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I altered Bob's comment to remove the word "officers" and insert the word "screeners."

oh good. I'm sure all the legal papers changed right with it.. I'm going to start calling my dog a cat and assume she will meow...

Anonymous said...

So once again you admit you actually do work for the TSA because you know all these things about what was found and what it looked like. So I guess we are going to quit calling you BPI and address you by your real title as one of those Explosive Team guys that are dispatched every time a fake grenade is found. I guess we have to start calling you Bold Posting Explosive Guy.

I have admitted no such thing. I, just like everyone else here have no idea on what was found. I have the exact same information as you. However, unlike many of the posters here, I know that not every time a person farts it has to stink. I know that if you can see the contents of a can on xray, you will be able to see if there are unusual items inside of it. I also know that with a little knowledge you can determine that some items are NOT in it.

Fix the TSA said...

What "legal papers" are you referring to, Boldy? Google TSA screeners not officers. Plenty of legal opinion, and the exact words that Neffenger used (screener).

Anonymous said...

West said:
There is a whole process in place to open/not open items of this nature - evidently this one fell into the category that the crew was able to open it without fear of causing harm.

So... Which is it? Too dangerous to allow on the plane? or Safe enough to open without fear of causing harm? Can't be both 'too dangerous' and 'safe' at the same time.

Anonymous said...

What "legal papers" are you referring to, Boldy? Google TSA screeners not officers. Plenty of legal opinion, and the exact words that Neffenger used (screener).

Opinions are just that. By definition,title and governmental classification they are "officers." Calling them screeners is akin to calling police officers cops. I don't really care what someone chooses to call them. Calling them a "clerk, screener or what ever. In the end, they are every bit a federal officer as any ICE officer, CBP officer. What does bother me is when people do it out of disrespect or as a way of demeaning the officers. They are people just like us. They choose to do their jobs and most do it to the best of their ability because they believe in the cause. To lump all of them in with the few bad apples is wrong. If one did that with race they would call it racism. But some ignorant people here choose to insult every officer because of the actions of a very few of them. Its very childish.

Wintermute said...

Just doing my job is no excuse for violating the law. I give no one violating the US Constitution any respect, as they deserve none to begin with.

RB said...

I have admitted no such thing. I, just like everyone else here have no idea on what was found. I have the exact same information as you. However, unlike many of the posters here, I know that not every time a person farts it has to stink. I know that if you can see the contents of a can on xray, you will be able to see if there are unusual items inside of it. I also know that with a little knowledge you can determine that some items are NOT in it.March 6, 2016 at 11:18 AM
_______________***************_______________
I think I agree with you. A trained TSA screener knows an item is not an IED by viewing the item on x-ray and any futher investigation is an illegal search. Got it!

Fix the TSA said...

Again, TSApologist, you are mistaken and have not Googled for some basic facts. TSA screeners are screening clerks. Even Neffenger called them screeners. We use those terms to be factual.

You seen very upset (again) by our factual terminology and are taking it very personally. Why?

Fix the TSA said...

Bold TSApologist, you may want to look up what "legal opinion" means.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever noticed that most of the "Known or Seen on the News" Terrorists DON'T shave?