Saturday, March 19, 2016

TSA Week in Review: March 11th - 17th

Discovered 62 firearms

Sixty-two firearms were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 62 firearms discovered, 50 were loaded and 14 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below.

Discovered an inert grenade

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. Six inert grenades were discovered this week. Four inert grenades (Pictured above) were discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL). Another inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Phoenix Mesa (IWA). Additionally, an inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Oklahoma City (OKC).

Discovered an item with an organic mass and protruding wires triggered an alarm resulting in a bag search

An item with an organic mass and protruding wires triggered an alarm resulting in a bag search at New York Kennedy (JFK). The suspicious item ended up being what the traveler described as abstract art. DIY art and electronic projects can look a lot like explosives. Please keep this in mind when packing your bags and possibly consider shipping the item instead of packing it.

Discovered a large bottle of liquor prohibited, but so were the five dead endangered seahorses that were inside the bottle.

An oversized bottle of liquor was detected in a carry-on bag at Detroit (DTW). Not only was the large bottle of liquor prohibited, but so were the five dead endangered seahorses that were inside the bottle. Michigan Fish and Game responded and confiscated the bottle.

Discovered a 3.5-inch knife

After alarming advanced imaging technology, a St. Louis (STL) passenger removed a 3.5-inch knife from her upper body area. Concealed items can lead to arrest and fines.

Discovered a knife, which was concealed inside the handle mechanism of a carry-on bag

A knife was discovered in a Springfield (SGF) traveler’s carry-on bag. He was permitted to exit the checkpoint with the knife. Upon returning, the knife was discovered concealed inside the handle mechanism of his carry-on bag. Concealed items can lead to arrest and fines.

Discovered a motorcycle battery

A traveler at Niagara Falls (IAG) had a motorcycle battery in his carry-on bag. All spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage. Read our blog post for more info on traveling with batteries. (The picture is an example of the battery discovered)

Discovered knives and sharp objects
Clockwise from the top, the pictured items were discovered at SAN, AUS, ORD, SFO, AUS, STL, LAS and CKB


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.



A chart of Firearms Discovered in Carry-On Bags
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:

James Elsea said...

What is wrong with people.? Don't they ever learn.? These items have been prohibited for years.

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?

RB said...

Motorcycle batteries are gel filled thus not spillable so that battery should have been cleared.

Anonymous said...

The pocket knives are sooooo scary. Someone could have lost an eye!

RB said...

The item labeled as an organic mass with wires coming out of it is misidentified. That is twisted strand cable not wire. Also would have been nice to see what is under the green plastic wrap. Would have probaly shown how not dangerous the item actually was.

Anonymous said...

Abstract art my eye. Only RB would believe that one.

Anonymous said...

> DIY art [...] can look a lot like explosives

Please explain how "DIY" art can appear to be more dangerous than any other kind of art.

Fix the TSA said...

Was the abstract art confiscated? Why was this shown as a "good catch?" Was it in a checked bag or carryon? Was the passenger or bag delayed unnecessarily? Why should anyone have to pay to ship an item when the TSA is paid to check "suspicious" items, clear things like this, and move on?

This is a non-issue being touted as "The TSA saved us from scary stuff! Be scared!"

Fix the TSA said...

Bob, the bottom right corner photo is cut off, so we cannot see the full date stamp. When was this photo taken?

The knife found using the naked scanner would have been found using a metal detector. Hundreds of millions of dollars for all of these scanners and the best you can do is a small knife that would never be enough to take over a plane. This wasn't a very "good catch", Bob.

In fact, if one of the airline industry unions hasn't screamed and whined so bad, the TSA would have "allowed" people freedom to carry smaller knives.

Was the person who hid a knife in the luggage handle arrested by real law enforcement or fined by the TSA? If fined, how much? An empty threat does not scare anyone.

Fix the TSA said...

West, if you observed a passenger at your airport ask a TSA screener to get his supervisor, and the screener ignored the passenger, what would you do? What's Standard Operating Procedure in this case?

Anonymous said...

In response too. “ Anonymous said...The pocket knives are sooooo scary. Someone could have lost an eye!”

The post clearly pointed out the knife was found and the customer choose to exit the sterile area and keep the knife. The passenger clearly understood it was a prohibited item and was not allowed in their carry on. The customer artfully concealed the item and tried to carry on the item a second time. In my opinion at that point it is a criminal act and I hope the criminal is treated as such.

I think we all have the value of honest forgetfulness and ignorance of the law. Even though it delays me and you from getting through security in a timely manor.

Anonymous said...

The item labeled as an organic mass with wires coming out of it is misidentified. That is twisted strand cable not wire. Also would have been nice to see what is under the green plastic wrap. Would have probaly probably? shown how not dangerous the item actually was.

And had the passenger been allowed to keep it and had ill intentions, not everyone in the plane is a bomb expert as you appear to be. Most passengers, probably including yourself, would have wet themselves and complied with every order given by the "innocent passenger" hold "art" in his hands. Now perhaps if asked he would pull the green plastic off to show everyone it was a fake, perhaps everyone, even those in the rear would be able to see that it was simple wrapped cable. My guess is there would be mass panic on the plane. But then again, I am not so anti TSA that I can't see logic. Nor am I a bomb expert.

Susan Richart said...

Bob, I thought the purpose of AskTSA was to give advice and assistance to airline passengers by answering their questions. Why then are Tweets being posted praising screeners at different airports? That's not the purpose of AskTSA.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Fix the TSA said...

Bob, you reused a photo again.

Bottom row, second from left gun photo, date stamped as March 11, 2016.

Used in this March 11 - 17, 2016 post: http://blog.tsa.gov/2016/03/tsa-week-in-review-march-11th-17th.html

The photo was used previously as the bottom row, first from left gun photo in the March 4 - 10, 2016 post: http://blog.tsa.gov/2016/03/tsa-week-in-review-march-4th-10th.html

Bob, you specifically state, "All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week." Therefore, all photos in the March 4 - 10, 2016 post should have been found by a TSA screener between March 4 and March 10.

Except the reused photo that appears in the March 4 - 10, 2016 blog post is date stamped March 11, 2016 and cannot have been found by a screener between March 4 and March 10.

(For the record, it does not appear that the date stamp on the reused March 11, 2016 gun photo is faked.)

**comment is screen captured**

George said...

Good example of things that we don't allow in our vehicles either. Thanks for being aware enough to catch these!

Anonymous said...

From our favorite Bold Posting Intern... "And had the passenger been allowed to keep it and had ill intentions, not everyone in the plane is a bomb expert as you appear to be. Most passengers, probably including yourself, would have wet themselves and complied with every order given by the "innocent passenger" hold "art" in his hands. Now perhaps if asked he would pull the green plastic off to show everyone it was a fake, perhaps everyone, even those in the rear would be able to see that it was simple wrapped cable. My guess is there would be mass panic on the plane. But then again, I am not so anti TSA that I can't see logic. Nor am I a bomb expert."

No, most passengers would not wet themselves and comply with any and every request. Some would, but others would tackle the person trying to use that bit of modern art as a threat and the cleaning crew would have to replace the carpet after the planed landed in order to get all of the bad guy out of it.

And then a double-plus fail.... the terrorists are so incredibly smart as to disguise their bomb as a modern art installation in tin cans and bailing wire, but then are so incredibly stupid as to not detonate the disguised explosive device the moment it is 'discovered' in the security line potentially killing way more people than were ever going to be on the aircraft?

And of course you aren't anti-TSA, you can't be when you work for them. Don't even try to deny it, only a company man would argue from the point of 'think of how the timid passengers would feel when they saw something scary looking.'

RB said...

George said...
Good example of things that we don't allow in our vehicles either. Thanks for being aware enough to catch these!


March 24, 2016 at 9:09 PM
...................
What things George?

Anonymous said...

Susan Richart said...
Bob, I thought the purpose of AskTSA was to give advice and assistance to airline passengers by answering their questions. Why then are Tweets being posted praising screeners at different airports? That's not the purpose of AskTSA.


god forbid someone post a positive note about TSA rather than the usual anti TSA mumbo jumbo.

Anonymous said...

No, most passengers would not wet themselves and comply with any and every request. Some would, but others would tackle the person trying to use that bit of modern art as a threat and the cleaning crew would have to replace the carpet after the planed landed in order to get all of the bad guy out of it. your willing to risk the lives of your children on that assumption? I'm not. It s just to easy to tell a passenger no.

And then a double-plus fail.... the terrorists are so incredibly smart as to disguise their bomb as a modern art installation in tin cans and bailing wire, but then are so incredibly stupid as to not detonate the disguised explosive device the moment it is 'discovered' in the security line potentially killing way more people than were ever going to be on the aircraft? you assume all threats are terrorists. What about a warped minded typical American traveler? How many people rob banks with fake guns or nothing more than a finger in their pocket? Sadly, you don't have all the answers nor do you take into account all possible threats.

And of course you aren't anti-TSA, you can't be when you work for them. Don't even try to deny it, only a company man would argue from the point of 'think of how the timid passengers would feel when they saw something scary looking.'
Nice try...I would rather say I'm only a person who is open minded to all possible threats and believes a little extra security is not that big of a deal. All they (tsa) have to do is stop one terror attack and its all worth it. I also believe that just the presence of TSA has been enough of a hurdle that there have been no attacks on an American based flight. But I believe they are patient. They are waiting and they are watching. They will make their move is and when you conspiracy theorists get your way and we drop our guard.

Fix the TSA said...

Bold TSApologist, why are you assuming the modern art was confiscated? Do you know something not posted on this blog? All we know is this piece of art was examined and photographed for propaganda by the TSA.

Anonymous said...

Boldy replied with "..What about a warped minded typical American traveler? How many people rob banks with fake guns or nothing more than a finger in their pocket? Sadly, you don't have all the answers nor do you take into account all possible threats. "

Omg! You're serious! A finger in n the pocket to rob a bank? You gotta back that claim up with something. Surely you can reference a credible source (meaning not the onion) of this happening somewhere.

Sadly for you I never said I have all the answers but you seem to. The TSA, whom you claim not to work for, has prevented a bajilion Terrorist already and if it wasn't for them we would have all died horrible aircraft related deaths by now. Your faith in your employer is admirable but misplaced. Your own testing shows the weak spots in your work and a seven year old kid can devise a dozen different ways to bypass your clerks.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Motorcycle batteries are gel filled thus not spillable so that battery should have been cleared."

Not all motorcycle batteries are gel cell. There are plenty of wet cells left out there, you just won't find them in any of the major auto parts distributors. The image shown was a representation, not the actual item. I have not seen a photo of the actual item found.

Fix sez - "West, if you observed a passenger at your airport ask a TSA screener to get his supervisor, and the screener ignored the passenger, what would you do? What's Standard Operating Procedure in this case?"

My response would be to notify the STSO, and have them intervene. If a passenger asks for an STSO, they are supposed to be referred to one. One caveat, in a busy larger airport, getting an STSO that is not involved in other situations may take longer than at most smaller airports.

As for SOP, nice try. You know that I am unable to disclose any SOP, only things that the organization has published (and TSA has published tons of things indicating that a passenger may request to speak to a supervisor at any time during the process).

West
TSA Blog Team

Wintermute said...

So, you're saying that you can't confirm that SOP is for an STSO to be summoned when one has been requested, even though you just confirmed this to be the case? Jumping right past doublespeak and going straight for doublethink?

Wintermute said...

"They" have a much better target than an aircraft, thanks to TSA. I think that was very recently proven.

Anonymous said...

Boldy, the alleged purpose of AskTSA is to answer questions, not to pat the TSA on its back.

From @AskTSA: Welcome to @AskTSA! We’ll do our best to answer your questions. Give us a shout!

Susan Richart said...

Boldy wrote: "your willing to risk the lives of your children on that assumption? I'm not. It s just to easy to tell a passenger no."

When all your other arguments fail, always invoke the "think of the children" fallback.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Susan Richart said...

Ok, Boldy, your logic lost with me with this statement: "you assume all threats are terrorists. What about a warped minded typical American traveler? How many people rob banks with fake guns or nothing more than a finger in their pocket? Sadly, you don't have all the answers nor do you take into account all possible threats."

Care to try again?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Susan Richart said...

Boldy wrote: "Nice try...I would rather say I'm only a person who is open minded to all possible threats and believes a little extra security is not that big of a deal. All they (tsa) have to do is stop one terror attack and its all worth it. I also believe that just the presence of TSA has been enough of a hurdle that there have been no attacks on an American based flight. But I believe they are patient. They are waiting and they are watching. They will make their move is and when you conspiracy theorists get your way and we drop our guard."

Why don't you read this: http://tinyurl.com/zyonwte

and this:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/26319846-post79.html

Fix the TSA said...

Calm down, West, lol, I wasn't trying to "get you". Knowing what all screeners, not just you, are directed to do is important for travelers to know. Screeners don't care and aren't required to follow TSA press releases and propaganda, so understanding when a screener is required to provide a manager upon passenger request is not only helpful, it in no way should be hidden from the public under the false classification "SSI".

Fix the TSA said...

West, per your reply above, I am requesting to speak with the blog team's manager(s). There are serious issues with this blog that the team refuses to address.

Get your blog manager, please.

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "Motorcycle batteries are gel filled thus not spillable so that battery should have been cleared."

Not all motorcycle batteries are gel cell. There are plenty of wet cells left out there, you just won't find them in any of the major auto parts distributors. The image shown was a representation, not the actual item. I have not seen a photo of the actual item found.

A traveler at Niagara Falls (IAG) had a motorcycle battery in his carry-on bag. All spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage. Read our blog post for more info on traveling with batteries. (The picture is an example of the battery discovered)

Ok, so would Gel Cell batteries be ok to go then?

And if the image is an example then it is clearly a gel cell. If it was not a gel cell then the image is not an example of the battery that was discovered.

So what are the exact rules in regards to batteries? Are gel cells ok and wet cells not ok?

Anonymous said...


Sadly for you I never said I have all the answers but you seem to. The TSA, whom you claim not to work for, has prevented a bajilion Terrorist who made that claim? already and if it wasn't for them we would have all died horrible aircraft related deaths by now.really? that was said? Your faith in your employer is admirable but misplaced. not sure you know my employer , Your own testing shows the weak spots in your work and a seven year old kid can devise a dozen different ways to bypass your clerks. I have no clerks at my job, I do have a personal assistant...


Anonymous said...

Boldy wrote: "your willing to risk the lives of your children on that assumption? I'm not. It s just to easy to tell a passenger no."

When all your other arguments fail, always invoke the "think of the children" fallback.

so answer the question. I'm just trying to see how sure everyone is that air travel is just as safe without TSA. How sure are you?

Anonymous said...

"They" have a much better target than an aircraft, thanks to TSA. I think that was very recently proven.

I would say that has absolutely been proven. TSA is doing their job.

GSOLTSO said...

RB sez - "Ok, so would Gel Cell batteries be ok to go then?

And if the image is an example then it is clearly a gel cell. If it was not a gel cell then the image is not an example of the battery that was discovered.

So what are the exact rules in regards to batteries? Are gel cells ok and wet cells not ok?"

Gel cells are ok, wet cells are not. I think there may also be another designation for batteries that have the contained liquid. Any battery that can leak liquid is prohibited. The gel cells are marked as a go in all of the blog posts and TSA publications I have seen.

West
TSA Blog Team

RB said...

GSOLTSO said...
RB sez - "Ok, so would Gel Cell batteries be ok to go then?And if the image is an example then it is clearly a gel cell. If it was not a gel cell then the image is not an example of the battery that was discovered. So what are the exact rules in regards to batteries? Are gel cells ok and wet cells not ok?"

"Gel cells are ok, wet cells are not. I think there may also be another designation for batteries that have the contained liquid. Any battery that can leak liquid is prohibited. The gel cells are marked as a go in all of the blog posts and TSA publications I have seen. WestTSA Blog TeamApril 2, 2016 at 7:37 AM"
--------------

So had the battery in question been exactly like the one in the image it should have been cleared. Did TSA screw up in this case?

Wintermute said...

If TSA stands for Thousands Standing Around, then you are correct. Otherwise they're as effective as a box of rocks.

Greg said...

It's amazing what some people try to get through airports. Some of these guns have to be brought on by mistake, but I have to think some folks are just being idiots trying to see what they can sneak through. The grenades were pretty weird though. Some kind of souvenir?

Anonymous said...

And if the image is an example then it is clearly a gel cell. If it was not a gel cell then the image is not an example of the battery that was discovered.
Wow, really? this is what you choose to nit pick? It is an example. Nowhere does it say "exact" or "true representation". Are you really that bored?

Fix the TSA said...

West, since the battery in the photo above, according to RB, is one of the allowed types, based upon your statement of TSA policy, was this battery wrongly confiscated? Is this a photo of the actual battery found and claimed as not allowed by TSA?

If this is the actual battery, it should not have been prohibited, according to you. Why is it being displayed as a "good catch?" If this is the actual battery, this blog isn't following TSA policy, and is providing misleading information to the American public.

If this isn't the actual battery, then this blog is providing misleading information to the American public.

Anonymous said...

Boldy asked "...
so answer the question. I'm just trying to see how sure everyone is that air travel is just as safe without TSA. How sure are you?"

I am very sure. Get rid of the thousands standing around, we would be much better off without them.

Wintermute said...

What you consider a nitpick others might claim show a lack of integrity by the blog team. The images claim to be representative of what was found. The images show a battery type which, according to the rules, is allowed. So, the question remains; is the picture a true representation of what was found? Or is the picture incorrect? This is hardly a nitpick for someone considering travelling with the type of battery pictured.

Fix the TSA said...

Bold TSApologist, Bob recently started saying at the top of each blog post, "All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week." Commenters have proven this not to be true due to incompetence or bad file management on the blog team's part.

West has stated previously that the blog team doesn't use fake photos of items they say we're found at airports this past week. Isn't that correct, West?

Why do you, Bold, someone who says she isn't a TSA employee and doesn't know West, Bob, or Lynn keep getting so upset when we ask questions about or point out errors in the photos posted by the blog team? This isn't the first time you have attempted to downplay the problems with this blog's photos.

*screenshot*