Friday, August 26, 2016

TSA Week in Review August 19th - 25th - 63 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week (57 Loaded)

Discovered firearms image

TSA discovered 63 firearms this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 63 firearms discovered, 57 were loaded and 20 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered in the last week. See a complete list below.

Discovered inert grenades image

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 board the aircraft. Four inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Seven inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Five were discovered in checked bags at Akron–Canton (CAK), Raleigh–Durham (RDU) and San Luis Obispo County (SBP). Two were discovered in carry-on bags at Des Moines (DSM) and San Francisco (SFO). Grenades pictured were discovered at (L-R): SBP, RDU, and CAK.

Discovered batarang image
A batarang was discovered in a carry-on bag at Charlottesville–Albemarle (CHO).
Discovered knives image
All of these knives were discovered in a traveler's carry-on bag at Memphis (MEM).
Discovered knives image
Clockwise from the top, these items were discovered at: JFK, CKB, PHX, PVD, ORD, JFK, CHO, CHO, PHX, CHO, CAE, BNA and PHX

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.


Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags list
When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TSA Myth Busters: Was a Nine-Year-Old Child with a Pacemaker Prevented from Flying Home?

Myth stamp imageThere have been some reports that a nine-year-old child with a pacemaker was prevented from flying home because TSA thought his pacemaker was a bomb. Long story short, nobody thought his pacemaker was a bomb, and the boy and his mother made their scheduled flight home on time.

We conducted a thorough review to see what happened. Here’s what we learned:

Last Saturday, a mother and her nine-year old son presented themselves for screening at a Phoenix TSA checkpoint. The mother made our officers aware that her son had a pacemaker.

Our officers screen thousands of people with pacemakers daily. We use alternate screening procedures that allow the passenger to bypass the metal detector. When somebody is permitted to bypass a metal detector, it isn’t just a free pass.  They still must undergo alternate screening so we can ensure they’re not in possession of any prohibited items.

As with all passengers with pacemakers, her son was permitted to bypass the metal detector and enter the checkpoint. Our manager explained to the family the screening that needed to occur and subsequently the boy’s mother consented to the appropriate screening.

After screening, the mother and her son were escorted to their gate by American Airlines personnel, where they boarded and completed their scheduled flight.

Our screening procedures are in place to keep the flying public safe, while accommodating the diverse needs of millions of passengers a day. If you or a loved one has a disability or medical condition, please feel free to contact our TSA Cares Helpline prior to traveling. TSA Cares is a helpline that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. Please call 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Travelers requiring special accommodations or who are concerned about the security screening process at the airport may also ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance.

Bob Burns - TSA Social Media 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TSA on the Job: Federal Security Director

Federal security director
The federal security director is responsible for security operations at our nation’s federalized airports. It’s a big job but I have a great team of dedicated leaders and officers at Austin–Bergstrom International Airport who make it a manageable challenge and work hard to ensure the security of travelers every day.

There are days where I sometimes feel like a sheriff in a small town who walks the beat and stops at every store, and says hello to everyone he comes across.

Security screening operationsFor me, “walking the beat” means taking a look, for example, at security screening operations and making sure prohibited items such as knives, guns and explosives don’t make it past the checkpoint and onto a plane. Preventing a catastrophic event, damage and loss of life is a job I take very seriously. This is a rewarding part of being a federal security director.

Just as important is making sure our frontline officers get the support that they need so that they do their jobs well. These men and women are hard-working security professionals, tasked with a difficult and critical job.  TSA has one of the most important missions in the country – protecting the traveling public and the transportation system of the United States. I take pride in knowing that I take part in this counterterrorism mission every day.


Mike Scott, Guest Blogger
TSA Federal Security Director, Austin–Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)