Thursday, January 12, 2017

TSA Year in Review: Record amount of Firearms Discovered in 2016

In 2016, TSA officers screened 738,318,264 passengers (more than 2 million per day), which is more than 43,255,172 more passengers than for the same time frame in 2015. In addition to screening more than 738 million passengers, TSA officers also screened 466 million checked bags and 24.2 million airport employees! 



Firearms
3,391 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than nine firearms per day. Of those, 2,815 (83 percent) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 238 airports; 2 more airports than last year. There was a 28 percent increase in firearm discoveries from 2015’s total of 2,653. Pictured are just some of the firearms discovered in 2016.

Top 10 airports for firearms discoveries:

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL):198
Dallas/Fort Worth International (DFW): 192
George Bush Intercontinental Airport - Houston (IAH):128
Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX):101
Denver International (DEN): 98
Orlando International Airport (MCO):86
Nashville International (BNA):80
Tampa International (TPA):79
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS):78
Salt Lake City International (SLC):75


Black Powder
In addition to firearms discovered last year, there were many hazardous items passengers attempted to travel with. Pictured are a few instances from last year where traveler's attempted to bring black powder (gun powder) on the aircraft.

Inert Grenades
Officers also find inert items that appear very realistic. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are real, toys or replicas until TSA explosives experts are called upon. Inert items can lead to disruption, closed terminals and checkpoints, which often result in canceled or delayed flights. Pictured here are just a few examples of times our officers discovered inert grenades in carry-on and checked bags last year.
There were many instances last year when travelers attempted to hide items, or the items they packed were disguised to look like other items. TSA officers regularly find sword canes, credit card knives, belt buckle knives, comb/brush knives, knives hidden in shoes, knives hidden in thermoses and knives hidden under the bag lining near the handle mechanism. Here are a few instances that stood out:

Cane Swords
These are a few examples of cane swords that were discovered last year in carry-on property.
Concealed Items
From left to right, top to bottom, these are just a few examples of the concealed items that were discovered in carry-on bags last year: Pen knife, belt buckle knife, pen gun, lipstick knife, key knives, comb knife, flashlight knife, lipstick stun gun, knife hidden in pill bottle and throwing star hidden in cell phone case.
Sharp Items
Our officers discover thousands upon thousands of sharp items in carry-on bags every year. These are just a few of the thousands of sharp items discovered last year in carry-on bags.
The year also provided the need for travelers to surrender a few odd items. In case you missed it last month, be sure to check out our video rundown of TSA’s Top 10 Most Unusual Finds of 2016!



As you can see from this post, some travelers pack the strangest items. Make sure you’re items are allowed by using the “Can I Bring My…” tool to enter the item you want to pack. It will tell you whether you can pack it in your carry-on or checked bag. You may also refer to our prohibited items list. If you still can’t find the answer, reach out to our @AskTSA team via Twitter or Facebook Messenger and they’ll get back to you right away with an answer. You can even send them a photograph of the item in question.  

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


If you’re grabbing a bag, suitcase, briefcase, jacket or other item you haven’t used in a while, be sure to give it the onceover so you don’t accidentally take something prohibited to the checkpoint. Many people who have brought guns, ammunition, knives and other prohibited item say that they did so unknowingly. 

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.  

Thanks for reading this year’s run down of the more notable items TSA officers discovered in 2016. Keep in mind that far more was discovered than those listed in this report. When bag searches are needed, the line slows down. If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Also, in case you missed it, be sure to check out our video rundown of TSA’s Top 10 Most Unusual Finds of 2016!

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!



Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

12 comments:

Mike Toreno said...

So, clerk Bob, using the TSA's failure rate of 95%, the TSA missed 64,429 guns that were presented at the checkpoint and made it onto planes. None was used on an aircraft for any purpose, nefarious or otherwise.

RB said...

TSA says there were an average of 9 firearms found each day in carry-on baggage.

Out of the 2,022,790 people who flew each day that only averages .000004493 firearms found per person per day. And we are paying over $8,000,000,000.00 per year for this.

We need to take another look at TSA. Time to down size and move these task to non-government employees. Tax payers are getting ripped off by TSA!

Cliff Greenberg said...

RB:
So you say we are getting ripped off by the TSA. Please tell us what the issues are: how many employees, what the cost is and how much saving we would get from enlisting the private for-profit providers instead. We would also benefit from your risk assessment: perhaps number of dollars per firearms found and what you regard as a sensible number.

seoulmama said...

Your numbers aren't accurate. Since TSA screens passengers for both foreign and domestic travel the number is 2,4534,425 who fly each day (https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts018_16), however, you make an assumption that all of these people are gun owners. Only 3 percent of the people in the US own guns (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/), so of the 2.4 million people who fly each day only 73,603 would be potential gun owners. Now assuming that ALL of 73,603 people flew with their guns (not likely) that averages .012227762 guns found per person, per day. That may still look like a low number, but again that's assuming every gun owner traveling by air, travels with their gun, which is not true but their aren't any statistics on that.

Wayne Williams said...

TSA what a joke! I wonder how many high-quality employees/business owners left their jobs to work for the TSA or is did TSA employees have a high-quality job prior to TSA?

RB said...

seoulmama said...
Your numbers aren't accurate. Since TSA screens passengers for both foreign and domestic travel the number is 2,4534,425 who fly each day (https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts018_16), however, you make an assumption that all of these people are gun owners. Only 3 percent of the people in the US own guns (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/), so of the 2.4 million people who fly each day only 73,603 would be potential gun owners. Now assuming that ALL of 73,603 people flew with their guns (not likely) that averages .012227762 guns found per person, per day. That may still look like a low number, but again that's assuming every gun owner traveling by air, travels with their gun, which is not true but their aren't any statistics on that.

January 13, 2017 at 10:59 AM

I made no assumption of how many people own weapons. I took the numbers presented by TSA of screened passengers versus found guns and the simple math resulted in the number of guns found/per passenger/day. The only thing I did was average out the number of people screened per year to arrive at the number screened per day. Nothing more.

For those asking, the creation of TSA resulted in a completely new government agency with all of the overhead that comes with government. TSA created its on pay scales instead of using GS/WG pay scales already developed, and all of the administrative functions that go with an agency. TSA has somewhere around 15,000 people in Administrative positions. You would not see that with contract employees. And that would be the savings. The functions TSA fills should be under DOT or FAA and only then as an oversight agency, not actually doing the work directly. TSA had, and may still have, two large warehouses in the DFW area with equipment bought with taxpayer dollars just collecting dust. That would not happen in a contract environment.

I absolutely believe that the TSA budget could be cut by $2 to $3 billion dollars per year.

Boldly said...

RB said...
TSA says there were an average of 9 firearms found each day in carry-on baggage.

Out of the 2,022,790 people who flew each day that only averages .000004493 firearms found per person per day. And we are paying over $8,000,000,000.00 per year for this.

We need to take another look at TSA. Time to down size and move these task to non-government employees. Tax payers are getting ripped off by TSA

using your "logic" we should eliminate CBP since we still have millions crossing our borders, we should eliminate almost all police agencies since we still have crime, we should eliminate all fire prevention agencies since we still have fires...oh wait, there has not been a single terrorist attack on an American based flight since the inception of TSA...I guess that is a 100% success rate. How many have they stopped? looks like all of them, what that number is will never be known...could be that any one of the guns, knives, inert grenades or a host of other things could have been a terrorist plot stopped. There is no way to ever know for sure.

Boldly said...

seoulmama said...
Your numbers aren't accurate. Since TSA screens passengers for both foreign and domestic travel the number is 2,4534,425 who fly each day (https://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts018_16), however, you make an assumption that all of these people are gun owners. Only 3 percent of the people in the US own guns (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/), so of the 2.4 million people who fly each day only 73,603 would be potential gun owners. Now assuming that ALL of 73,603 people flew with their guns (not likely) that averages .012227762 guns found per person, per day. That may still look like a low number, but again that's assuming every gun owner traveling by air, travels with their gun, which is not true but their aren't any statistics on that

you cant use logic and real math here...it is not in line with the agenda of the haters.

Boldly said...

TSA what a joke! I wonder how many high-quality employees/business owners left their jobs to work for the TSA or is did TSA employees have a high-quality job prior to TSA

I have talked to several TSA employees over the years on my numerous visits to the airport. I have also done some research. About 25% of TSA officers are past or current military. I have talked to a few that are retired law enforcement. It was published a while back that a large percentage are college grads. I would doubt many, if any left their "high-quality" job for TSA. But I know of some that had their "high-quality" job leave them, resulting in their move to TSA. There are some amazing stories behind many TSA employees.

Doober said...

seoulmama, you need to read before you post a link. "Only 3 percent of the people in the US own guns (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/22/study-guns-owners-violence/90858752/), so of the 2.4 million people who fly each day only 73,603 would be potential gun owners."

If you'd read the article, you would note that 3% of the population own 50% of the guns in the country.

Anywhere between 22% and and 30% of the population own guns depending on what survey you read.

So, let's take your number of 2.4 million people who fly each day and multiply that by 25% you get a result of 600,000 who fly each day are gun owners.

screen shot/DHS IG statement

john barker said...

Doober,
Even with 600,000 gun owners flying does not mean they all carry their gun with them. I would like to assume they are responsible gun owners and know where they last left their gun at. I being a responsible gun owner know I do not have it in my carry on and if you are one too you know where your gun is at all times. Now with the Orlando shooting I wonder if I will not be able to take it in my checked bag.

Chip and Andy said...

"...Please tell us what the issues are: how many employees, what the cost is and how much saving we would get from enlisting the private for-profit providers instead."

Savings? We managed to secure the aircraft pre-September 11 without spending eight billion tax dollars a year. Everyone is paying for the TSA regardless of how often, or even if, you fly. And if/when you do take to the air you have to pay an additional fee for each leg of the flight.

Put the TSA into the same authority as the FAA and you could cut half or more of the budget which would save the tax payers at least four Billion a year.

Put the responsibility of the aircraft safety back onto the aircraft owners where it belongs. Why is the government subsidizing the airlines by providing security (theatre)?

Putting the security back onto the aircraft owners also solves all of the constitutional issues as well.

Disband the TSA. We citizens deserve better than they have to offer.