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TSA Week in Review: Gun Concealed in Hollowed Out Book

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Friday, March 30, 2012
Gun in book, throwing star, knife concealed in deoderant, knives, fire crackers, expended stun grenades.

Book Starts Off with a Bang: This book must have received some poor reviews. It starts off with a bang and then it kind of hollows out and leaves you feeling empty. (See photo above) The gun was unloaded (no cylinder) and discovered at Honolulu (HNL).

Explosive Item Discovered: Yesterday morning at Philadelphia International Airport, our Officers discovered a water bottle wrapped in black electrical tape and filled with flash powder, and three M-80 fireworks. The items were discovered in a carry-on bag. Read the blog post here. Unfortunately, due to an ongoing investigation, we are unable to share the photograph, but we hope to be able to share it in the future.

Strange Place to Keep a Knife: A pocketknife was found concealed in a deodorant cap at Milwaukee (MKE).

More Grenades: Two expended stun grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL). Also, an inert grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Hattiesburg (PIB). The passenger at PIB stated that they thought a coworker likely put it there as a prank. I imagine the passenger in question didn’t find it very funny at all. These are totally harmless, however, read here and here for more information on why inert items cause problems at checkpoints.

People Say the Darndest Things: Here are some more examples of what not to say at the airport. Statements like these not only delay the people who said them, they can also inconvenience lots of other passengers if the checkpoint has to be evacuated:

  • A passenger was having their bag searched at Phoenix (PHX) when they decided to tell our Officer: “There is a bomb in my bag!”
  • A passenger at San Juan (SJU) was asked by the ticket agent if they had any flammable liquids in their bag. The passenger responded: “No, but I do have a bomb.”
  • After explaining to a passenger at (JFK) that his bag was being searched due to a cluttered image on the X-ray monitor, the passenger stated: “It’s a bomb.”
 This is the third time I’ve written about concealed marijuana in a jar of peanut butter. While it is a great source of protein, peanut butter is no match for our X-rays. We’re not looking for drugs, but you can imagine how suspicious a container inside a container of peanut butter looks? This time it was found at Salt Lake City (SLC).

Peanut Butter Pot: This is the third time I’ve written about concealed marijuana in a jar of peanut butter. While it is a great source of protein, peanut butter is no match for our X-rays. We’re not looking for drugs, but you can imagine how suspicious a container inside a container of peanut butter looks? This time it was found at Salt Lake City (SLC).

Knife Concealed in Tissues: At LaGuardia (LGA), a knife was found tucked under a nice comfy stack of tissues in a tissue box.

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items: In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also found firearm components, realistic replica firearms, stun guns, brass knuckles, an abundance of knives, ammunition, and batons.

7 loaded guns.

Firearms: Here are the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday.

21 guns discovered. 19 were loaded.

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 throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. 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.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you’d like to comment on an unrelated topic you can do so in our Off Topic Comments post. You can also view our blog post archives or search our blog to find a related topic to comment in. If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact a Customer Support Manager at the airport you traveled, or will be traveling through by using Talk to TSA.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

It was an even better week for the American people:

- Screening manager, also a convicted criminal, arrested for running a prostitution business for several years in the suburban DC area. This person was also accused of singling out attractive women for Strip Search Machine screening and secondary frisking.

- Two screening clerks arrested for intoxication and illegal use of firearms in Miami. Do their guns count in your weekly total this week?

- BWI screening clerk sentenced to a long time in jail following a paedophile-related conviction.

- Your senior managers made complete fools of themselves in front of Rep. Issa's committee.

(Screen image saved)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks for keeping the humore. =)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Another Week, another list of things Not A Threat To A Plane.

Two expended stun grenades - Not a threat to a plane

Also, an inert grenade - Not a threat to a plane

People Say the Darndest Things- "such as… you know… things that go BOOM."???

marijuana in a jar of peanut butter - - Not a threat to a plane

replica firearms - Not a threat to a plane


Oh- and congratulations on finally pushing the Johnathan Corbett story (about how your nudie-scanners easily miss things) off the front page. That was close, huh? Now you don't have to worry about actually, you know, addressing the issue it raises.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I still haven't seen any indication of why an insulin pump caused such a fracas. Bob - you are avoiding this problem that falls under the ADA. Sometime soon your agency will be sued and then you will HAVE TO respect those of us with disabilities.

Submitted by Anonymous on

People say the darnest thing... When did TSA stomp on the first admendment rights of American citizens? When I took the oath of TSA I had to state I would up hold the constitution. Saying 'BOMB' at any airport in America is not illegal and a waste of a LEO'S time. Obviously saying bomb wasn't a threat if the airport still operated and planes left on time or scheduled? Finding drugs is a waste of time as they pose no threat to aviation even LEO'S get annoyned with those reports. It should be stated that airport LEO'S won't show up to court to defend TSA on these finds and the DA drops all charges. Keep up the good work TSA your management is a reflection of agency. Too bad you don't have any promotional standards throughout your agency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Real or not real grenade? Probably hard to tell on an x-ray. Should they let it go? Real or not real >> Replica firearms? Maybe they should just let them go -- cause they LOOK like a replica. Hey maybe cops should ask before they shoot at the guy aiming at them -- is that a replica?

And the B O M B word. Alrighty then -- so let's just disregard that! Maybe we should let people just walk through the malls and yell fire. Maybe they should stand up in the library and say BOMB. Heck maybe they should just get on a plane and say bomb -- I like bombs -- nothing wrong with the word bomb. Go ahead -- see how comfortable your wife or daughter or Mom or Dad would be sitting/standing next to that person. Sure hope it doesn't cause them any stress -- it is -- after all just a word.

Grow up people! Bad people -- nut jobs -- wannabe nut jobs -- they are out there! And maybe that knife wouldn't bring down the plane. Ahh -- I'm not sure about you -- but I don't sit in the secured cockpit and neither does may family! We could be sitting next to the nut with knife.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TSA -- I'm pretty sure that the 3000+ people that died on 9/11 wouldn't have a problem with a little inconvenience at a security checkpoint. Real or not real -- in God we trust -- let the rest of the world get security screened!!

Submitted by @SkyWayManAz on

I do enjoy reading your posts on what is caught Bob. It is rather depressing that items banned since the 70's are routinely confiscated. I heard stories in the 80's about what was confiscated at Kansas City International when I worked there fresh out of high school. It's not something new but even more publicity sadly isn't helping eliminate it. Now yes a critic can say it is tooting your own horn but it still needs to be said.

I'm not holding my breath though on the week in review of what TSA employees have been arrested or convicted of though. The Miami Herald has a disturbing report posted online on 3/28. Two TSA employees trashed their hotel room and fired six shots from a semi automatic weapon impacting in a Barney's store nearby. I'm aware these kind of stories could easily apply to a lot of employers with a workforce as large as TSA. Wackenhut, who employed me at KCI before I went off to college, has had their reputation tarnished by the same things. I'm sure some other posters will have unkind things to say about them as well. Unfortunately it reinforces the image TSA has at the front lines of the inmates running the asylum. It would be refreshing to read how they have been removed from eployment and are example of behavior TSA will not tolerate. Hopefully they will be dismissed as it's to far over the line even for TSA but retraining seems to be the recurring mantra.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
I still haven't seen any indication of why an insulin pump caused such a fracas. Bob - you are avoiding this problem that falls under the ADA. Sometime soon your agency will be sued and then you will HAVE TO respect those of us with disabilities.

March 31, 2012 12:08 AM
--------------------
Well, it still hasn't happened after 10 years... So....

Submitted by Chancer on

"....KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TSA -- I'm pretty sure that the 3000+ people that died on 9/11 wouldn't have a problem with a little inconvenience at a security checkpoint.

I had relatives there. They would be the first to be screaming about TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...

Well, it still hasn't happened after 10 years... So....

March 31, 2012 9:38 AM

And you should know that what you've said sure sounds like a challenge. Clearly you have your head in the sand.

I can guarantee you that when TSA violates my rights, I will take names, ranks and badge numbers ON THE SPOT so I know who exactly to sue. Remember that if you violate a person's civil rights, you can be sued PERSONALLY as well as the TSA as a whole.

There are a growing number of us with disabilities who are ready to take immediate action if you violate our civil or disability rights under Federal law (which, by the way, you are not above.)

(Screen shot)

Submitted by Anonymous on

to anonymous that says BOMB is just a word... It is isn't it? You can yell fire in a mall or yell Bomb in a library. But you have to remeber the fact is Bomb was used in a private discussion to TSA not the general public. And was amy of these people arrested for saying bomb? NO! they rebooked their flight after they explained their frustration with TSA and 9 times out of 10 the airport LEO'S argree with the PAX.-Front line TSA employee.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
"Grow up people! Bad people -- nut jobs -- wannabe nut jobs -- they are out there! And maybe that knife wouldn't bring down the plane. Ahh -- I'm not sure about you -- but I don't sit in the secured cockpit and neither does may family! We could be sitting next to the nut with knife."

You could also be next to them at the movie theater, the grocery store or anf of a thousand other places. Why is an airplane so special?


"KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TSA -- I'm pretty sure that the 3000+ people that died on 9/11 wouldn't have a problem with a little inconvenience at a security checkpoint."

I'm pretty sure you have no idea what each of those 3000 people believed and it's very presumptuous of you to pretend you speak for them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Were any of these items intended to hijack a plane or perform a terrorist act? Doubt it. Especially not the pot, which isn't at all what TSA claims to be looking for with its invasive searches.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Dear TSA:

If there is a small baggie concealed in a jar of peanut butter, it is marijuana. It has never been a bomb. It is not a bomb. It will never be a bomb. It is marijuana. So if you are not looking for drugs, leave it alone. Is it even remotely feasible to make an effective explosive device that will fit in a rolled up zip-lock bag and is placed in the middle of clumps of peanut butter? If it is, then I will take the risk.



". Ahh -- I'm not sure about you -- but I don't sit in the secured cockpit and neither does may family! We could be sitting next to the nut with knife."

Are you serious? How do you know that a person sitting on the bus next to you isn't a nut with a knife? How do you know that your cab driver isn't a severely depressed person who plans to drive the cab off the bridge? Do you stay at home all the time, only going out when there is an assurance that everyone around has been thoroughly screened?

Submitted by Sunshine All Da... on

My comments from yesterday have mysteriously not appeared. So, I will ask again. What about the TSA agent who is a child pornographer? Or the couple of TSA agents who are shooing guns off in hotels? What about the TSA agent who forced a mother to stand in front of a bank of mirrors and use a breast pump becuase the TSA felt her breat pump should be full of milk in order for her to carry it on the plane? These are the things I want to hear your comments on, not this ridiculous list of stuff that wouldn't have hurt anyone anyway.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "If there is a small baggie concealed in a jar of peanut butter, it is marijuana. It has never been a bomb. It is not a bomb. It will never be a bomb. It is marijuana."

On the xray, the operator can't tell exactly what is concealed in the peanut butter, and we have had other items concealed in this fashion. The proper response is to search the container and find out what is there and when it is discovered to be marijuana, we notify LEOs. Just letting an item go because of what is written on it or what label is on it, is not the way to go - if that were the case, I could simply paint a pipe bomb and put a peanut butter label on it and voila!

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

dismantled (missing the cylinder) revolver in a book - not a threat. cmon man!!! this is not "unloaded", it is not a weapon!!! pull your heads out. go back to pre-9/11 security, save the cash and the violations of our rights, and we'll stop just as many plots and capture just as many terrorists. pathetic self-licking-ice-cream-cone of an organization ...

Submitted by Anonymous on

GSOLTSO said...
"On the xray, the operator can't tell exactly what is concealed in the peanut butter, and we have had other items concealed in this fashion. The proper response is to search the container and find out what is there and when it is discovered to be marijuana, we notify LEOs. Just letting an item go because of what is written on it or what label is on it, is not the way to go - if that were the case, I could simply paint a pipe bomb and put a peanut butter label on it and voila!"

You are being ridiculous here. A small baggie in a peanut butter jar looks different than a pipe bomb even in an X-ray. Even if the baggie contained explosives it isn't big enough to do any real damage. It's not a threat.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bloggers,

What type & scope of counternarcotics training do TSOs receive? Are they trained to know what common illegal drugs look like and where people might try to smuggle them on airplane flights?

Or, do they simply rely on their own personal knowledge?

Given the stakes and impacts on a person's career, even for a false arrest, I would think that your officers would be trained on some sort of level.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Anonymous said...
dismantled (missing the cylinder) revolver in a book - not a threat. cmon man!!! this is not "unloaded", it is not a weapon!!! pull your heads out. go back to pre-9/11 security, save the cash and the violations of our rights, and we'll stop just as many plots and capture just as many terrorists. pathetic self-licking-ice-cream-cone of an organization ..."

You are assuming that anybody that would want to do damage would be working alone. If they let things go through because "it was unloaded, it's just bullets, it's just a cylinder" guess what? you just let a complete gun go through. Use some logic folks.

Keep up the good work TSA.

Submitted by Anonymous on

One very simple question....

On the TSA home page under "Week In Review", the numbers provided by the TSA for 3-23-12 through 3-29-12 state:

"0 artfully CONCEALED prohibited items found at checkpoints"

Yet, not only does the picture provided on the TSA home page BY THE TSA show a CONCEALED handgun in a hollowed out book BUT the TSA states"

"Find of the Week: Gun CONCEALED in Hollowed Out Book"

and the article for this week's "TSA week in review" states:

"TSA Week in Review: Gun CONCEALED in Hollowed Out Book"

Care to comment on what's wrong with this picture?

Submitted by Anonymous on

It amazes me the uproar over inspecting an "open chambered" gun hidden in a book, "tube-filled" peanut butter jar. How is that an abuse of civil rights? It obviously is an attempt to conceal something. If it is not inspected the truth is unknown. If it looks like a duck and walks like a dog...hmmm, something doesn't add up... THANKS FOR DOING YOUR JOB TSA!

Submitted by Anonymous on

This may be my new favorite blog - it's hilarious haha

Submitted by Anonymous on

I got caught trying to bring a dangerous weapon on board my flight over the weekend. It was a small 8oz sealed jar of honey that I had accidentally left in my carry-on baggage. Luckily, I didn't have the foresight to split it into 3 containers, or I could have brought it on board and been a major threat to the plane.

Lets face it, the liquids rule is completely arbitrary and completely useless. The only purpose it serves is to anger people. Even in this post of dangerous things caught, there is no mention of any dangerous liquids.

I would much rather have people on board with knives than have government agents rifling through my personal belongings and arbitrarily discarding my toiletries and trip souvenirs for no reason, with no benefit.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"On the xray, the operator can't tell exactly what is concealed in the peanut butter, and we have had other items concealed in this fashion. The proper response is to search the container and find out what is there and when it is discovered to be marijuana, we notify LEOs. Just letting an item go because of what is written on it or what label is on it, is not the way to go - if that were the case, I could simply paint a pipe bomb and put a peanut butter label on it and voila!"

1. Is it seriously your claim that a small plastic baggie sitting inside a container of peanut butter could possibly be mistaken for a pipe bomb?

2.Let's assume it could be. Now let's apply that logic to my encounter with a TSA officer. The officer wants to check my bag. I don't know if the officer is a real officer or an impersonator. He could be working for a Mexican cartel and planning to use me as a drug mule. He could be a space alien who wants to implant a tracking device on my bag.

What's that you say? Both of these scenarios are incredibly unlikely and have never, ever happened before, but who cares? We're using TSA logic, where the most important thing is that there is some remote possibility of anything ever happening, we MUST verify that it is not happening. So I guess you won't have any problem with me verifying your officers' immigration status. I guess there won't be any problem with me performing a quick genitalia check (don't worry! we can do it in private if you prefer!) to make sure that they are a human being. Isn't that right?

3. Can you please identify the legal principle that requires that you inform law enforcement when you do find small amounts of marijuana?

4. I stand by my claim: if you find a small plastic baggie concealed in a jar of peanut butter, it is not a bomb. It has never been a bomb. It will never be a bomb.

5. Have you EVER found any kind of explosives concealed in a peanut butter jar?

Submitted by Anonymous on

GSOLTSO said...
Just letting an item go because of what is written on it or what label is on it, is not the way to go - if that were the case, I could simply paint a pipe bomb and put a peanut butter label on it and voila!

And a terrorist can pour their 20 ounces of Evul Liquids into several 3.4 ounce bottles, stuff them in a baggie, "and voila".

OR they can put it in a "contact lens cleaner" bottle (or similar 'medical liquid' bottle) "and voila".

OR they can pay $100 and get put on the Trusted-Taveler-Pre-Check-people-who-don't-need-to-be-screened-as-well program, "and voila".

OR they can get a job at a concession stand behind the checkpoint, and slip something into the next delivery they wheel past the TSA. "and voila".

OR they can simply bribe a TSA employee. "and voila".

What was your point again??

Submitted by Anonymous on

That makes since West. You guys should focus on why’s for this blog instead of end results. Even if something goes wrong, post about what you guys learned and what you’re going to do to fix it. I think you guys would earn a lot more respect that way. Yes I said earned.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Please fix off topic comments page - no way to read beyond 200.

Submitted by Sarkari Naukri on

I do take pleasure in understanding your posts on what is caught Bob. It is rather disheartening that items disqualified since the 70's are routinely confiscate. I heard stories in the 80's about what was confiscated at Kansas City International when I worked there fresh out of high school. It's not something new but even more publicity sadly isn't helping eliminate it. Now yes a critic can say it is tooting your own horn but it still needs to be said.

I'm not asset my breath though on the week in review of what TSA workers have been arrested or convicted of though. The Miami Herald has a disturbing report posted online on 3/28. Two TSA employees trashed their hotel room and fired six shots from a semi automatic weapon impacting in a Barney's store nearby. I'm aware these kind of story could easily apply to a lot of employers with a workforce as large as TSA. Wackenhut, who employed me at KCI before I went off to college, has had their reputation tarnished by the same things. I'm sure some other posters will have unkind things to say about them as well. Unfortunately it reinforces the image TSA has at the front lines of the inmate running the refuge. It would be uplifting to read how they have been removed from employment and are example of behavior TSA will not tolerate. with any luck they will be dismiss as it's to far over the line even for TSA but retraining seems to be the recurring mantra.

Submitted by TSm on

Quoted:
"KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TSA -- I'm pretty sure that the 3000+ people that died on 9/11 wouldn't have a problem with a little inconvenience at a security checkpoint."

I'm pretty sure you have no idea what each of those 3000 people believed and it's very presumptuous of you to pretend you speak for them.

April 1, 2012 10:11 AM
--------------------
Actually, when the families of 9/11 victims travel through our checkpoints, they have handed out thank you notes to our screeners for the screening process. So, yeah, I guess they are speaking for themselves in that case, aren't they?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...

Well, it still hasn't happened after 10 years... So....

March 31, 2012 9:38 AM

And you should know that what you've said sure sounds like a challenge. Clearly you have your head in the sand.

I can guarantee you that when TSA violates my rights, I will take names, ranks and badge numbers ON THE SPOT so I know who exactly to sue. Remember that if you violate a person's civil rights, you can be sued PERSONALLY as well as the TSA as a whole.

There are a growing number of us with disabilities who are ready to take immediate action if you violate our civil or disability rights under Federal law (which, by the way, you are not above.)

(Screen shot)

April 1, 2012 1:08 AM
--------------------
I woundln't hold my breath on that law suit. As I said, hasn't happened yet.
Lots of PR - sure.
Modification to procedures - sure. (more like mollification if you ask me - look it up.)

Submitted by Gilbert on

Marijuana in a jar of peanut butter. Two birds, one stone.

Submitted by Anonymous on

RE: "....KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK TSA"

The comment should have ended with "It is great theater. It is a shame that you are doing absolutely nothing to make us safer, and you are trampling all over the constitution and rights of citizens."

Submitted by Utah Concealed Carry on

Why do you separate loaded and round chambered, in my opinion, a gun isn't loaded unless it can fire. Therefore unless there is a round in the chamber it is unloaded. Though the ATF doesn't understand how guns work, I can't expect TSA to.

Submitted by Jfish on

I have some skills in x-ray and color immerging I am a cadidate for the TSA/TSO openning in my city ( Lexington Ky)
I am yet awaiting the day to put my skills to work coupling with the force that TSA has to train a
cadidate like my self.
In so many words I think highly of this work of TSA/TSO we should, had this in place years ago.Go head on do your part in keeping us safe. I back you all the way.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Even if the baggie contained explosives it isn't big enough to do any real damage. It's not a threat."

Even small amounts of explosives are dangerous in the right situation. Transporting explosives is against the regulations.

Another Anon sez - "THANKS FOR DOING YOUR JOB TSA!"

You are welcome, and thanks for the kind words! We try our best.

Another Anon sez - "1. Is it seriously your claim that a small plastic baggie sitting inside a container of peanut butter could possibly be mistaken for a pipe bomb?"

No

And - "4. I stand by my claim: if you find a small plastic baggie concealed in a jar of peanut butter, it is not a bomb. It has never been a bomb. It will never be a bomb."

I am unable to predict the future, due to that limitation, I hope TSA will continue to clear things like this (and I do not see a change to the SOP on clearing items like this anytime soon) because it could be something that is a threat.

And - "5. Have you EVER found any kind of explosives concealed in a peanut butter jar?"

No.

Another Anon sez - "What was your point again??"

That allowing items to go through without proper screening based simply on their label or outward appearance is not smart.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "TSA, why do you hate science?"

We don't. This was a case of an undidentified item and the area near it being cleared out for the safety of all. I do not have many details about the incident, but this sounds like a typical area clearing/evacuation associated with objects that are unidentified/unattended - and are unable to be cleared visually.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

"I am unable to predict the future, due to that limitation, I hope TSA will continue to clear things like this (and I do not see a change to the SOP on clearing items like this anytime soon) because it could be something that is a threat. "
**********************************************
I am also unable to predict the future. Due to that limitation, I hope TSA will start to check all bus passengers to make sure that they are not Martian invaders.

I hope TSA will carefully inspect all coffee served on Amtrak trains to make sure that it is not laced with cyanide.

I hope that TSA will ensure that all pillows on airplanes are securely sewed down so that no one can smother me as a sleep.

West-- you seem like an intelligent enough person. Can you not see the absolute absurdity of your approach in this situation?

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA should limit their screeners' to coffee cups to hold no more than 3 ounces of hot liquid.

Submitted by Anonymous on

GSOLTSO said...
Another Anon sez - "What was your point again??"

That allowing items to go through without proper screening based simply on their label or outward appearance is not smart.

Yet the TSA does it all the time, as shown by those examples.

Thus, you have proven the TSA is not smart.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "West-- you seem like an intelligent enough person. Can you not see the absolute absurdity of your approach in this situation?"

If by approach, you mean clearing an unidentified object/material artfully concealed in a jar of peanut butter to be absurd, then I guess we will simply have to disagree. I will give you that more often than not, it will be something like illegal drugs or something valuable that someone wishes to transport safely, however, to not clear that item to make certain it is not something dangerous would be wrong in many ways.

P.S. Thank you for the kind words!

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

The peanut butter jar appears to be equal to or less than 1 quart in size. Let's say there are no drugs in there, why isn't that container allowed? If he had put the peanut butter into 3.4 oz containers and placed them in a 1 quart bag, it would have been allowed. The overall container that the peanut butter would have been in would be 1 quart or less. Why should the container matter? If it's a baggie or a jar, the amount of material is still limited to one quart. It doesn't make any sense.

I really would like an answer from the TSA on this question. A quart of material is still a quart, no matter what container it is in. There is nothing stopping someone from combining their liquids and gels after leaving the checkpoint.

Submitted by Anonymous on

GSOLTSO said...
"That allowing items to go through without proper screening based simply on their label or outward appearance is not smart."

How about by size, is that smart? Apparently allowing items through based on size is OK since 3oz of liquid is fine but 3.5oz is not.

Why do you worry about people assembling the parts of a gun after security, but ignore people combining containers of liquid.

At least make an attempt at consistency.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"If by approach, you mean clearing an unidentified object/material artfully concealed in a jar of peanut butter to be absurd, then I guess we will simply have to disagree. I will give you that more often than not, it will be something like illegal drugs or something valuable that someone wishes to transport safely, however, to not clear that item to make certain it is not something dangerous would be wrong in many ways."
****************************************************

West-
First, I want to thank you for discussing these matters in a relatively measured and adult tone. It would be nice if we could have more people like you who can have a civil disagreement without injecting a dose of immature humor (see: "things that go BOOM!")

That being said, I'd really, really like you to give some thought to the question I've been trying to ask you in this thread: Is there any other context that you would apply the logic that you are applying to airplanes? You insist that it is necessary to clear all suspicious objects because they could be a threat. (Please let me know if I am misstating your argument.) Is this a principle that you are willing to apply in other areas of life? If so, how is what you are talking about not a police state? If not, what makes an airplane so different than a bus, a taxi, a theater, a public street, etc. etc. that you would be willing to apply police state logic?

I'd also appreciate an answer to point 3 of my post of April 2:
"3. Can you please identify the legal principle that requires that you inform law enforcement when you do find small amounts of marijuana?"

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "First, I want to thank you for discussing these matters in a relatively measured and adult tone. It would be nice if we could have more people like you who can have a civil disagreement without injecting a dose of immature humor (see: "things that go BOOM!")"

Thank you for the kind words, however, I rather like the level of humor here, it provides some break from the stuffy feel that most sites have - I even make a few attempts at humor myself from time to time. The point of this site is to communicate, and many times using humor gets the message across to more people than some dry commentary would. I wish we could get away with more humor in our posts.

Anon sez - "Is there any other context that you would apply the logic that you are applying to airplanes?"

Of course, any time you are in a quality control situation you would apply the same logic. In many security environs you apply the same logic that is in evidence here at TSA. I come from a physical security background, so my idea of security is vastly different than many folks out there. I understand that the situation should dictate the level of security, and this is the case for airline security as well - the Head Shed determines the policy, the TSOs on the front line implement those determinations. Currently TSA operates pretty much under a one size fits all paradigm - there are good and bad points about this. Just like most folks that work at any job - most TSOs have policies they agree with, and disagree with - and in most cases it is for the same reasons, either they do not have all the information used to reach that decision, or they personally disagree with the final decision based on their own experiences.

And also sez - "3. Can you please identify the legal principle that requires that you inform law enforcement when you do find small amounts of marijuana?"

I do not have a specific USC or regulation that I can provide for that particular information, but the training and leadership coaching here at TSA has always been the exact same message for me - Do not look specifically for anything that is not a threat, however if you happen to find what appears to be illegal substances while looking for a threat item, stop and notify the LEOs. That is the same policy that has been posted here at the blog and has been consistent during my time here at TSA.

West
TSA Blog Team

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