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TSA Week in Review: Loaded Gun Concealed in Carry-on Bag Charlotte (CLT)

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Friday, November 30, 2012
A 45. caliber pistol loaded with seven rounds and a round in the chamber was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Charlotte (CLT).

Pistol discovered under lining of  carry-on bag at (CLT)
























Items in the Strangest Places–It’s important to check your bags prior to traveling. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places. 

  • A 45. caliber pistol loaded with seven rounds and a round in the chamber was discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Charlotte (CLT).
  • A two inch knife was detected under the sole of a shoe at Salt Lake City (SLC).
  • Two belt buckle knives were discovered this week at Fresno (FAT), and Rapid City (RAP).
  • A cane sword was discovered at Baton Rouge (BTR).

Loaded 45. caliber pistol discovered hidden under the lining of a carry-on bag at Charlotte (CLT). Two inch knife detected under sole of shoe at Salt Lake City (SLC). Belt buckle knife discovered at Fresno (FAT). A cane sword discovered at Baton Rouge (BTR).

Live flash bang grenade was discovered in the checked baggage of a passenger at Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS).


















Inert Ordnance and Grenades Etc. –We continue to find inerthand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an itemlooks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays. I know they are cool novelty items, but it is best not to take them on a plane.  Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

  • A live flash bang grenade was discovered in the checked baggage of a passenger at Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS). Along with the grenade were 20 rounds of improperly packaged 7.62mm ammunition. After a 42-minute evacuation, checked baggage operations resumed.
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Las Vegas (LAS). 
Inert grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Las Vegas (LAS).
















Powder horn with approximately 3 ounces of black powder discovered at Little Rock (LIT).














Powder Horn– A powder horn with approximately 3 ounces of black powder was discovered in a carry-on bag at Little Rock (LIT). 
 
DIY Gadgets– Do it yourself (DIY) gadgets can often look like improvised explosive devices both on and off the X-ray monitor. Please take a moment to think about what you’re traveling with and how it might appear to TSA. You can read here and here about why homemade gadgets can cause problems.

A pair of shoes with wires attached to the heels, LAX.




























  • A pair of shoes with wires attached to the heels (see photo) caused some concern at LAX. It turns out the shoes are designed to store energy.
  • An odd item was discovered in checked baggage at Newark (EWR). It was a piece of cardboard folded in half with Styrofoam in the middle attached with wires to aluminum foil on the ends. Turns out it was a contact switch for surveillance video.

What Not to Say at an Airport – Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:

  • A passenger at Miami (MIA) told the ticketing representative that he had a bag full of dynamite. Five flights were delayed for a total of 4 hours, 56 minutes affecting 1,027 passengers. The passenger was arrested on a state charge.
  • After a gate agent at Orlando (MCO) informed a passenger she could not get her checked luggage out of the plane, the passenger stated: “Well what if I had put a bomb in it? Can I get it back then?”

Stun Guns –  Six stun guns were discovered this week in a carry-on bags around the nation: Atlanta (ATL), Harlingen (HRL), Orlando (MCO), Denver (DEN), Baltimore (BWI), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), and Jacksonville (JAX)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items -In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, Airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things -- to mention a few… 

Ammunition, spiked rings, and bottle rockets.





















Firearms - Here are pictures of some of the firearms our Officers found in carry-on baggage since I posted last Friday. See a complete list below.  

Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns
Loaded Guns


24 loaded guns discovered this week. 2 unloaded guns found.

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.






If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.


Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mr. Burns, I see that you had the time to post this piece, yet you have failed to post any of the comments to the PreCheck piece.

And just why would that be?

[Screenshot taken. Letters to Congress in the works urging funding cuts to TSA social media team as it clearly provides little value for the buck.]

Submitted by Skol on

Why is there not a system in place whereby you cannot purchase tickets without passing a small test on travelers protocol- What you cannot carry on any flight anywhere and how not to behave, air rage, intoxication, talk of bombs etc. ? I am sure some people are so dumb they would never think unless the obvious was pointed out.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Are you going to do a post about the TSA's refusal to appear before the Congressional Subcommittee on Aviation?

Submitted by Anonymous on

So why do you need those horride body scanners again?

Submitted by RB on

Finding weapons is TSA's job. We understand that.

Why does finding weapons require TSA screener to feel our genitals?

Why does screening for weapons subject the traveler to rude TSA employees.

Do TSA employees have to identify themselves when asked?

Is it proper TSA policy for TSA employees to wear identity badges/cards upside down so it is hard to read the name on the item?

When will TSA address the disgusting personal attack carried out by TSA employee Blogger Bob? Certainly was not a display of professionalism.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Bob, I'm wondering why you list only the TSA Week in Review as "popular posts for the last 30 days" when other threads garner far more comments, i.e., Amy Alkon?

The one exception would be the "steampunk" thread - and the reason that got so many comments was that the TSA messed up yet again.

screen shot

Submitted by Bob Burns (TSA ... on

Susan,

The most popular posts are populated automatically based on the amount of page views. Less than 1% of our readers leave comments by the way...

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

with the new luggage boarding apparatus and software, suspect luggage want even get close to being boarding on a plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Skol.....

why isn't there a system in place where you cannot be a TSA agent unless you have common sense, do not get power highs, and can act like a civilized human being to innocent people being pushed to the brink by a power drunk government too PC to go after the real problems......

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...
The most popular posts are populated automatically based on the amount of page views.

...which is why you quickly get the 'juicy' stories off the front page- front page stories get many more views than second or third (etc) page stories. And then you can "honestly" say that certain stories "aren't popular" or 'obviously aren't important'... based on page views.

I wonder what would happen if someone made a script that would repeatedly load the juicy pages, thus driving them to the top of the list. Would you then change the definition of 'most popular' to ensure those stories stay hidden?

Submitted by RB on

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

The most popular posts are populated automatically based on the amount of page views. Less than 1% of our readers leave comments by the way...

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 1, 2012 11:17 AM
.............................

I'm not calling this answer false but I do question it.

Tell us Bob how many page views did the Amy Alkon thread get in comparison to the Safety Razors and Disposable Razors which is listed the Popular Post list.

Submitted by Tat on

What does TSA do with all the confiscated guns and fun stuff?

Submitted by RB on

Seems TSA continues to impress people who choose to travel by commercial air. There is no way to know what indignity TSA will heap on the public from hour to hour and minute to minute. The TSA Blog had a commenter who promised to provide the rules people must abide by when transiting a TSA Check Point. Of course that person disappeared from sight after making that promise.


TSA: A tale of sexual assault

"Here's the latest example of an arbitrary, unnecessary and appallingly invasive U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) "patdown." I had the unfortunate experience of enduring such a procedure - which more appropriately can be called a sexual assault - on Nov. 25 at the Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk, Va. I was returning from Norfolk to Washington, D.C."

Submitted by Bob Burns (TSA ... on

RB - The most popular posts are based on the past 30 days. So, here are the stats for each of the posts for the last 30 days.

Safety Razors and Disposable Razors - 17,122 total page views.

Here We Go Again...Amy Alkon - 5,636

It should be noted that the razor post went live in 2008 and has not been on the front page in quite some time.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob,

Since you appear to be in a question answering mood, are TSA screeners required to identify themselves if asked? Thanks.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

I see you are being disingenuous again, Bob. You tried to compare the Amy Alkon thread to one that has been up, by your own admission, for 4 years! (The date that is currently on that thread is 2010 so you must have reposted it.)

Further, the subject of what kind of razor blades are allowable is one that is of interest to many male flyers - can I take my safety razor or not?

Tell us how many views the Items in the Strangest Places or the Pen Pistol had compared to Alkon.

screen shot

Submitted by RB on

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...
RB - The most popular posts are based on the past 30 days. So, here are the stats for each of the posts for the last 30 days.

Safety Razors and Disposable Razors - 17,122 total page views.

Here We Go Again...Amy Alkon - 5,636

It should be noted that the razor post went live in 2008 and has not been on the front page in quite some time.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 2, 2012 10:37 PM

................

Popular Posts for the Last 30 Days

Safety Razors and Disposable Razors

Odd Watch Discovered at Oakland (OAK): Steampunk Art or Potential Threat?

TSA 2012 Holiday Travel Tips & News

Gel, Aerosol, and Stick Deodorant: Which can I take in my carryon luggage?

TSA Week in Review: Items in the Strangest Places

................

So you want us to believe that a post from 2008 is more popular and has had more page hits over the last 30 days than the Amy Alkon thread has had.

When Pigs Fly!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Really, Bob, the thread on razors got 17,000 hits in the last 30 days?

Some how I don't think that is quite accurate.

screen shot.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I can understand not being tech savvy but some of the comments here are just plain loony. The widget that populates the most popular blog posts based off of blog views in the past 30 days is created by Blogger. You can use it yourself on any blog using Blogger. Don’t believe me, start a blogger blog yourself and see the widgets for yourself. If you have a problem with the widget, take it up with Google. Google is a very independent company from TSA. Since you’re in a question & answering mood Bob, how do you keep from rolling your eyes?

Screen shot taken for some reason (is this an auto signature?)

-IT guy

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

So if I *DONT* have a loaded, or otherwise concealed, weapon or other prohibited item and I ask for the Agents name and Badge number is the Agent required to provide that information?

If I ask for a supervisor will I receive retaliatory screening and get the 'enhanced patdown?'

If I ask the supervisor to identify an Agent by name and Badge number will they comply with the request?

And if I refuse the nice man asking to 'test' my beverage that I bought on the 'secure' side of the checkpoint what are the potential consequences?

Submitted by Anonymous on

@IT Guy

It's fairly obvious that you didn't understand the crux of the issue with the razor thread.

No one is disputing that the widgets count correctly.

The core of the matter is that the readers are not being told how many hits that thread got in the last 30 days when the thread has been up since 2008.

Bob has give us the number of hits over the lifetime of the thread.

screen shot

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "No one is disputing that the widgets count correctly.

The core of the matter is that the readers are not being told how many hits that thread got in the last 30 days when the thread has been up since 2008.

Bob has give us the number of hits over the lifetime of the thread."

This is not correct, the widget gives you the top 5 threads based on hits over the last 30 days, not all time. Many of the older threads get hits based on search engines pulling them out based on tags and subject searches. The list you see are the threads that have the most hits over the last 30 days. I hope that cleared up any confusion that may have been generated.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
@IT Guy

It's fairly obvious that you didn't understand the crux of the issue with the razor thread.

No one is disputing that the widgets count correctly.

The core of the matter is that the readers are not being told how many hits that thread got in the last 30 days when the thread has been up since 2008.

Bob has give us the number of hits over the lifetime of the thread.

screen shot

December 4, 2012 7:42 AM
.................
I think the bottom line is that Bob understood the question and in turn gave a disingenuous answer to the question.

Bob claims he didn't try to move the TSA Personal Attack on Amy Alkon off the front page when it is clear that is exactly what happened and he didn't give an honest answer to the question regarding the last 30 days popular threads.

This is a perfect example of why TSA is not trusted by the public.

Kinda like trying to get an answer to the question do TSA employees have to identify themselves when requested or if it is proper procedure for TSA employees to wear identity badges/cards in a manner to make them hard to be read.

TSA is dishonest, TSA employees are dishonest.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So, then, West, why doesn't Bob just tell us the number of hits each of the top threads has received?

It's really very simple.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've not seen so much negativism against a federal agency. The TSA is no more corrupt or incompetent than other agencies. None hire the best and brightest and they a all protected by some union that guarantees immunity for dismissal. Management is advanced by their ability to statistically satisfy whimsical goals which are created by people that have little interest in effective organization.

Give the TSA a break.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Give the TSA a break."

I will not help you in your 'Race to the Bottom.'

Why should I give the TSA a break simply because they are no worse than any other Federal Agency? Why would I lower my standards for any of them? Wouldn't it be better to raise the standards and expectation for and towards the other agencies?

Raise the Bar.

Submitted by Anonymous on

This blog is supposed to share information about TSA. If TSA is really committed to sharing information, why did TSA refuse to attend the House aviation subcommittee hearing last week? Given that Congress has control over federal spending, it seems that sharing information with a Congressional subcommittee would have been productive for all involved parties. Skipping the hearing suggests that TSA is not interested in sharing information--nor is it interested in coordination with other federal entities or in presenting itself professionally in its dealings with other federal entities.

Also, the guns, grenades, etc. could have been found with walk-through metal detectors. Groping, naked pictures, and radiation are not necessary to find such items.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
I've not seen so much negativism against a federal agency. Give the TSA a break.

December 4, 2012 6:51 PM

.........................
Anon, don't you think there is a reason that TSA receives the negative responses from the public.

I didn't just wake up one day hating on TSA. A TSA employee tried to steal from me and I believe one was on the verge of hitting me but TSA management did not have the courtesy of responding to my complaints.

Heck, the public can't even get TSA to tell us if TSA employees have to identify themselves when requested. Is that an agency that is trying to work with the public? I think not!

TSA did nothing to answer my complaints and for that I will stay on TSA's case until either I can't write anymore or TSA is reformed.

Apparently it must have been two more cases of TSA employees following proper procedures since that is the stock answer from TSA on all complaints.

TSA has worked very hard to get the disgusting reputation it has yet TSA is doing nothing to change that reputation.

Submitted by @SkyWayManAz on

I guess the knife in the shoe story explains why my last trip thru security the arch inserts in my shoes were removed and crudely stuffed back in. I will fully concede that there may have been an issue on the X-ray that required additional screening to resolve. My only concern is that it was done behind my back. It was my understanding that if passenger items needed a secondary inspection the passenger should always be present to witness it. My iPad, iPhone and wallet were all right next to my shoes in the bin. Nothing was missing but what if I falsely claimed your screener took something? There was an overhead security camera bubble there so assuming it was recording the video would have shown a screener tampering with my property in the bin while I was waiting to be screened. Given the amount of theft TSA screeners have been accused of I find it idiotic they would have naively done that behind my back. Makes me wonder how often that has been done and I didn't notice.

Submitted by RB on

"Port Authority cops on Tuesday busted a crooked 32-year-old TSA screener for stealing iPads and laptops from checked baggage at JFK Airport as part of a sting into the increasing problem of sticky-fingered screeners."

===========================

How is TSA protecting the public from the ongoing crime wave of TSA Thieves?

Why are TSA employees not searched when departing areas where they have access to others property. It is crystal clear that TSA employees cannot be trusted.

Why won't TSA acknowledge that a person who can remove something from a checked bag also could place contraband in the same baggage?

Do TSA employees have to identify themselves when requested?

Submitted by Bob Burns (TSA ... on

Many of our readers have asked if our officers are required to give their full name when asked by a passenger. Hopefully I can provide some clarification.

If asked, our officers are only required to provide their last name and rank. This information is printed on the nameplate on every officer’s uniform. Furthermore, supervisors, managers, and customer support managers are not required to provide the officer’s full name.

As far as the photo ID badge on the officer’s uniform, this is a badge that all airport employees must wear. It’s called a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. Basically, it’s a badge that allows employees access to non-public areas. One side of the badge has the employee’s full name on it. Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges vs. a name badge. This is permissible.

If at any time you need to file a kudos or complaint regarding one of our officers, the only information you need for us to be able to recognize an employee or resolve an issue is:

Last Name/Rank/Date/Time/Location

Our officers have a right to privacy, and TSA has the responsibility of protecting our officers from the harassment that could result from revealing their full names.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wait a minute, at some TDC stations passengers are required to state their full names, but TSOs are not required to give their full names. This is for privacy reasons??? And somehow this makes sense to the TSA? The privacy of the screener is more important than the privacy of the citizen?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"one side of the badge has the employee's full name...."

Which side, Bob, the front or the back?

Are TSA employees allowed to turn the badge/nameplate/whatever around/upside down so that their identifying information is not visible?

screen shot

Submitted by RB on

Our officers have a right to privacy, and TSA has the responsibility of protecting our officers from the harassment that could result from revealing their full names.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 6, 2012 9:42 AM
..............
I have just as much right to privacy as any TSA employee so why do I have to furnish an ID to TSA just to fly on a commercial airplane?

Why do I have to pronounce my name in a public setting for all to hear when it is clearly printed on my boarding pass?

Why do I even need to provide that boarding pass or ID to TSA since doing so is in no way associated with screening for Weapons, Explosives, or other prohibited items?

TSA expects us to honor their employees rights when the public is not allowed those same rights.

Another example of an out of control agency.

Time has come to end TSA's Reign of Terror!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob,

I guess we'll have to keep taking pictures of TSA screeners to back up the "last name only" policy you outlined above.

I'm sure screeners won't mind waiting while we gather our belongings and get our cameras out to take these photos, right?

I'm sure screeners won't tell us we "aren't allowed" to take photos, since you have stated quite clearly it isn't against TSA policy for citizens to take pictures, right?

Submitted by Anonymous on

>> Our officers have a right to privacy

Actually, Mr. Burns, as public officers, while on the job, TSOs do not have any such right to privacy, much as cops on duty have no such expectation.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/supreme-court-recording-police_...

Also, I find it amusing that you apparently see no irony in stating that your colleagues have a right to privacy as they intimately feel up the passengers who are paying their paychecks.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...
Many of our readers have asked if our officers are required to give their full name when asked by a passenger. Hopefully I can provide some clarification.


Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 6, 2012 9:42 AM


Why did such an question take two weeks for TSA to figure out an answer?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The reading comprehension level of the posters here explains why they have so much trouble with screeners.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If TSA had any leadership those leaders would know how to solve this issue.

Issue each and every TSA employee an identifying employee code to be used in cases where the public needs to identify the TSA employee.

Problem is that TSA has no leadership.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"Anonymous said...
If TSA had any leadership those leaders would know how to solve this issue.
Issue each and every TSA employee an identifying employee code to be used in cases where the public needs to identify the TSA employee.
Problem is that TSA has no leadership.
December 6, 2012 11:39 AM"

This is a good idea. If the screeners are only required to give their last name and "rank" (don't you mean job title?), then they should provide their employee ID number or other unique ID number. You wouldn't want the "wrong" screener to get in trouble, would you, Bob?
Submitted by RB on

When some TSA screener has had their hands in someones crotch I think any claims to privacy for the TSA screener have been absolved.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

This information is printed on the nameplate on every officer’s uniform.

Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges vs. a name badge. This is permissible.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

December 6, 2012 9:42 AM

.................

Which above statement is true?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, thank you for answering the question regarding screeners being required to provide their last name and rank. Is this policy more, less, or about as well known among the screening corps as TSA's policy regarding filming at the checkpoint and TSA's policy regarding not stealing from passengers?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm concerned about the privacy rights for passengers. Why do we have to provide a photo ID that lists our full names to get through security? This check really doesn't do anything since online boarding passes can be easily photoshopped. The person checking ID's at the checkpoint isn't comparing names to any no fly list. Yet they get to see a passenger's name and likely their home address.

Why does a passenger have to give up so much personal information when a public worker has to give up so little? Statisically speaking, a passenger is far more likely to get robbed or assaulted by a TSA worker then killed by a terrorist.

Submitted by Anonymous on
If asked, our officers are only required to provide their last name and rank. This information is printed on the nameplate on every officer’s uniform. Furthermore, supervisors, managers, and customer support managers are not required to provide the officer’s full name.

So if an officer refuses and then walks away, the passenger is out of luck,as the manager doesn't need to provide the information

Thanks Bob for proving the TSA is a less than professional organization and tolerates less than professional actions by its employees.
Submitted by Anonymous on

"If at any time you need to file a kudos or complaint regarding one of our officers, the only information you need for us to be able to recognize an employee or resolve an issue is:

Last Name/Rank/Date/Time/Location"

---------------------------------

And if an "officer" refuses to give this information what are our options?

We file a complaint and the TSA gets to say there isn't enough information.

Thanks Bob....

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA in action:

Passenger: "I'd like to file a complaint"

TSA: " OK, we need the officers Last Name/Rank/Date/Time/Location"

Passenger: "But the officer refused to provide me with his last name and rank"

TSA: "sucks to be you" (laughing)"

Submitted by RB on

How much did this TSA Boondoggle cost the taxpayers?

TSA honors its outstanding employees Tuesday


"Some of the Transportation Security Administration employees who were honored during the Eighth Annual TSA Awards Ceremony Tuesday at the Kaua‘i Marriott Resort and Beach Club."

TSA felt it good use of our tax dollars to fly TSA employees to Hawaii for an awards ceremony?

Really?

Submitted by Bob Burns (TSA ... on

CORRECTION:

Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges so their full name is not visible. This is permissible.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blogger Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) said...

CORRECTION:

Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges so their full name is not visible. This is permissible.

Thanks,

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

_______________________________

So, they do not have to wear a name plate, and can rely on the SIDA badge as ID. But, they can also obscure their SIDA badge so their name is not visible. So, they do NOT have to provide their last name and rank?

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