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TSA Week in Review: 43 Firearms, an Inert Claymore Mine, and More

Friday, June 14, 2013
Loaded Firearm (ATL)

Loaded Firearm (ATL)

43 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 43 firearms, 36 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Inert Claymore Mine and Grenade (SJC)

Inert Claymore Mine and Grenade (SJC)

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks 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 in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

Grenades Discovered at (L-R) MGM, ROC, CRP, LAS

Grenades Discovered at (L-R) MGM, ROC, CRP, LAS

  • An inert Claymore mine was discovered in a checked bag at San Jose (SJC).
  • Two inert M60 timed blasting fuses were discovered in checked baggage at Savannah (SAV).
  • Five inert/novelty/replica grenades were discovered this week. Three were in carry-on bags at Las Vegas (LAS), Corpus Christi (CRP), and Montgomery (MGM). Two were discovered in checked baggage at Rochester (ROC), and San Jose (SJC).
Two inert M60 timed blasting fuses

Inert M60 Timed Blasting Fuses (SAV)

Stun Guns - 11 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at San Diego (SAN), and the others were found at Birmingham (BHM), Denver (DEN), Grand Rapids (GRR), Jacksonville (JAX), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Reno (RNO), San Juan (SJU), and Sacramento (SMF).

Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LAX, DEN, JAX, LAS

Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LAX, DEN, JAX, LAS

Starter Pistol

Starter Pistol (BUF)

On your mark, get set, stop! - A starter pistol was discovered in a carry-on bag at Buffalo (BUF).

Bang Stick (KOA)

Bang Stick (KOA)

Bang Stick - A .44 caliber bang stick was detected in the carry-on bag of a Kona (KOA) passenger. For anyone who uses these, please note that they are prohibited in carry-on bags.

Items in the Strangest Places - It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.

Knife in Hard Drive (BHM) - Razorblade in Shoe (HNL)

Knife in Hard Drive (BHM) - Razorblade in Shoe (HNL)

  • Three cane swords were discovered this week. Two were discovered at Los Angeles (LAX), and the other at Long Beach (LGB).
  • A multi tool was discovered concealed inside of a computer hard drive at Birmingham (BHM).
  • A razorblade was discovered concealed in the shoe of a Honolulu (HNL) passenger.
  • Pepper spray designed to look like a lipstick case was discovered in Phoenix (PHX).
  • A small knife was discovered in a shoe at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).
Sword Canes Discovered at (Top to Bottom) LAX, LGB, LAX

Sword Canes Discovered at (Top to Bottom) LAX, LGB, LAX

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:

  • After alarming advanced imaging technology, a Houston (HOU) passenger stated: “I am packing a bomb.” She wasn’t.
Knives Discovered at (L-R) EWR, SJC, LAX, EWR, LGB

Knives Discovered at (L-R) EWR, SJC, LAX, EWR, LGB

Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)

Pepper Spray Lipstick (PHX)

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…

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags

Loaded Guns Discovered in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) FLL, ATL, AUS, BNA, IAD, LAX, PVD, FAT

Loaded Guns Discovered in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) HOU, JAX, MIA, JAX, SDF

Loaded Guns Discovered in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) BWI, ATL, AUS, DAL, DEN, TLH, DEN

Loaded Guns Discovered in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) CHO, TUL, LAS

Loaded Guns Discovered in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) ABQ, TPA, AUS, FAY, LAX, TPA

43 Firearms Discovered This Week -Of the 43 firearms, 36 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered.

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. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $7,500.00. 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, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post highlighting the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012. The 2011 list can be found here.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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

And, as always, nothing found with your naked body scanners. Why do you use those things again? Sure isn't making anyone safer.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I look forward to the latested update from TSA. When I hear people grumbling in the security lines at the airport, I wonder if they have any idea of the items that your people find daily. Much less the stress that comes a long with it. You can never tell a terrorist from an unassuming traveler. I say keep up the good work.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I exited the Land of the Free a couple of days ago at IAD. Just a prepared elder, with everything sensitive on the scanner belt, who was directed to the body scanner. Where a woman in uniform kept shouting "Take everything out of your pockets" - over and over. So I did, and put them on the floor.

Two handkerchiefs and a comb, my passport and paper boarding pass. On the floor. I am then told "Hold them in your hands and hold them up" OK, I complied. The offending items are then examined by another agent, who carefully unfolded the clean handkerchief as if it was going to explode {he didn't want to touch the used one] and attempted to bend the comb.

This is the first time, as a very regular visitor to the USA, I have ever been annoyed by TSA. Why did this woman keep shouting the same message without explaining what she was trying to achieve? Why was my snotty handkerchief not a risk?

Stupid x 567. Communicate clearly, then people might understand. Shouting the same unclear instruction helps nobody, and as a Brit I do [vaguely] speak the same language. I have massive sympathy for those for whom English is not their first language - but then that applies to TSA Agents as well, doesn't it.

Submitted by Claudia Tonella on

Are trekking poles allow with the carryon luggage?

Submitted by Anonymous on

The Claymore is scary! Wish they had shot a better photo of it with "Front, Toward the Enemy". This shot does not look much like the one that inbedded a pellet in my R Shoulder in 1965...(Training Accident in W Germany).

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why can I not post a comment?????

Submitted by Anonymous on

45 !!!!!

I win the office pool!!!


"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

See ya next Friday...

Submitted by Anonymous on

And yet another TSA screener arrested for a child sex crime.

TSA welcomes Miguel Quinones to the role of other screeners now sitting in prison.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ref TSA’s Public Transit Benefit Program Manager... Why does TSA need a dedicated manager for a program to assist TSA employees in getting to and from work locations? I worked for the federal government for almost 40 years and never once did anyone have to provide me assistance in getting to and from work nor did I expect any assistance. If this program is as it appears, may I suggest it is another example of TSA waste of Tax Payers' dollars.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Ref TSA’s Public Transit Benefit Program Manager... Why does TSA need a dedicated manager for a program to assist TSA employees in getting to and from work locations? I worked for the federal government for almost 40 years and never once did anyone have to provide me assistance in getting to and from work nor did I expect any assistance. If this program is as it appears, may I suggest it is another example of TSA waste of Tax Payers' dollars.


June 15, 2013 at 2:54 AM
/////////////////////

Just demonstrates the lack of abilities of TSA employees.

Submitted by RB on

43 firearms this past week, 32 the week before.

I think this proves that TSA is not a deterrent to terrorist. With an $8 Billion dollar budget you would think TSA would be more effective yet they waste our time and their manpower on things that have absolutely nothing to do with security, such as Gate Screening, TSA clerks walking around the terminals, and other wasteful functions.

But TSA does nothing to lock the back door and continues to allow airport workers full access to airport secure areas and they are not screened in any manner.

Why are we wasting $8 Billion dollars each year on TSA?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why did a TSO determine that a blue cane with a silver handle was a threat? It did not have any hidden knives or swords in it.

Submitted by Wilfred on

A little delay, a small pen-knife confiscated may irk some passengers but in the long run they have to appreciate that these small losses and inconveniences are needed if air-travel is to be SAFE for all.!

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am supposed to be impressed that you guys are violating the second and fourth amendments? Give me a break. And I am sure if I posted what I really though of you guys the comment would be removed violating my first amendment rights. Congratulations on your continued success in dismantling the constitution.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Wilfred said...

"A little delay, a small pen-knife confiscated may irk some passengers but in the long run they have to appreciate that these small losses and inconveniences are needed if air-travel is to be SAFE for all.!"

Wilfred, exactly how is this needed to make air travel safe? (hint: it isn't, and it doesn't)

Submitted by Anonymous on

Wilfred, the seizure of anyone's property by the government is more than an inconvenience. The confiscation of items that even the TSA recognizes are not a threat to aviation safety is more an inconvenience. It's unnecessary and unconstitutional.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I don't understand all the complaining about TSA. Privacy is a PRIVILEGE. After the disaster of 9/11 it has been administered by TSA according to law.

Get over it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, I would appreciate any comments you might have concerning the treatment of Mr Mark Frauenfelder's Daughter while traveling through LAX. You might also explain what gives TSA employees the right to question, judge, or criticize someone's attire.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

" Privacy is a PRIVILEGE."

No, privacy is a right granted to us by the 4th Amendment:

"Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

9/11 did NOT abrogate the Fourth Amendment, although the TSA would like us to believe that it did.

screen shot

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous said...
I don't understand all the complaining about TSA. Privacy is a PRIVILEGE. After the disaster of 9/11 it has been administered by TSA according to law.

Get over it.

June 17, 2013 at 2:27 PM

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

I don't think I have seen a more ignorant statement on the TSA Blog.

AMENDMENT IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

There are no exceptions to this amendment regardless of what some misguided jurist have decided. American has forfeited their rights in order to "feel" safe when flying. Be sure, TSA makes us no safer than before 9/11, but they do trample on the United States Constitution.

Submitted by Anonymous on
"After alarming advanced imaging technology, a Houston (HOU) passenger stated: 'I am packing a bomb.' She wasn’t."

If she didn't have a bomb, why did the body scanner alarm?

Yet another false positive generated by body scanners?

Screen shot.
Submitted by Anonymous on
"...what gives TSA employees the right to question, judge, or criticize someone's attire."

About time someone took on the job of letting people know what is expected of them as far as dress, manners and attitude go. There was no force or threat in the incident. Just a kindly comment. That should be sufficient for most people to get the message.
Submitted by Anonymous on

Privacy in the USA is a RIGHT, NOT a privilege. Apparently someone needs to be reminded to read our Constitution before making factually wrong comments.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Still no use whatsoever for full body scanners.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Since I see it posted numerous times, over and over, I think it's important to remember that TSA doesn't confiscate anything. You have options, now if you showed up late to the airport, and don't have time to go check a bag, or put the item in your car, that's your issue. You choose to leave the item with TSA, they don't TAKE it. Now if its an illegal item, and law enforcement shows up and takes it, that is a completely different deal...

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"I don't understand all the complaining about TSA. Privacy is a PRIVILEGE. After the disaster of 9/11 it has been administered by TSA according to law."

Wrong. Privacy is a basic human right, enshrined not only by the US and upheld by case law, but also acknowledged as such by the UN.

Also, TSA has exceeded it's mandate on countless occasions, so you're wrong on that count, too.

"Get over it."

That is hardly a useful comment, but I guess I shouldn't expect any more than that from a TSApologist.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...

"...what gives TSA employees the right to question, judge, or criticize someone's attire."

About time someone took on the job of letting people know what is expected of them as far as dress, manners and attitude go. There was no force or threat in the incident. Just a kindly comment. That should be sufficient for most people to get the message.

____

If this is the case, I declare that TSA employees look so terrible in their uniforms that I'm offended. I'm offended my tax dollars are spent on such unflattering uniforms. TSA is on notice that their dress is inappropriate. Don't even get me started on manners and attitude. Officiousness is also quite offensive to those of us who just want to get on a plane.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Actually, Anonymous, there have been several incidents where screeners don't know the rules and take items from passengers without giving the passengers info they need to know about keeping their possessions.

Also, even when one arrives 2-2.5 hrs before his flight, the securiry line can be so mismanaged as to leave the passenger no time to go back to his car (if he drove) and go through the too-long line again.

Often, if the item is inexpensive or has no sentimental value, a passenger will "allow" a screener to confiscate an item (under duress or pressure) rather than face an irate screener or intrusive groping/pornoscanning again

Submitted by Anonymous on
...someone needs to be reminded to read our Constitution..."

The American constitution is a dated document. If you really read it you find that progress has made the document a guide rather than a law. The government grants rights according to its needs.
Submitted by @SkyWayManAz on

Anonymous said...

"Why did this woman keep shouting the same message without explaining what she was trying to achieve?"

This has been a long running complaint against TSA, screeners that have people skill problems. When you don't understand they may take that as defiance and get nasty. I do my best to smile anyway but it is not a pleasant experience. Besides doing nothing to improve air safety it needlessly creates a confrontational situation. That focuses attention away from other passengers and sometimes drags other screeners in as well.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Anonymous said...
Since I see it posted numerous times, over and over, I think it's important to remember that TSA doesn't confiscate anything. You have options... You choose to leave the item with TSA, they don't TAKE it.

And the mugger didn't "take" your wallet- you chose to "give" it to them.

Free clue- a 'choice' under duress is no choice.

Submitted by Lee Stanford on

I am a frequent traveler, a trusted traveler and a fan of proper security measures. For all of you who are not impressed with the TSA postings of found items, think for a moment the potential impact had those items not been found.

Seeing pictures of things people try to get on the planes which are phrohibited should make you quickly realize that many people try to get away with a lot. And those are the ones who were caught. Consider it a lesson on what to look for.

Yes, I hate long lines, but until there is a better method developed, this is what we are dealing with. Some have said that the TSA blog area is just for TSA people which is just not true.

Be aware that our freedom comes at a price. Being able to get from EWR to LAX in 5 hours is a freedom, not a right. Having to get to the airport 2 hours ahead of departure is a requirement because the TSA has to deal with many travelers who do not listen and do not care about delaying others.

The TSA is protecting our freedom to travel safely, you really don't need to peel that onion back any further :)

I would like to comment about an opportunity for improvement to the TSA: Enforce your 'no personal banter between agents while on duty' as I am seeing many more instances of this at EWR (C3) and ORD (UA). This distracting banter between agents gives everyone the impression that they are not really paying attention to the assigned task.
Supervisors at those named areas need to park their butts out on the floor and watch the interactions carefully, pulling an agent aside and quietly calling for an improvement when needed.

At any one time, there may be 150 pair of eyes on one agent who is screaming across the zone to another agent. All we ask as travelers is that TSA remains fair and professional. The latter seems to be trailing off and I blame the supervisors and higher up team leaders. Get out of your office and watch from the travelers side please.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"...For all of you who are not impressed with the TSA postings of found items, think for a moment the potential impact had those items not been found."

TSA has been shown to miss 70% of guns at the security checkpoint. What do you think of THAT potential impact?

Submitted by Anonymous on
Anonymous said...
"...For all of you who are not impressed with the TSA postings of found items, think for a moment the potential impact had those items not been found."

TSA has been shown to miss 70% of guns at the security checkpoint. What do you think of THAT potential impact?


________________________

73.6% of all statistics are made up...


Oh.. wait..
Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"TSA has been shown to miss 70% of guns at the security checkpoint. What do you think of THAT potential impact?
________________________

73.6% of all statistics are made up..."

If you are implying that the 70% statistic is not a factual number, then you are wrong. TSA freely admits that it's failure rate was, at one point, 70%. Coupled with the Nov 2011 GAO report that says the failure rate has been fairly constant over time, we can logically conclude that the failure rate is, in fact, still right around 70%. This is not a made up number, as you implied.

Besides, everyone knows that it's 93.2% of statistics that are made up, not 73.6 ;)