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TSA Two Weeks in Review (11/01/13 - 11/14/13)

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Friday, November 15, 2013
Loaded Firearm (IDA)

Loaded Firearm (IDA)

75 Firearms Discovered in the Past Two Weeks - Of the 75 firearms, 66 were loaded and 19 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).

Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).

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. While they may be novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

  • Two inert C4 demolition explosives were discovered in the carry-on bag of a passenger at Honolulu (HNL).
  • An inert grenade was detected in the carry-on bag at Spokane (GEG).
  • 12 Airsoft grenades and two Airsoft flash grenades were discovered in checked baggage at Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP).

Stun Guns - 20 stun guns were discovered over the last two weeks in carry-on bags around the nation. Four were discovered in Denver (DEN), two in Atlanta (ATL), two in Burbank (BUR), two in Cleveland (CLE), two in Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder at Corpus Christi (CRP), Jackson (JAN), New York Kennedy (JFK), Las Vegas (LAS), Minneapolis (MSP), Richmond (RIC), Seattle (SEA), San Francisco (SFO).

 Cane Sword (CAK), Cane Sword (DTW), Dagger (BUR), Folding Saw (EWR)

Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Cane Sword (CAK), Cane Sword (DTW), Dagger (BUR), Folding Saw (EWR)

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - 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 or on your body, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from the past two weeks where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A cane sword with a 16-inch blade was discovered at Detroit (DTW).
  • A dagger belt buckle was discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW).
  • A credit card knife was discovered in Albuquerque (ABQ).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Saipan (GSN).
  • A knife, a multi-tool, and a credit card multi-tool were detected concealed inside the pull handle of a carry-on bag at Detroit (DTW)

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…

 Ammo Discovered at ONT, CMH, DTW

Left to Right: Ammo Discovered at ONT, CMH, DTW

Ammunition - When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked luggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Airsoft Gun (SNA)

Airsoft Gun (SNA)

Airsoft Guns - Airsoft guns were discovered in carry-on bags over the last two weeks at Myrtle Beach (MYR), Salt Lake City (SLC), Sacramento (SMF) and Orange County (SNA). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling With Airsoft Guns

Firearms Discovered in Carry-On Bags

 Firearms Discovered at ABQ, BNA, PHX, SAN, PIT, MIA

Top to Bottom - Left to Right: Firearms Discovered at ABQ, BNA, PHX, SAN, PIT, MIA

75 Firearms Discovered in the Past Two Weeks - Of the 75 firearms, 66 were loaded and 19 had rounds chambered.

*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.

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.

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.

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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.


Submitted by Anonymous on

And as always nothing found with your invasive, slow as molasses, and dangerous naked body scanners. When will you admit they're a failure and stop using them?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Mean while back in Congress they have just found out that the billion dollar BDO program is as effective as a Magic 8 Ball.

Submitted by Bubba on

Again, nothing found that requires the use of a full body scanner. These machines are invasive, slow, expensive and obviously innefective. Why do you still use them?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I'm sorry but what ever they may find is enough for me. If it keeps me safe then do what they must. People will do what they want in order to try to kill people.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Pistole has issues this threat in response to the GAO report on the BDO program and, hopefully, its elimination:

"“Defunding the program is not the answer,” he (John Pistole) said. “If we did that, if Congress did that, what I can envision is, there would be fewer passengers going through expedited screening, there would be increased pat-downs, there would be longer lines, and there would be more frustration by the traveling public.”

I know it's a waste of keystrokes to ask this, but just how would the elimination of the BDO program means fewer people would go through expedited screening and why would there be more pat downs?

Is Pistole saying that it's the BDOs at the airport that choose people for such screenings?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Anonymous on

Great job by the scanners at Washington Reagan this past week. After attending a funeral at Arlington my wife put 7 blank shells into my camera bag. My bag sailed thru X-Ray without a whisper and I found the shells in my bag after I got home. I'm glad that someone wasn't paying attention as the delays at the ID station had my rushing to meet my flight back to SDF.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Another useless blotter post. Anonymous from Nov 16 8:59am, these posts and TSA's procedures don't keep you safe. It's security theater at the cost of $8 Billion every year.

Think of it. 3,600,000 flyers in two weeks. TSA found 75 "dangerous items." They missed around 200 weapons over the past two weeks. So, .000076 of the passengers in the past two weeks brought a "dangerous item," and no planes fell out of the sky. Because none of the people who did have one of these "dangerous items" was a threat to aviation safety. And the number of people who brought "dangerous items" into an airport is statistically insignificant.

Remember, only a thousandths of one percent of flyers even try to bring a weapon into an airport. Yet, Bob trots out this blotter every week. No one in the past 12 years carrying a weapon found by TSA was a terrorist threatening planes. Yet, all flyers are treated as criminals.

Why is this blog so narrowly focused on non-threatening, rare events? You can't scare those of us who knows the truth and looked at the plain facts and numbers.

No planes fell out of the sky. Not because of the TSA. Because no one is trying to blowup a plane right now. Face it. The TSA is wasting billions of our tax dollars for absolutely no benefit to America.

Screen Shot

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am constantly amazed by the "stuff" people drag to the airport, be it intentional or accidental!

As far as BDO is concerned...(IMHO) it is one more line of defense, like the greeter at Walmart, Home Depot, etc.

Keep up the good work, Bob...there are many of us out here who appreciate the info!

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Two weeks worth of review.


Still nothing even remotely close to a terrorist.

Some pointy things.

But no bad guys.

Do keep trying, you'll find a terrorist eventually.

Submitted by Wintermute on

Anonymous said...
"I'm sorry but what ever they may find is enough for me. If it keeps me safe then do what they must."

Except it does not keep you safe. It only makes you feel safe. Experts claim that false sense of security actually makes us all LESS safe, not more.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I really want to know why a government agency confiscated a bunch of $20 bills from a traveler a few weeks ago, as revealed in one of your blog photos. Can't you research it? Travelers need to know what to expect at your security checkpoints. If it wasn't TSA that confiscated the money, who did? And how did they find the money at a TSA checkpoint? Are employees of other agencies working the checkpoints, too? Are they using TSA screening to search passengers for items that are not weapons, explosives, and incendiaries?

Submitted by Anonymous on
"..If it keeps me safe then do what they must..."

Body cavity search?

Be careful what you wish for.