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TSA Week in Review - Avalanche Control Charge Discovered in Carry-On Bag at Anchorage

Friday, February 21, 2014
Loaded Firearm (IND)

Loaded Firearm (IND)

Live Explosives Discovered in Anchorage - A homemade avalanche control charge was discovered in a carry-on bag at Anchorage (ANC). FBI responded and arrested the passenger.

26 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 26 firearms, 21 were loaded and threehad rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Belt Buckle Knife (SJC)

Belt Buckle Knife (SJC)

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 this week where prohibited items were found by our officers in strange places.

  • A bullet was discovered in the sole of a shoe at New York Kennedy (JFK).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at San Jose (SJC).
Knives Discovered at (L-R) SAN & MFE

Knives Discovered at (L-R) SAN & MFE

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…

Stun Guns - 16 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at LaGuardia (LGA), two more at Kansas City (MCI), and the remainder at Billings (BIL), Borinquen (BQN), Washington Dulles (IAD), Cleveland (CLE), Fayetteville (FAY), Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago Midway (MDW), Minot (MOT), Minneapolis - St. Paul (MSP), Phoenix (PHX), and Tucson (TUS).

Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LGA, MDW, BIL, PHX

Stun Guns Discovered at (L-R) LGA, MDW, BIL, PHX

Airsoft Guns - An Airsoft gun was discovered in a carry-on bag this week at Honolulu (HNL). 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

Airsoft Gun (HNL)

Airsoft Gun (HNL)

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags

Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) LAS, TPA, MCO, IAH, IAH, SAT, TUL, PDX

Firearms Discovered at (L-R / T-B) LAS, TPA, MCO, IAH, IAH, SAT, TUL, PDX

26 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 26 firearms, 21 were loaded and three had rounds chambered.

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, date is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not 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.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

I really enjoyed the 'people say the darndest things' section. Was I the only one? As a frequent traveller, reading your blog reminds me of why we need this level of security and also that people don't truly understand ths significance of what they say/do.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Are you certain the man involved in this incident was "arrested?" All media reports on this incident state:

"ATF officials confirm there was no "malicious intent" behind the device, but agents did find four similar devices in the man's home.

If the agency determines those are destructive, the man could face charges."

Not one article stated that he had been arrested.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by RB on

And another cut and paste weekly backpatter.

Would some original work be asking to much from the TSA Blog Team?

Submitted by DM on

I agree with the post made by Anonymous on February 21, 2014. the "people say the darndest things" section was my personal favorite.

Submitted by Anonymous on

If only three weapons had rounds in the chamber then only three were loaded not 21. A round in the magazine will not hurt you. Three loaded not 21.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "If only three weapons had rounds in the chamber then only three were loaded not 21. A round in the magazine will not hurt you. Three loaded not 21."

Every Drill Sergeant I had would beg to differ with you. According to them, any weapon that has a round in it (magazine or chamber)is considered loaded. For the purposes of record keeping, most LEO organizations and TSA count a weapon with rounds in it (magazine or chamber) as loaded.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Firearms safety at a shooting club that I belonged to and the county sheriff's office that issued my carry permit also consider a firearm with any round in the magazine OR a round in the chamber to be loaded.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Of course you do, West. Of course you do.

Did you count the toy gun Farbstein is crowing about as a good catch in this week's blotter? Maybe you can ask her what size this "scary" bright red and blue six-shooter was? I mean, if it over 1/8" long, it's obviously a weapon of mass destruction!

Do you blotter team people have weekly conference calls or something?

Submitted by Anonymous on

nice post.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Bob, please present proof that the FBI arrested the man who had the avalanche explosive in his carry-on. To date, I cannot find this man's name nor any FBI update on the incident which was supposed to be released on 1/18/14.

If he has, in fact, not been arrested, you might want to consider changing your statement in the first paragraph of this thread.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Bubba on

Again, nothing dangerous found that requires full body scanners. Why do you still use these slow, invasive, expensive and ineffective machines?

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many false alarms did the naked body scanners have? How many people were patted down because the naked body scanners detected an ostomy bag, insulin pump, or another harmless and private medical device that endangers no one? Why do you refuse to post or respond to comments about false alarms?

Submitted by JBrode on

Thanks again for preventing the wackos from bring guns onto the planes.

Submitted by RB on

Anonymous Susan Richart said...
Bob, please present proof that the FBI arrested the man who had the avalanche explosive in his carry-on. To date, I cannot find this man's name nor any FBI update on the incident which was supposed to be released on 1/18/14.

If he has, in fact, not been arrested, you might want to consider changing your statement in the first paragraph of this thread.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

February 24, 2014 at 7:17 AM

............................................
Don't expect any updates or corrections on this from Blogger Bob. Bob has a gift of twisting the truth into something unrecognizable as long as it suits TSA's propaganda purposes.

Submitted by Anonymous on

What was detected with the body scanners?

When will TSA respond to the public's comments on the AIT NPRM at regulations.gov?

When will TSA provide data validating the PreCheck program?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

My stars, I finally found an update:

"An explosive device that closed part of the Anchorage, Alaska, airport, after it was found in luggage, was legitimately for avalanche control, authorities said...

Police detained the passenger, who was later questioned by the FBI."

Guess he wasn't "arrested" was he Bob?

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Anonymous on

How many false alarms, Curtis? West?

Submitted by Kaushik Dutta on

I agree with you..Thanks for sharing this information.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Kaushik Dutta said...

I agree with you..Thanks for sharing this information.

February 26, 2014 at 11:57 PM"

With whom do you agree about what?