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TSA Week in Review - 35 Loaded Firearms, 74 Credit Card Knives, Bear Repellent and Other Interesting Items Discovered This Week

Friday, July 11, 2014
Bear Repellant

Bear Repellant

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, this report reflects the last eight days (7/3 - 7/10).

Bear Repellant - Eight ounces of bear repellant was detected in a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX). While traveling can be a bear at times, bear repellent is not needed in the cabin of an aircraft. You can pack bear repellent in your checked bags if the volume is less than four ounces and it has less than a 2 percent active ingredient of either CS or CN. Most bear repellants exceed these limitations. Learn more about prohibited items here.

Grenade-shaped Vaping Device (SLC)

Grenade-shaped Vaping Device (SLC)

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

Live Smoke Grenade

Live Smoke Grenade

  • An inert grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Denver (DEN).
  • An inert grenade packed in a cargo shipment caused a 1-hour, 18-minute evacuation at the San Francisco (SFO) cargo facility.
  • A grenade-shaped vaping device was discovered in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC). Ecig’s and vaping devices are permitted in your carry-on and checked bags…unless they look like a grenade. Read more about e-cigarettes here.
  • A live smoke grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Seattle (STL).

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure prohibited items are not inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and 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.

Knife In Shoe (DTW), Brush Knife (DEN), Comb Knives (DTW) & (MCI), Credit Card Knife (MSP)

Knife In Shoe (DTW), Brush Knife (DEN), Comb Knives (DTW) & (MCI) Card Knife (MSP)

  • Credit Card Knives - 74 credit card knives were discovered this week. 14 were discovered at Tampa (TPA), 13 at Minneapolis (MSP), 12 at Nashville (BNA), 10 at San Francisco (SFO), three at Bismarck(BIS), two at Colorado Springs (COS), two at Knoxville (TYS), two at Long Beach (LGB), two at Manchester (MHT), two at Rapid City (RAP), two at St. Petersburg (PIE), and the remainder were discovered at Cincinnati (CVG), Duluth (DLH), Fargo (FAR), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Grand Rapids (GRR), Orange County (SNA), Providence (PVD), Sarasota (SRQ), St. Croix (STX), and Williston (ISN). Check out this blog post for more information on credit card knives.
  • Two comb-knives were discovered at Kansas City (MCI), and Detroit (DTW).
  • A brush dagger was discovered at Denver (DEN).
  • A knife was discovered concealed in the sole of a shoe at Detroit (DTW).
discovered switchblades, throwing knife, gun knife and bullet

Gun Knife & Bullet (NYL), Switchblades (BWI), Double Throwing Knife (ONT)

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…

Fireworks discovered at PHX & PIT

Fireworks discovered at PHX & PIT

Stun Guns - 17 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: three were discovered at San Francisco (SFO) and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Boise (BOI), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Cleveland (CLE), Dallas Love (DAL), Denver (DEN), Fresno (FAT), Huntsville (HSV), Kansas City (MCI), Nashville (BNA), Norfolk (ORF), Richmond (RIC), Seattle (SEA) and Tulsa (TUL).

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

Ammunition discovered in carry-on bags at IAH & MEM

Ammunition discovered in carry-on bags at IAH & MEM

After alarming advanced imaging technology, a Jacksonville (JAX) traveler divested a magazine with six rounds of 9mm ammunition from his pants pocket.

After alarming advanced imaging technology, a Jacksonville (JAX) traveler divested a magazine with six rounds of 9mm ammunition from his pants pocket.

42 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 42 firearms, 35 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered.

Firearms Discovered at (Left - Right / Top to Bottom) PHX, RDU, ATL, PHX & BOI

Firearms Discovered at (Left - Right / Top to Bottom) PHX, RDU, ATL, PHX & BOI

 42 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 42 firearms, 35 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered.

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data 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 line 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. 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.

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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.

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