TSA Week in Review - 33 Loaded Firearms, Stun Grenade, and More

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Friday, August 29, 2014
gun with bullets

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at AUS.

42 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 42 firearms, 33 were loaded and nine had rounds chambered.

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying prohibited items. 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.

  • A double edged belt buckle knife was discovered at Kansas City (MCI).
  • A kitchen knife was discovered in the lining of a carry-on bag at Houston Intercontinental (IAH).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Los Angeles (LAX).
  • A cane sword and nunchucks (with an attached blade) were discovered in a carry-on bag at LasVegas (LAS).
discovered cane sword, nanchucks, belt buckle knives

(L-R) Cane Sword and Nunchucks (LAS), Belt Buckle Knives (LAX - MCI)

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.

  • An Airsoft grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX).
  • An inert replica grenade was discovered in carry-on bag at Pittsburgh (PIT).
  • A black novelty bomb was detected in a carry-on bag at Milwaukee (MKE).
  • A live stun grenade was discovered in checked baggage at Evansville (EVV).
discovered stun grenade and replica grenade

(L-R) Live Stun Grenade (EVV), F Bomb (MKE), Replica Grenade (PIT)

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 many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

discovered knives

Trench Knife (MSP), Batarangs (ORD), 3 Throwing Knives (RIC), Throwing Knife (SLC), Cat Eyes (PBI), Knuckle Duster Knife (LAS), Dagger (DTW)

Stun Guns - Seven stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation: Two were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Dallas Love (DAL),Denver (DEN),Sacramento (SMF),San Diego (SAN),and St. Louis (STL).

discovered airsoft guns

(L-R) Airsoft guns discovered at LAS & SMF

Airsoft Guns - Three airsoft guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), and one was discovered at Sacramento (SMF). Airsoft guns are prohibited in carry-on bags, but allowed in checked baggage. Airsoft grenades are not permitted in checked or carry-on bags. Read this post for more information: TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Traveling with Airsoft Guns

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.

discovered ammunition

(L-R) Ammunition discovered in carry-on bags at IAH & MDW

discovered firearms

Clockwise from top left: Firearms discovered at HOU, LAN, BTR, AUS, PWM, PHX, ATL

42 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 42 firearms, 33 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

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