TSA Week in Review - 41 Loaded Firearms, Knife in a Neck Pillow and More

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Friday, October 3, 2014
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at CLT.

46 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 46 firearms, 41 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered.

Knife discovered inside a neck pillow at PHL.

Knife discovered inside a neck pillow at PHL.

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 knife was discovered inside of a neck pillow at Philadelphia (PHL).
  • A sword cane was discovered at San Antonio (SAT).
  • A lipstick knife was discovered at Detroit (DTW).
Sword Cane (SAT), Lipstick Knife (DTW)

Sword Cane (SAT), Lipstick Knife (DTW)

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.

  • A grenade belt buckle was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dickinson (DIK). It may look like a belt buckle to the naked eye, but it looks realistic on the X-ray monitor.
  • Four novelty grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Nome (OME).

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.

Knives discovered at (L-R) JFK, IAH, JFK

Knives discovered at (L-R) JFK, IAH, JFK

Stun Guns - Fourteen stun guns were discovered this week at checkpoints across the nation: two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two more at San Jose (SJC) and the remainder were discovered at: Atlanta (ATL), Bradley (BDL), Charleston (CHS), Charlottesville (CHO), Chicago Midway (MDW), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Denver (DEN), Laughlin (IFP), Minot (MOT) and Phoenix (PHX).

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 at (Clockwise from top left) MDW, IAH, OTZ

Ammunition discovered at (Clockwise from top left) MDW, IAH, OTZ

Firearms discovered at (Clockwise from top left) HOU, BUR, MSY, RDU, SEA

Firearms discovered at (Clockwise from top left) HOU, BUR, MSY, RDU, SEA

Firearms discovered at (L-R) FAI, IAH

Firearms discovered at (L-R) FAI, IAH

46 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 46 firearms, 41 were loaded and 14 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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