TSA Week in Review - 37 Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week

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Friday, October 17, 2014
Loaded firearm discovered at LAS.

Loaded firearm discovered at LAS.

39 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 39 firearms, 37 were loaded and 14 had rounds chambered.

discovered grenade

Grenade (LEX)

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 or other explosives weapon, 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 novelty grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS).
  • An inert grenade was detected in a carry-on bag at Lexington (LEX).
  • A grenade-shaped E-cigarette was detected in a carry-on bag at Harrisburg (MDT).
discovered bullets in cuff

Bullets in cuff (BOS)

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.

  • Two rounds of .22 caliber ammunition were detected sewn into a shirt cuff at Boston (BOS).
  • An oversized bottle of vodka was discovered in the right ankle area of a Minneapolis (MSP) passenger after advanced imaging technology screening.
Knuckle Stunner (ORD)

Knuckle Stunner (ORD)

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.

Stun Guns - 11 stun guns were discovered in checked bags this week. Two were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Chicago O'Hare (ORD),Dallas Love (DAL),Denver (DEN),Minneapolis (MSP),Oakland (OAK),Omaha (OMA),Provo (PVU),Sacramento (SMF),and Salt Lake City (SLC).

discovered ammunition

Ammo (CRW)

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 firearms

Firearms discovered at: (Clockwise from top left) ATL, IAH, CLT, ATL, & HOU

discovered firearms

Firearms discovered at: (Clockwise from top left) ATL, CHA, RIC, IAH, & DEN

Table of firearms discovered in carry-on bags

*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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