TSA Week in Review - 34 Loaded Firearms, Cane Sword, and Other Interesting Items Discovered This Week

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Friday, October 31, 2014
gun with bullets

Loaded firearm discovered at TUS.

41 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 41 firearms, 34 were loaded and 10 had rounds chambered.

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.

  • Four inert/realistic replica grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Des Moines (DSM), Springfield (SGF), New Orleans (MSY) and Atlanta (ATL).
  • An M18A1 mine kit with wires, two blasting cap initiators, and no mines was discovered in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL).
discovered inert replica grenades

(L-R) Grenade (ATL), Grenade E-Cig (DSM), Novelty Grenade (MSY), Mine Kit (HNL) & Grenade SGF

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 13-inch cane sword was discovered at Charlotte (CLT).
  • A box cutter blade was found concealed in the lining of a carry-on bag at Boston (BOS).
discovered cane sword

Cane Sword (CLT)

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 Samurai Sword (JFK), Chef's Knife (AUS), Switchblade (HNL)

Samurai Sword (JFK), Chef's Knife (AUS), Switchblade (HNL)

discovered marijuana

Marijuana (SMF)

12 Pounds of Marijuana - While resolving an alarm in checked baggage at Sacramento (SMF), TSA Officers discovered five vacuum sealed plastic bags filled with 12 pounds of marijuana in a checked bag that had been glued shut. Our officers are looking primarily for weapons, but when they come across drugs, they must be reported to local law enforcement.

Stun Guns - 16 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Three were discovered at St. Louis (STL), two at Dallas Love (DAL), two more at Phoenix (PHX), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Boise (BOI), Jackson (JAN), Las Vegas (LAS), Memphis (MEM), Oakland (OAK), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Francisco (SFO), and San Jose (SJC).

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

Ammunition (BWI)

discovered firearms

(Clockwise from top) Firearms Discovered at: SNA, LIT, ATL, IND & BNA

discovered firearms

(Clockwise from top left corner) Firearms Discovered at: ADQ, MCO, OAK & AUS

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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