TSA Week in Review - 37 Loaded Firearms, a Claymore Mine Replica, and Other Items of Note

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Friday, November 7, 2014
smoke bombs

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 realistic replica of a Claymore anti-personnel mine was discovered in a traveler’s checked bag at San Francisco (SFO).
  • Three spent smoke grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Richmond (RIC).

40 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 40 firearms, 37 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered.

Loaded firearms

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-bag at AUS

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 sword cane was detected in a carry-on bag at New York Kennedy (JFK).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Rapid City (RAP).
  • A sword cane was discovered in a carry-on bag at Phoenix (PHX).
  • A knife was discovered concealed in a shoe at Philadelphia (PHL).
discovered knives

Belt Buckle Knife (RAP), Bladed Survival Tool in Shoe (PHL), Sword Cane (PHX)

Discovered kubotans

Kubotan discovered this week at RIC.

Kubotans - A Kubotan is a small wooden, plastic, or metal self-defense weapon that’s usually found on a key chain ring (see photo). Certain varieties of Kubotans can pull apart to reveal a blade or pepper spray. They’re considered a martial arts weapon and are prohibited from being packed in your carry-on bags. They’re illegal in some jurisdictions and can lead to civil penalties or even arrest.

What Not to Say at an Airport - Statements like these not only delay the people who said them but can also inconvenience many other passengers if the checkpoint or terminal has to be evacuated:

  • During a bag search at the New York Kennedy airport (JFK), a passenger stated: “Why you looking in my bag? There’s a bomb in there.” There was no bomb in his bag.

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

(Top to bottom) Knives Discovered At: RIC, SNA, JFK, HNL

discovered stun guns

Stun Gun (MGW)

Stun Guns - Ten stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Atlanta (ATL), Birmingham (BHM), Jacksonville (JAX), Morgantown (MGW), Nashville (BNA), New Orleans (MSY), Phoenix (PHX), Sacramento (SMF), San Juan (SJU), and Springfield (SGF).

(Clockwise from top left corner) Firearms discovered at: RNO, SAN, IAH & BNA

(Clockwise from top left corner) Firearms discovered at: RNO, SAN, IAH & BNA

(Clockwise from top) Firearms discovered at:IAH, MCI & FAI

(Clockwise from top) Firearms discovered at:IAH, MCI & FAI

Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags list

*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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