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TSA Week in Review: 23 Loaded Firearms, a Cane Sword, and More

Friday, November 28, 2014
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at Atlanta (ATL).

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at Atlanta (ATL).

31 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 31 firearms, 23 were loaded and seven had rounds chambered.

Loaded Firearm (LGA)

Loaded Firearm (LGA)

Firearm on Passenger at LGA - A 94-year-old man attempted to enter the TSA checkpoint at LaGuardia (LGA) with a loaded .38 caliber revolver clipped to his belt in the small of his back on Wednesday.

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 respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

Inert Grenade (BOS)

Inert Grenade (BOS)

  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Boston (BOS).

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure you are not carrying any prohibited items. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by 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 discovered at Omaha (OMA).
  • A bag of heroin was discovered glued to the bottom of the lining in checked bag at Ontario (ONT).

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.

Spear Gun in Carry-on Bag at Las Vegas (LAS).

Spear Gun in Carry-on Bag at Las Vegas (LAS).

Flare Gun (AMA) - Sword Cane (OMA)

Flare Gun (AMA) - Sword Cane (OMA)


(L-R) Knives (And Saw) Discovered At: ALB, ALB, ORD & CRW

Stun Guns - 17 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags: two were discovered at Reno (RNO), two at Dallas Love (DAL),two at Sacramento (SMF), another two at St. Louis (STL), and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ),Chicago O’Hare (ORD),Denver (DEN),Lubbock (LBB),Nashville (BNA),Salt Lake City (SLC),San Diego (SAN),Seattle (SEA), and Spokane (GEG).

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.


(L-R, T-B) Loaded Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags at: IAH, BIL, JAN, PHX, IAH & PHX

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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Submitted by Jerry McClane on