TSA Week in Review: 29 Loaded Firearms, Disassembled Firearm in a PlayStation 2, Sword Cane, and More

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Friday, December 19, 2014
disassembled .22 caliber firearm

Disassembled .22 caliber firearm (JFK)

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 disassembled .22 caliber firearm was discovered in a carry-on bag at the New York Kennedy (JFK) International Airport. Various components of the gun were found hidden inside a PlayStation 2 console and others were tucked alongside a tripod, and among the belongings of the traveler. TSA officers have detected more than 2,100 guns at airport checkpoints so far this calendar year.
  • A sword cane was discovered at Newark (EWR).
  • A six-inch knife was discovered concealed underneath the lining of a bag at Anchorage (ANC).
Gift Wrapped Knife (AUS)

Gift Wrapped Knife (AUS)

Gift Wrapped Knife - A five-inch knife was discovered in a gift wrapped package at Austin (AUS). This is just one example of why we don’t encourage wrapped gifts. We recommend waiting until you land to wrap them. If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it. Instead of wrapping a gift you’re traveling with, you could use a gift bag instead.

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.

  • A WWII era military blasting machine was discovered in a checked bag at Atlanta (ATL).
  • An inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Denver (DEN).
WWII Blasting Machine (ATL)

WWII Blasting Machine (ATL)

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.

Large cake knife (ORD)

Large cake knife (ORD)

Stun Guns - 12 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Anchorage (ANC), Buffalo (BUF), Burlington (BTV), Colorado Springs (COS), Denver (DEN), Myrtle Beach (MYR), Ontario (ONT), Las Vegas (LAS), Rapid City (RAP), San Diego (SAN), San Jose (SJC), and St. Louis (STL).


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

34 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 34 firearms, 29 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered.

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: AMA, BNA, JAN, LBB & MCO

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: AMA, BNA, JAN, LBB & MCO

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: MCI, MIA & MCI

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at: MCI, MIA & MCI

Top to bottom, firearms discovered at: ABQ & BNA

Top to bottom, firearms discovered at: ABQ & BNA

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.

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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