TSA Week in Review: 43 Loaded Firearms, Comb Knife, and More Discovered in Carry-on Bags This Week

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Friday, January 2, 2015
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at TUS.

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at TUS.

50 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 50 firearms, 43 were loaded and 17 had rounds chambered.

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 comb knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Orlando (MCO).
  • A belt buckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Sarasota (SRQ).
Comb Knife (MCO), Belt Buckle Knife (SRQ)

Comb Knife (MCO), Belt Buckle Knife (SRQ)

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 - 18 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Two were discovered at Phoenix (PHX), two more at Portland (PDX), and the remainder were found at Anchorage (ANC), Baltimore (BWI), Birmingham (BHM), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Dallas Love (DAL), Fayetteville (FAY), Jacksonville (JAX), Nashville (BNA), New York (JFK), Orange County (SNA), Sacramento (SMF), Salt Lake City (SLC), San Francisco (SFO), and San Jose (SJC).

Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at TUL.

Ammo discovered in carry-on bag at TUL.

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.

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags at (Clockwise from top left) FLL, ATL, HOU, DTW & SAT

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags at (Clockwise from top left) FLL, ATL, HOU, DTW & SAT

Firearms Discovered in Carry-On Bags chart

*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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