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TSA Week in Review: 33 Loaded Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-on Bags

Friday, January 16, 2015
Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at IND

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at IND

43 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 43 firearms, 33 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. (Updated 1/20/15 10:58)

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 problem.

  • Four replica/inert/novelty grenades were discovered this week. Two were discovered in carry-on bags at Westchester County (HPN) and Providence (PVD). Two more were discovered in checked bags at Binghamton (BGM) and Buffalo (BUF).
Paintball Grenade (BUF), Grenade-Shaped Cologne (PVD)

Paintball Grenade (BUF), Grenade-Shaped Cologne (PVD)

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - Artfully concealed is a term used to describe an item that was intentionally hidden. It could be anything from a knife sewn into the lining of a bag to a sword hidden inside of a walking cane. If a concealedprohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here is an example (s) from this week where an artfully concealed item was found by our officers.

  • A lipstick knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at Milwaukee (MKE).
Lipstick Knife (MKE)

Lipstick Knife (MKE)

Throwing Knife (PHX) - Cleaver (EWR)

Throwing Knife (PHX) - Cleaver (EWR)

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 - 15 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week. Three were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two at San Francisco (SFO), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Burlington (BTV), Dallas Love (DAL), Honolulu (HNL), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Kansas City (MCI), Memphis (MEM), Monroe (MLU), Newark (EWR), and Tri Cities (TRI).

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.

 ATL, JAX, MDW, MSO & CLT

Clockwise from top left, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, JAX, MDW, MSO & CLT

43 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 43 firearms, 33 were loaded and 13 had rounds chambered. (Updated 1/20/15 10:58)

*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

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

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