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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.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our TSA Blog Year in Review for 2013. You can also check out 2011 & 2012 as well.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

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.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?
Submitted by Thomas Joy on

Where are these people's brains trying to get weapons on an aircraft ?. I don't understand whatyour thinking. My Solution would be to fine them heavily and confiscate the weapon. Second offence, heavier fine, confiscate weapon, 6 months jail time. Third offense, go directly to jail and stay there.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Blotter team, at least one photo of a gun allegedly found this week is a DUPLICATE of a photo of a gun allegedly found two weeks ago!

Either they found this gun two weeks ago OR they found it this week. Which is it?!

Submitted by Anonymous on

The TSA reuses photos of guns allegedly found each week. What else are they lying about?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Four fake grenades in addition to the perfume bottle - all private property - were confiscated by TSA screeners this week...unless it was last week or the week before and you are just reusing the pictures.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Correction to my comment on January 16, 2015 at 10:26pm. The two photos I said were duplicates are not. They are very similar, but not duplicates.

I noticed the difference shortly after I submitted my comment, but wanted to see if my comment would actually be posted before sending in my correction.

I regret the error.

Blotter team - use this comment as an example of what to do when you make mistakes - such as the actual reusing of photos you did in November 2014, failing to add links, calling a camping saw a "garrotte," calling a welding tool a "pick axe," etc.

Admit the mistake and correct it in an ethical manner. Actual professional and ethical bloggers do it all the time. Why won't you, blotter team?

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Thomas Joy said...
Where are these people's brains trying to get water bottles or tubes of toothpaste on an aircraft ?. I don't understand whatyour thinking. My Solution would be to fine them heavily and confiscate the weapon. Second offence, heavier fine, confiscate weapon, 6 months jail time. Third offense, go directly to jail and stay there.

~~~~~~

I fixed it for you. The TSA considered those things dangerous too! Far too dangerous to be allowed through security.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am thankful that we have this kind of surveillance in our country keeping us safe. If you don't like to be scanned, don't fly, period.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I am thankful that we have this kind of surveillance in our country keeping us safe. If you don't like to be scanned, don't fly, period.

It really is just that simple. But then what would these people complain about? They have to have something.

Submitted by Anonymous on

As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?

How many times has this rediculous question been answered? How many times will you call them "naked body scanners" when you know full well they arent? I could be wrong, but i bet if you asked an intellegent question, they would answer it...just sayin...

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Most interesting how comments that the TSA would look favorably upon are being posted but no critical comments have been posted. And please don't try to tell us that no comments were posted on 1/18.

Are you again violating the rights of the public to free speech yet again, Curtis and West?

BTW, the fact that you posted the comments by our anonymous friend of this date, 1/19, tells me that you know who he is and that he is an employee of the TSA. Thanks for the confirmation.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bold Blotter Intern, why haven't you bothered to look at the revealing images taken by a millimeter wave scanner provided by your bosses here at the TSA blotter? Is a lie resolution version of what the scanners can actually take.

Go ahead. We'll wait.

Until then, stop insulting fellow commenters and take some spelling lessons. Good spelling could help you be taken more seriously.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To the Anonymous who said, "I am thankful that we have this kind of surveillance in our country," what kind of surveillance would you not be thankful for?

Also, finding a few weapons that would have been found with metal detectors and baggage x-rays does not justify the hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on naked pic scanners that violate the bodies and dignity of your fellow citizens.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"How many times has this rediculous question been answered? "

The question is not ridiculous, and it has never, ever, ever been answered by Curtis Burns, West Cooper, or any other representative of TSA. Perhaps you should be asking why Curtis Burns, West Cooper, and TSA are so afraid of answering such a simple and legitimate question about the false positive rate for their primary means of screening passengers.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"...Anonymous said...
I am thankful that we have this kind of surveillance in our country keeping us safe. If you don't like to be scanned, don't fly, period."

If you are so unhappy with the freedoms of this country why dont you simply leave? If you can't fly without surrendering your god-given rights, or feel that your sense of safety is more important than everyone else's legal rights, then it really is you who should skip the airport. Stick with the busses or trains and leave the skies to the adults.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Anonymous said...

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?
--
How many times has this rediculous question been answered?

As a long time reader I can answer that.... It hasn't yet been answered. Not yet at least.

Continuing.... How many times will you call them "naked body scanners" when you know full well they arent?

You can call them whatever you want. I, and many others, will continue to call a machine that looks THROUGH my clothes, all the way to my skin, a Nudie-Scanner.

And don't even try with the 'no one sees the scan' angle because if you see something under the clothes like a bomb or something that will require actual law enforcement intervention you are going to need to have that image available for the court case. That means that the machine has the ability to save the image even if it is for only a short while.

Don't get me wrong, I am not telling to stop your jihad against the question, you are free to challenge the question just as much as we are to ask it in the first place. But before you challenge the next asking of this question... why does this question bother you so much? Is it too close to some truth you don't like? I'm just asking.

Continuing.... I could be wrong,

Well...... if the shoe fits.....

COntinuing.... but i bet if you asked an intellegent question, they would answer it...just sayin...

As a long time reader I have to say that has happened. It happens very rarely, but West and Ron do occasionally answer questions and we can only hope they are doing so honestly because there is much to suspect from this group. As far as you implying that the lack of answer to a simple question somehow negates the question, makes it by implication an unintellegent question speaks more to you and your opinion of the travelling public as an employee than it does to the question being asked.

Submitted by The Watchmen on

According to the precheck expansion request for proposal, the private contractor who gets to search and continually surveil anyone applying for precheck is allowed to advertise to those citizens. What if the applicant opts out of being spammed by this government contractor? Will that private company then deny or revoke someone's precheck status? They'd never have to reveal the real reason, would they? It's all "SSI."

Submitted by AirRifle on

There is no excuse during this world to run into a office stop or any institution and attempting to persuade security that "I forgot I had my weapon on Maine ". If you're that forgetful you ought to not be carrying it anyplace

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSAnonymous said...

"How many times has this rediculous question been answered? How many times will you call them "naked body scanners" when you know full well they arent? I could be wrong, but i bet if you asked an intellegent question, they would answer it...just sayin..."

It has never been answered, and, as has pointed out before, read the RFP and tell us the description "naked body scanners" doesn't fit. You can't, because that's exactly what the RFPs describe. Just sayin..

Submitted by Lisa Simeone on
"How many times has this rediculous question been answered? How many times will you call them "naked body scanners" when you know full well they arent? I could be wrong, but i bet if you asked an intellegent question, they would answer it...just sayin..."
January 19, 2015 at 9:19 AM

I could be wrong, but I bet if you weren't a TSA shill, you wouldn't hide behind an anonymous internet moniker. Just sayin'.
Submitted by Errol on

SSSS for Some Reason said...
I fixed it for you. The TSA considered those things dangerous too! Far too dangerous to be allowed through security.

--------

You have a point. Surely we can have statistics and photos posted of all confiscated items rather than just the ones that aren't controversial?

Submitted by Anonymous on

I want to know how many travelers have had their tsa locks TAKEN off their bags and not placed back on after search? I had two tsa approved locks TAKEN and not placed back on my Pelican hard case bag. I don't know if it was tsa that took them or baggage handlers. If I'd had a legally packed firearm in that case I'm sure it would be gone. Fortunately, I trusted my instincts and didn't pack anything valuable. But the locks were torn off.
Those tsa locks are a joke. They don't even keep the honest people out of your bags.

Submitted by Mm on

hey Anon do you even travel ? yes its a blog and free speech and all that but for gosh sakes you are a whiner. find something else to harp about please.

Submitted by Anonymous on

And why does it bother you so much even if they were "naked body scanners"? Hiding something, or just wanting to complain about a system that is doing its job to protect the American public!? Here's a crazy thought......don't like it......don't fly!!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

So West has the time to read and post two comments at FT, but he doesn't have time to the moderate comments here. Has he been relieved of his responsibilities here?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why in the world aren't you screening airport employees???

You want to spy on flyers' on-line transactions and social media posts but you won't screen airport employees???

Are you TRYING to ruin America???

Submitted by Anonymous on

If you want to increase passenger processing rates at TSA checkpoints, get rid of PreCheck! Nobody should have to remove laptops and shoes or get groped or stand in a naked body scanner unless the walk-through metal detector or some other TARGETED and NO-MORE-INTRUSIVE-THAN-NECESSARY technology raises a concern. Nobody should have to pay out to be treated with dignity. Nobody should have to consent to TSA poring over their purchase histories and Facebook posts WITHOUT CAUSE just to exercise their right to fly.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Susan sez - "So West has the time to read and post two comments at FT, but he doesn't have time to the moderate comments here. Has he been relieved of his responsibilities here?"

Nah, not as of this time, I was just off for a couple of days, they don't like to pay me overtime!

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Counting Blue Gloves on

West, if Bob and Lynn are truly members of the blotter team, why aren't they allowed to approve posts?

Do Bob and Lynn actually do anything for this blotter anymore? Or are they too busy playing on the taxpayer dime over on Instagram and Twitter?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Susan sez - "So West has the time to read and post two comments at FT, but he doesn't have time to the moderate comments here. Has he been relieved of his responsibilities here?"

Nah, not as of this time, I was just off for a couple of days, they don't like to pay me overtime!"

Thank you, West, for your confirmation that someone from the TSA's Office of Strategic Communications & Public Affairs is posting their own comments under the name Anonymous. I refer you to person who responds to others' posts in bold and who posted on January 19, 2015 at 9:11 AM and again at 9:19 a.m.

I presume this person is using a DHS computer to make these comments, let alone post them himself. Quite unethical.

screen shot/DHS OIG Statement

Submitted by TSORon on

Anonymous asked...
[[Why in the world aren't you screening airport employees???]]

We do, daily.

Submitted by Anonymous on

I could be wrong, but I bet if you weren't a TSA shill, you wouldn't hide behind an anonymous internet moniker. Just sayin'.

And you have so much to be proud of

Submitted by Anonymous on

Don't be the paranoid Rob Lowe, switch to Direct TV and get over yourselves.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Anonymous said... Here's a crazy thought......don't like it......don't fly!!


Nope. You have it exactly backwards. I should have to accept a clear and senseless violation of my rights just because I want to fly. Flying from here to there is not a criminal act so why should I accept being treated like a potential criminal just to get there by air?

There is no reason to treat every passenger as if they were a terrorist so the advanced screening techniques are completely inappropriate to apply to the average traveler. The surrender-booths and Nudie-Scanners should be the secondary screening techniques, not the primary.

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Nah, not as of this time, I was just off for a couple of days, they don't like to pay me overtime!"

West, why are you afraid to answer questions about the false positive rate on your primary screening technology?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Frankly, the screening exists because flying is potentially more hazardous to other people on the plane than a different means of transit would be-- because they cannot leave the vehicle if something goes wrong. In particular, if something goes wrong involving another passenger, which is what these systems and processes are attempting to make less likely.

Passengers themselves have also become more assertive about suspicious behavior, and there is now a much higher probability that any attempted hijacker or bomber would be suppressed by others onboard, especially given how impractical their devices have become due to security measures (e.g. underwear, shoes, etc., pathetic, failed to do any damage and made their intentions more obvious). Combination of changes in people's behavior (i.e. it is rational to try to stop a bomber even at great personal risk because of you do nothing then you likely die anyway) and yes, real burdens imposed on potential bad actors by the security measures.

The machines are mostly automated now, and regardless I care much less about someone potentially seeing what I look like than e.g. the contents of my computers etc which I keep encrypted anyway. I am more what I write and create than what I look like. And I don't even remember the last time I had an encounter with a rude TSA agent-- usually they're polite, albeit often a bit harried. Still, important to remember dignity when speaking to people, but overall my experiences have been largely just fine.

People live in societies and sometimes there are conflicts of rights and goals. And the screening process could probably be made somehow simpler or more efficient, perhaps with some kind of continuous walk-through detector instead of having to stop and wait all the time (one that could handle shoes and belts better, ideally, and then just ask people to put their coats with their luggage and run that through in parallel, for instance). The problem is not the screening. The screening makes sense and seems to help in practice. The problem is merely one of efficiency, and it is solvable.