TSA Week in Review: 37 Firearms, Fireworks, Live Smoke Grenade, and More

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Thursday, July 2, 2015
Loaded firearm disovered at BNA.

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, this report is being posted on Thursday vs. Friday and only reflects the last six days (6/26 - 7/1).

37 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 37 firearms discovered, 34 were loaded and 16 had a round chambered. The firearm pictured above was discovered in a carry-on bag at (BNA).

Live Smoke Grenade

This live M18 smoke grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Madison (MSN).

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.

  • Seven inert/replica grenades were discovered this week in both carry-on and checked baggage at Albuquerque (ABQ), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), Houston (IAH), Little Rock (LIT), Kansas City (MCI), Chicago O’Hare (ORD), and Salt lake City (SLC). The inert grenade at MCI resulted in a 23 minute evacuation of the checked baggage area as well as Terminal B.
Inert/Replica Grenades

L-R: Inert/Replica Grenades Discovered At (IAH), (ORD), and (LIT).

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 concealed prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here are some examples from this week where artfully concealed items were discovered by our officers.

  • A belt buckle knife was discovered at Rapid City (RAP).
  • A knife was discovered inside of a book and under the lining of a carry-on bag at Minot (MOT).
Belt Buckle Knife

Belt Buckle Knife Discovered At (RAP).

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, 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.


Counterclockwise from top, items discovered at: DAL, HNL, BOI, BWI, LGA, BDL, and SNA


These are all fireworks that were discovered this week in both carry-on and checked bags. Clockwise from the top left photo, the fireworks were discovered at: HNL, BWI, CLE, and MQT

Camping fuel.

This camping fuel was discovered in a checked bag at (PDX).

Stun Guns - 24 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags at TSA checkpoints around the nation. Three were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Jacksonville (JAX), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the remainder were discovered at Austin (AUS), Burbank (BUR), Charleston (CHS), Dallas Fort/Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), Minneapolis (MSP), Monroe (MLU), New Orleans (MSY), Newark (EWR), Oakland (OAK), Pensacola (PNS), Phoenix (PHX), Seattle (SEA), Spokane (GEG), and St. Louis (STL).


When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag. This ammo was discovered in carry-on bag at (MEM).

Loaded firearms.

Clockwise from top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: CLE, STL, PIT, ATL, and HOU

37 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 37 firearms discovered, 34 were loaded and 16 had a round chambered.

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 $11,000. 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.

*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.

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Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

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