TSA Week in Review: 38 Loaded Firearms, Hatchets, Flares, Tomahawk, Propane Tanks and More

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Friday, July 24, 2015
Loaded Firearm.

41 Firearms Discovered Over the Last Eight Days - Of the 41 firearms discovered, 38 were loaded and 16 had a round chambered. The firearm pictured above was discovered in a carry on bag at HOU.

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.

Inert Grenades

Five inert/replica grenades were discovered this week in both carry-on and checked bags. Clockwise from top left, the grenades we discovered at: Gulfport (GPT), Glacier Park (FCA), Las Vegas (LAS), Spokane (GEG) and Guam (GUM).

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items - Artfully concealed is a term used to describe an item that is 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 is an example from this week where an artfully concealed item was discovered by our officers.

Cane Sword

A cane sword was discovered at LaGuardia (LGA).

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.

Items discovered in traveler's bag at BWI.

A traveler at Baltimore (BWI) had the following items in his carry-on bag: two smoke bombs, 12 bottle rockets, three paracord cutters, four knives, a hatchet, a folding saw and a credit card knife.

Propane Tanks

Two propane tanks (13.1 and 8 ounce) were discovered this week in separate incidents at San Diego (SAN). Propane is prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.

Boating Flares

A traveler at Albany (ALB) packed four boating flares in his carry-on bag. Flares are prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.

A jawbone tomahawk and an inert pineapple grenade.

A jawbone tomahawk and an inert pineapple grenade were discovered in a carry-on bag at Las Vegas (LAS). The grenade is also pictured above with other grenades.


Fireworks discovered this week in checked bags. L-R - Items discovered at Baltimore (BWI), LaGuardia (LGA) and Omaha (OMA).

Knives, throwing stars, and a hatchet.

Counterclockwise from top, items discovered at: EWR, BDL, BDL, BOI, JAX, IAH, AZO, SFO, SNA, DEN, JAX, PNS, PHL, PHX, ORD, ORD and OAK.

Stun Guns - 24 stun guns were discovered in carry-on bags this week around the nation. Four were discovered at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Eugene (EUG), two at Memphis (MEM) and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ), Cleveland (CLE), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Huntsville (HSV), Manchester (MHT), Ontario (ONT), Orange County (SNA), Portland (PDX), Rafael Hernandez (BQN), Rochester (ROC), Salt Lake City (SLC) and San Francisco (SFO).


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. The ammo pictured above was discovered in a carry-on bag at IAH.

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags.

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: ANC, LAS, IAH, ATL and TYS.

Loaded firearms discovered in carry-on bags.

Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered in carry-on bags at: CVG, ATL, SFO, RSW and PDX.

Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags list

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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TSA Social Media Team

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