TSA Week in Review: 62 Firearms, 12 Cans of Bear Mace and More

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Friday, July 31, 2015
Loaded Firearm

62 Firearms Discovered This Week - Of the 62 firearms discovered, 54 were loaded and 25 had a round chambered. The firearm above was discovered in a carry-on bag at ATL.

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.


Three inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Two were discovered in checked bags at Nashville (BNA) and Milwaukee (MKE) (Pictured) and one was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dallas (DAL). A spent smoke grenade (Pictured) was discovered in a checked bag at Newark (EWR).

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.

Bear Mace

Twelve cans of bear mace were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Eight were discovered at Anchorage (ANC), two at Billings (BIL) and the remainder at Oakland (OAK) and Seattle (SEA). Bear repellent is prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft. You can pack bear repellent in your checked bag if the volume is less than four ounces and if it has less than a two percent active ingredient of either CS or CN. Most bear repellents exceed these limitations.

Camping fuel.

Four canisters of propane were discovered in carry-on bags in two separate incidents at Anchorage (ANC) this week. Propane is prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage.

Knives and throwing stars.

Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered at: DAL, PHX, TVC, SJC, ONT, PHX, DAL, DEN, RDU, BUF, BZN and ATL

Stun Guns - 26 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Chattanooga (CHA), two at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Las Vegas (LAS), two at Sacramento (SMF), two at Salt Lake City (SLC), and the remainder were discovered at Albuquerque (ABQ), Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore (BWI), Charleston (CHS), Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Houston Intercontinental (IAH), Killeen (GRK), Memphis (MEM), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP), Oakland (OAK), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), Reno (RNO), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Tallahassee (TLH).

Loaded firearms.

Clockwise from the top left, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, UNV, ATL, BNA, LIT and SMF

Loaded firearms.

Clockwise from the top left, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: SBN, IAH, PIT, TPA, MEM and JAN

Loaded firearms.

Top to bottom these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: SAT, SAT and SNA

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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Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

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