TSA Week in Review: 55 Firearms, Inert Artillery Rounds and More Bear Mace

Archived Content

Please note that older content is archived for public record. This page may contain information that is outdated and may not reflect current policy or programs.

If you have questions about policies or procedures, please contact the TSA Contact Center.

Members of the news media may contact TSA Public Affairs.

Friday, August 7, 2015
Loaded firear

55 Firearms Discovered This Week- of the 55 firearms discovered, 48 were loaded and 13 had a round chambered. The firearm pictured above was discovered at GSO.

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

  • An inert artillery round was discovered in a checked bag at Washington - Dulles (IAD). Three flights were delayed two hours and forty minutes while explosives specialists determined whether the round was live or not.
  • An inert mortar round was discovered in a checked bag at San Antonio (SAT).
  • Four inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Three were discovered in carry-on bags at Fayetteville (FAY), San Jose (SJC), and Jacksonville (JAX), and one was discovered in a checked bag at Alexandria (AEX).
Mortar round and grenades.

Counterclockwise from the top, the inert mortar round was discovered SAT and the inert/replica grenades were discovered at FAY, JAX and SJC.

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.

  • A knife was discovered concealed inside a thermos at Detroit (DTW).
  • A razorblade was discovered taped underneath the insole of a shoe at Grand Rapids (GRR).
Sword cane

A sword cane was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property at ANC.

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.

Eight cans of bear mace were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Three were discovered at Glacier Park (GPI), and the remainder were found at Anchorage (ANC), Bozeman (BZN), Great Falls (GTF), Petersburg (PSG), and San Francisco (SFO).

Knives, hatchet and throwing star.

Counterclockwise from the top, these items were discovered at SLC, RIC, OAK, DEN, EWR, MCO, ABQ, BOI, MEM, CHS, AUS, PHX, PHX, SAN, JFK and SNA

Throwing knives

All of these throwing knives were discovered in a passenger's carry-on bag at ANC.


These roadside flares were discovered in a carry-on bag at TWF.

Stun Guns - 21 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Anchorage (ANC), two at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Amarillo (AMA), Cleveland (CLE), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Dothan (DHN), Fairbanks (FAI), Fargo (FAR), King Salmon (AKN), Norfolk (ORF), Oakland (OAK), Oklahoma City (OKC), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PWM), Reno (RNO), 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 SAT.


Clockwise from the top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: ATL, ATL, PHX, JAN, MAF and CVG


Clockwise from the top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: MEM, PDX, LEX, ICT and HGR


Clockwise from the top left, these loaded firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at: RDU, PHX, FWA, TRI, TYR and BWI

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.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

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

About This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to share the latest news and helpful information with the public. If you have questions about TSA or the information presented here, please contact our AskTSA customer care team on Twitter or Facebook.

TSA is committed to protecting privacy and securing personal information. For details, see our website Privacy Policy.


Stay informed on our latest news!