TSA Week in Review: 48 Firearms, Three-Pounds of Gun Powder, a Stun Cane and More

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Friday, August 28, 2015
Loaded firearm.

48 Firearms Discovered This Week - of the 48 firearms discovered, 42 were loaded and 15 had a round chambered. The firearm pictured here was discovered in a carry-on bag at IAH.

Gun powder.

Three one-pound containers of gun powder were discovered in a checked bag at Savannah (SAV). The passenger stated he didn’t know gun powder was prohibited. Gun powder is prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.

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.

  • Six inert grenades were discovered in a carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO) resulting in 21 delayed flights affecting 2,943 passengers.
  • An inert/replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Dallas (DAL).
  • An inert/replica grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Tampa (TPA).
  • An inert/replica grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Los Angeles (LAX).
  • Two flashbang grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Norfolk (ORF). One was inert and the other was spent.
  • An inert/replica grenade was discovered in a checked bag at Norfolk (ORF).
Inert grenades.

From the left, the pictured grenades were discovered at: DAL, ORF, TPA, ORF and ORF

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.

Firearm components discovered in sealed Lego box.

The following items were discovered concealed inside a sealed Lego box at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL): three AR 15/M 16 bolt firing groups to include bolt carrier, bolt, bolt key, firing pin, bolt cam pin & firing pin retaining pin, three assault rifle flash suppressors, and nearly 100 rifle sights. While firearm components are permitted in checked baggage, they are never permitted in carry-on bags.

Stun cane and cane sword.

A stun cane (top) was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on items at San Antonio (SAT). A cane sword (bottom) was discovered at Las Vegas (LAS).

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.

Knives and a throwing star.

Clockwise from the top left, these items were discovered at: PHX, PHX, LGB, DEN, CRP, BNA, BNA, PIT, PHX, SJU and EWR


These flares were discovered in a carry-on bag at SMF

Stun Guns - 21 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), two at Minneapolis (MSP), two at Sacramento (SMF), and the remainder were discovered at Atlanta (ATL), Burlington (BTV), Chicago Midway (MDW), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Denver (DEN), Fargo (FAR), Las Vegas (LAS), New Orleans (MSY), New York Kennedy (JFK), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Oakland (OAK), Oklahoma City (OKC), Portland (PDX), San Antonio (SAT) and San Diego (SAN).

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.

Loaded Firearms

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

Loaded Firearms

Clockwise from the top, these firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at:SAT, PBI, PBI and DFW

48 Firearms Discovered This Week- of the 48 firearms discovered, 42 were loaded and 15 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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