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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: 48 Firearms, Ten Tubes of Black Powder, and More 11/13 - 11/19

Friday, November 20, 2015
Discovered firearms

48 firearms were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 48 firearms discovered, 40 were loaded and 15 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured here were discovered this week. See a complete list below.

Discovered black powder

Ten tubes of black powder were discovered in a checked bag at Salt Lake City (SLC). Black powder is prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage.

Discovered bear repellant

A reminder about bear repellant: It’s best to buy it at your destination. 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. Three cans of bear mace were discovered this week in carry-on bags at Great Falls (GTF), Glacier Park (FCA) and Pocatello (PIH).

Discovered machete and knives

Counterclockwise from the top, these machetes and knives were discovered in carry-on bags at IAH, CID, BNA, AUS, and BWI.

Table for discovered firearms in carry-on bags listIn addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocketknives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

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.

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

askTSA Info


Submitted by Anonymous on

Bob, you're making even worse blogging and social media errors than you were before. Previously, you were naming the montage photo file poorly because you used all of the airprt codes, separted with commas, so the file name would be GFU,DEN,BOS,....JPG Terrible for HTML coding and document management.

Now you've gone to the other extreme, giving EVERY montage the exact same file name: guns.JPG

Are you intentionally trying to make the images harder to search or do you really not understand HTML, blogging, document management, ethics, and profesionalism.

Submitted by Gary Nelson Harper on

Just curious Bob.. I noticed one weapon was a .410... Someone tried to board with a shotgun..
It may be time for an IQ requirement before someone can purchase a firearm.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Gary sez - "Just curious Bob.. I noticed one weapon was a .410... Someone tried to board with a shotgun..
It may be time for an IQ requirement before someone can purchase a firearm."

In most cases, you would probably be correct in thinking that a shotgun was not going to be something we would see at a checkpoint very often. In this case, I think the firearm in question was a "Judge" which is a pistol frame that fires .410 shells.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Still censoring valid comments.

Still recycling images.

I'm actually starting to think that the TSA blog team exists solely to make the REST of the TSA look competent by comparison.

Submitted by RB on

I'm sure our TSA Bloggers will not address how TSA screeners stole a Disney toy from a 5 year old child recently. The toy wasn't a gun but a claw and completely harmless.

If this is a demonstration of TSA's ability to assess threats then I better understand why screeners miss 95% of real threat test objects. TSA screeners simply don't know what they are doing.

Read the comments at the linked article, few if any support the actions of TSA.

Submitted by Unknown on

2 S's in Professionalism, can you refrain from being so critical?

Submitted by Anonymous on

As always, absolutely nothing you needed your slow, invasive, and ineffective naked body scanners to detect. Meanwhile, how many people suffered physical searches thanks to false alarms on these useless machines?

Why are Curtis Burns and West Cooper unwilling to address, let alone answer, that question?

How many weeks has it been since you last trumpeted something dangerous you found with the naked body scanners?

Submitted by Anonymous on

 Unknown said...2 S's in Professionalism, can you refrain from being so critical?
November 21, 2015 at 12:23 PM
That's all you have to say, Will?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks for catching my misspelling, Unknown. I was typing on my phone, and missed it when I reviewed before posting.

The TSA blog team is often unprofessional. Glad we cleared that up.

(You aren't the Bold TSApologist, are you?)

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

to Anonymous; please don't waste your time or space here asking why retired vets should get special treatment in the pre-check line, which only saves shoes and computers. You ask every week.

The moderator is not going to answer it. The people in charge might, but you have to contact them!

One vet I know returned with "issues" and took his prescription drug pills, crushed and snorted them for the high; long time. I would not want to be on the same plane as him. Would you?

to Anonymous#2 (oh, there is no sub identify to anon); I'd like to respond to (also) last weeks posting but it would not get past the screening.

This blog might be to left people vent/blow steam and then go away, and it does serve that, but management wants to keep their activity visible. If they were more involved, they would impliment changes which would reduce the number of firearms found week after week after week.

Think of it as prescribing drugs with little interest in curing the disease.

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

follow up to: 5 year old has toy taken away in Florida. One story says TSA is going to send it back to the family.

Got a lot of press. One very good comment in Discus postings said someone in the chain of command should be fired. Not likely to happen IMO.

There was also the case in August, in the UK, another toy was taken away.

TSA everywhere need better signage, with some pictures. Perhaps a printout of the weekly blogger page (from here) would be better and cheaper in the long run. Personally, I hate when non-sense events close a terminal for a few hours.

Submitted by Anonymous on

CliffOnTheRoad said...
to Anonymous; please don't waste your time or space here asking why retired vets should get special treatment in the pre-check line, which only saves shoes and computers. You ask every week.

The moderator is not going to answer it. The people in charge might, but you have to contact them!

November 22, 2015 at 10:44 PM
you should learn to read. I am not asking why retired vets don't get special treatment. I am asking why people with no risk track record are given special treatment, while those with a long, stable track record do not. TSA claims to usse "risk-based" decision making, but their actions indicate otherwise. I will continue to ask until an appropriate answer is posted. and without further ado:

Submitted by Anonymous on

I continue to wait for some justification for active duty military being included in pre-check, but not retired military or holders of current DoD or LE background investigations. military retirees have at least 20 years documented service to this Nation, pretty much proving their lack of risk. both DoD and LE background investigations should reveal any risk factors. active duty military do not, necessarily, have a background check or any significant length of service. neither citizenship nor a background investigation is required to enlist in the military, in fact there are likely illegal immigrants serving. if it is really about safety, then why are potentially unscreened non-citizens allowed through? sounds like it is just pandering to an admirable group to get PR, not adjusting the rules to ease screening on those who present a lower likelihood of threat.
Let me be clear: pre-911 screening should be the norm. it is all that is required, now that cockpit doors have been reinforced and locked, and flight crews and passengers know that the rules have changed and passivity=death. however, if we are going to continue this massive waste of tax dollars on security theatre, at least have _some_ of the rules make sense. now you're even allowing college kids (kaydets) to endure more reasonable screening, but those who served and sacrificed for 20+ are out of luck.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, where is my reply to another commenter? Fully met blog policies. You approved "Cliff on the Road's" comments. Why not mine?

Submitted by Wintermute on

RE: the toy confiscated from a 5-year old by he TSAgent - doesn't matter if they return it now; the damage has already been done. A better course of action would be to train TSAgent not to take toys from kids in the first place. But then, if you start abusing 'em young enough, they'll grow up thinking it's normal.