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TSA Week in Review: Black Powder, Smoke Grenades, Guns and More - January 1 - 7

Friday, January 08, 2016
Discovered firearms and knives

37 firearms were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 37 firearms discovered, 30 were loaded and 15 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered this week. See a complete list below.

Discovered ammunition

Two canisters of black powder were discovered in a checked bag at Oakland (OAK), and a one-pound bottle of gunpowder was discovered in a checked bag at Cincinnati (CVG). Black powder and gunpowder are prohibited in carry-on and checked baggage.

Discovered black power

Two live smoke grenades and ammunition were detected in a checked bag at San Diego (SAN). In addition to a thick smokescreen, smoke grenades burn extremely hot and are a fire hazard. They’re prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.

Discovered a live M18 red smoke grenade

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 ourexplosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on board the aircraft. Six inert/novelty grenades were discovered in carry-on bags this week at Tampa (TPA), Orlando (MCO), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Birmingham (BHM), Kansas City (MCI), and Grand Rapids (GRR). Left to right, the inert/novelty grenades pictured were discovered at MCI, GRR and BHM.

Discovered gas-powered chain saw emitting fuel vapors

This gas-powered chain saw emitting fuel vapors was discovered in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Chain saws can only be packed in checked baggage if they’re empty of all fuel and cleaned so that no fuel vapors or residue are noticeable. If fuel vapors are noticeable, it will be considered a hazardous material and will be removed from checked baggage by the airline.

Discovered four-inch knife

This four-inch knife was detected in the right thigh area of a traveler during advanced imaging screening at Boston (BOS).

Discovered a used gas-powered automotive shock absorber

A used gas-powered automotive shock absorber was detected in a checked bag at Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Shock absorbers are allowed in checked baggage as long as they do not have sealed, compressed gas cylinders or hazardous materials. If the shock absorbers are sealed with compressed gas, they will not be allowed in checked baggage. Even if a shock absorber is not sealed with compressed gas, if it contains a residue or vapors of oil or gasoline, it is considered a hazardous material and will be removed from checked baggage by the airline.

Discovered knives

All of the knives pictured were discovered in a traveler's carry-on bag at IAH.

Discovered knives

Clockwise from the top, these were discovered in carry-on bags at BNA, MSO, SAN, DAL, GDK, BDL, SJU and BNA.

In 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.

Firearms Discovered in Carry-On Bags Chart

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 @TSAon Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns
TSA Social Media Team

askTSA

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

When will they learn?

Submitted by Ciaran on

Nobody traveling with this stuff reads this blog.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Of course, the very rare approval of comments within 24 hrs of the blotter post are pro-TSA.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Of course, the very rare approval of comments within 24 hrs of the blotter post are pro-TSA."

We are obviously reading different pages and comments.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, no. Most of the time it is Sunday or Monday before any comments are allowed on the latest blotter post. These were approved sometime on Saturday.

So this is an unusual situation. The first two comments are pro-TSA. Based upon the blotter team's approval/deletion history, these were approved much earlier than if they had been critical comments.

So we are absolutely reading the same page and comments.

Submitted by RB on

My comment about the abusive, over any reasonable standard, physical groping of a 10 year-old girl has once again been illegally censored by TSA employees.

When government chills a persons Constitutional Rights that is a violation of our laws and a violation of the government employees Oath to government employement.

Just because government employees don't like the topic or even disagree is no reason to violate the law.

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

Bob, West, & Lynn,

Why specifically are you deleting, rather than approving, RB's comment? I've seen you do this before. The topic has been allowed in other people's comments, but all of a sudden you start deleting someone's comments and only allow through your censors the comments by this person that you are deleting his regular comments.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Anonymous wrote:

"West, no. Most of the time it is Sunday or Monday before any comments are allowed on the latest blotter post. These were approved sometime on Saturday.

So this is an unusual situation. The first two comments are pro-TSA. Based upon the blotter team's approval/deletion history, these were approved much earlier than if they had been critical comments."

It used to be even worse, Anonymous. Pro-TSA comments would appear immediately after the week's thread was posted, almost as if someone in Bobby's group had a heads-up and then immediately responded with a pro-TSA comment.

screen shot/DHS OIG statement

Submitted by Anonymous on

When government chills a persons Constitutional Rights that is a violation of our laws and a violation of the government employees Oath to government employement.

I agree 100%

Submitted by Anonymous on
GSOLTSO said...
We are obviously reading different pages and comments

Yes we are. You see all the comments. We see only what you, Bob and others want us to see.

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 sacrificed for 20+ have to take their bloody shoes and belts off!! it's pretty clear that TSA doesn't understand risk assessment or risk-based anything, much less security.

Submitted by Anonymous on

*Wonders if the Anonymous person complaining about not having pre-check has even applied for pre-check.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West, Bob, and Lynn: Why do you and your cohorts in the TSA "spokespeople" roles have such a hard time telling the truth? Are you that oppressed and crushed by your bosses? (Blink once for yes and twice for no.)

http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2016/01/13/tsa-admits-role-massive-security-line-dia/78765240/

Maybe the Bold TSApologist will admit that fellow travelers were not exaggerating when talking about the huge lines at the Denver airport after Christmas.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why have the number of complaints of discrimination and retaliation by TSA employees against their fellow TSA employees doubled in just five years?

https://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/fy_15_q4_no_fear.htm

What kind of agency is the TSA that they can't even manage to be good to their own employees?

Submitted by RB on
"What kind of agency is the TSA that they can't even manage to be good to their own employees?"

January 14, 2016 at 1:49 PM
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I think we all know the answer to that question.
Submitted by Heavy Metal Det... on

Everything you claim to have found using the millimeter wave nudie scanners would have been found using walk-through metal detectors, which are less expensive to the taxpayer, easier to maintain, and don't violate innocent people's bodies and privacy.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Bold TSApologist, Are you agreeing with RB's Jan 10 comment?

Submitted by Photo Phinish on

What is up with the weird grain filter on the photo of the red blade knife? Is that an actual photo by a TSA employee?

Submitted by Zerobane on

meh, you will get the standard response. We need to take away all of your basic rights that define america to make you "safe" followed by what if's and the underwear bomber. tsa and airport security should be held to a vote of the american people, not dicated to us.

Submitted by Roger Jacobs on

Great information! Your blog is the first one I look for in my inbox everyday. Love this new series.I love the progression shots!

Submitted by Anonymous on

"Roger Jacobs said...

Great information! Your blog is the first one I look for in my inbox everyday. Love this new series.I love the progression shots!"

Methinks you posted in the wrong place, fella. :-) No "new series" or "progression shots" here.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Seriously, West? You didn't read Roger Jacobs' comment before approving it? Obviously a bot or spammer.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "Seriously, West? You didn't read Roger Jacobs' comment before approving it? Obviously a bot or spammer."

The same could be said about other comments here, regardless of the handle attached to it - but, it had no links in it, it was in the guidelines, and it links to no Spammy items in the body of the message, so it is a go.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Wonder Meat on

West, please point out any other comments over the past month or two, except for "Mary Epps", that are commercial spam or posted by a bot for the express purpose of posting commercial spam.

Are you saying you knew it was a fake comment, but since it sounded nice, you approved it?

Isn't one of the reasons this blog is moderated is to prevent commercial spam from junking up the comment section?

Or was your reply a dig at regular commenters here who ask questions you refuse to answer? If so, that is really lame, West.

Submitted by Wonder Meat on

West, why haven't you answered any of the other questions posted in this comment section?

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

A comment was posted (and not approved, because it contained a commercial link in the body of the commentary) asking about another post above, indicating that the name contains a link - many of the names that show up in posts here have links in them. Some of these links are for commercial websites, others are for news sites, still others are for personal opinion sites/blogs.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Wintermute on

TSAgent West blathered something about...

"A comment was posted (and not approved, because it contained a commercial link in the body of the commentary) asking about another post above, indicating that the name contains a link - many of the names that show up in posts here have links in them. Some of these links are for commercial websites, others are for news sites, still others are for personal opinion sites/blogs."

West, the comment in question, by Roger Jacobs, was obvious spam, as, in addition to linking the name to a commercial website, it was also off-topic. It is common for spammers to not include links in the body of the comment itself, and to make the comment generic enough that it might appear on-topic at first glance. By not blocking it, you are encouraging the spammers to continue this practice, making it harder for us bloggers who actually care about doing our jobs with more than a 5% success rate.

Submitted by Anonymous on

West says:

The same could be said about other comments here, regardless of the handle attached to it - but, it had no links in it, it was in the guidelines, and it links to no Spammy items in the body of the message, so it is a go.

And yet, when I pointed out a number of usability and handicapped accessibility issues with your site-- multiple times-- you refused to post ALL of those comments. The content of those messages wasn't spam, they didn't have any links to spammy sites, and all the messages fell well within the commenting guidelines-- yet you refused to post them.

Double standard much, West?

Submitted by RB on

GSOLTSO said...A comment was posted (and not approved, because it contained a commercial link in the body of the commentary) asking about another post above, indicating that the name contains a link - many of the names that show up in posts here have links in them. Some of these links are for commercial websites, others are for news sites, still others are for personal opinion sites/blogs. WestTSA Blog TeamJanuary 22, 2016 at 3:02 PM
?..................?

Based on a careful reading of the illegal TSA Comment Policy having a commercial link embedded in the user name is no different than having the link in the body of the comment.

I did post pointing out Roger Jacobs name linked to a commercial website. Once again proof that TSA Bloggers cherry pick comments to meet TSA Blog objectives

Of course everyone posting here knows that TSA, a federal government agency, is prohibited by law from restricting speech.

Didn't TSA employees take an Oath to obey and defend the laws of the United States?

Submitted by Wonder Meat on

You didn't answer the questions, West.

From above,

West, please point out any other comments over the past month or two, except for "Mary Epps", that are commercial SPAM or posted by a bot for the express purpose of posting commercial SPAM.

Are you saying you knew it was a fake comment, but since it sounded nice, you approved it?

Isn't one of the reasons this blog is moderated is to prevent commercial SPAM from junking up the comment section?

Or was your reply a dig at regular commenters here who ask questions you refuse to answer? If so, that is really lame, West.

Submitted by Wonder Meat on

West, it's been six days since I reposted my questions and ten days since I originally posted my questions.

Please answer them.