TSA Week in Review Feb 20th - 26th - Record Number of Firearms Discovered in One Day, Stun Cane, Inert Explosives, and More

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Record Number of Firearms Discovered in One Day - On February 23rd, 21 firearms were discovered around the country in carry-on bags. That broke the previous record of 18 set in 2014.

TSA discovered 79 firearms last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 79 firearms discovered, 68 were loaded and 21 had a round chambered. All of the firearms pictured were discovered last week. See a complete list below.

A realistic replica suicide vest and claymore mine were discovered in a traveler’s checked bag at El Paso (ELP).

This realistic replica suicide vest and claymore mine were discovered in a traveler’s checked bag at El Paso (ELP). The traveler was an explosives ordnance disposal contractor and the items are used as training aids. Instructors needing to travel with inert explosives training aids should plan ahead and find another way to transport their training aids. They are prohibited in both checked and carry-on bags. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must resolve the alarm to determine the level of threat. Even if they are novelty items, you cannot bring them on a plane.

Live smoke grenade

This live smoke grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Raleigh-Durham (RDU). Not only do smoke grenades deploy a thick blanket of smoke, they also burn extremely hot and are considered hazmat. They are prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags.

Stun Cane

This stun cane was discovered in the carry-on property of a Kahului (OGG) traveler. All stun devices are prohibited in carry-on bags. Concealed stun devices can lead to fines and arrest.

Loaded magazine

During additional screening of a wheelchair at LaGuardia (LGA), this loaded magazine with 10 rounds of .45 caliber ammunition was discovered in a bag underneath the seat cushion. When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag. Concealed ammunition can lead to fines and arrest.


Clockwise from the top, these knives were discovered in carry-on bags at LGA, DEN, FLL, GNV, IAH, PVD and STX. All knives are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags. Please pack them in checked baggage.

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.

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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