TSA discovered 75 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 75 firearms discovered, 60 were loaded and 18 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers bringing firearms to the checkpoint can be arrested and fined up to $11,000. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure. You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.
When you’re traveling through airports, you only really scratch the surface of what you see in regards to TSA operations. There’s so much going on behind the scenes. For example, Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) our officers discovered four 40mm grenades in a tactical vest inside a checked bag. A TSA explosives specialist was called to scene and thankfully cleared the items as inert. In this case, only the baggage screening area was evacuated resulting in a 10-minute halt on baggage screening locations. At other times inert explosives have led to evacuations resulting in multiple lengthy delays. By packing inert or replica explosives, you not only stand the chance of getting yourself in hot water, but you are also possibly impacting scores of your fellow travelers. In case you were wondering, we have found live grenades in the past.
This grenade creature was discovered in a carry-on bag at Albuquerque (ABQ). We don’t know grenades are inert until our explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Real, inert, or anything resembling a grenade is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.
This flare gun and 4 flares were discovered in a carry-on bag at Honolulu (HNL). Flares are prohibited in both carry-on and checked bags.
From the left, these knives were discovered in carry-on bags at DEN, CRW and IAH. While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage.
A firearm was discovered concealed in a checked bag at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). It was inserted into a hollowed out CD ROM drive and placed between file folders in a bin. Traveling with firearms in checked bags is permitted as long as the firearm is declared and the proper packing guidelines are followed.
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.
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.
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. 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.