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TSA Week in Review: July 3rd - 9th: 78 Firearms Discovered Last Week in Carry-on Bags (62 Loaded)

Friday, July 14, 2017
Discovered Firearms

TSA discovered 78 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. Of the 78 firearms discovered, 62 were loaded and 32 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.

Knives

From the left, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at BNA, ABQ, CHS, BUR and BNA . While all knives are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed 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.

Firearm Discovery Spreadsheet*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.

If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. And don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds of 2016 video!

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns

TSA Social Media

Comments

Submitted by Joe Crabb on

I know the information may be here somewhere but I'm too lazy to search for it right now. Are people who try to transport weapons on to flights arrested?

Submitted by BU 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 RB on

TSA puts out this weekly update almost every week yet it seems that the same or more guns are found week to week. Perhaps the TSA Blog is ineffective in communicating this issue. Sure seems like Bobbi is wasting time.

What percentage of passengers do these 78 passengers with guns represent? What was the cost expended to find these 78 guns.

Submitted by JG on

Most of the comments on here week to week seem to come from delusional tinfoil hat wearing trolls. Why bother having the option to post? I'm surprised by all the negativity, why bother following a blog if you don't like its subject matter? Is their life that sad? It's almost as if they're x-employees who were fired, following every post week to week like a crazed X, facebook stalking you and your new successful boyfriend. Can you get the NSA to send them flowers?

Submitted by RB on

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/checkpoints-borders-policy-debate/1853875...

An item posted at the link above states that TSA screeners refused to identify themselves. Not going into the matter of that posting but the public has been told multiple times by one of the TSA Blog moderators to file complaints when things seem wrong during a screening.

Are TSA employees required to identify themselves in some manner if asked? Surely a crackerjack organization like TSA would need to know if employees are racking up complaints but how would that be possible without being able to ID the employee when filing the complaint?

I'm not suggesting full first and last name but perhaps an employee number or such.

So whats the deal TSA? Id required to be given or not?

Submitted by S Richart on

When TSA screeners confiscate things like candy bars or tiny multi-tools, what would happen if the passenger from the whom the item was taken demanded to watch the screener deposit it in the trash/garbage can? There have been recent reports of screeners taking items and refusing to dispose of them when asked to do so.

Submitted by RB on

Is there any requirement for TSA employees to identify themselves, in some manner, if a traveler requests that information in order to file a complaint due to some perceived issue during screening?

Submitted by West Cooper on

S. Richart sez - "When TSA screeners confiscate things"

TSA does not confiscate. Passengers are given options on what to do with *almost* all items. Items like firearms and bombs, etc, are handled by local LEOs, and may actually result in confiscation, but only by the local LEOs, not TSA.

S.Richart also sez - "what would happen if the passenger from the whom the item was taken demanded to watch the screener deposit it in the trash/garbage can?"

TSOs have a set process they follow. The disposal process at each airport is designed and implemented by that airport. TSA has regulations that determine what happens to the different types of items, but the actual process of walking the item from voluntary surrender by the passenger, to final disposition is different at each airport.

Joe Crabb sez - "I know the information may be here somewhere but I'm too lazy to search for it right now. Are people who try to transport weapons on to flights arrested?"

This is determined by the local LEOs, and the laws for that particular area. When TSA discovers a firearm, we contact the LEOs, they come to the checkpoint area, and assume control of the item(s), and determine what happens next.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

Is there any requirement for TSA employees to identify themselves, in some manner, if a traveler requests that information in order to file a complaint due to some perceived issue during screening?

Submitted by West Cooper on

The last published commentary I found on TSOs identifying themselves was posted here back in 2009, and is as follows:

"Many of our readers have asked if our officers are required to give their full name when asked by a passenger. Hopefully I can provide some clarification.

If asked, our officers are only required to provide their last name and rank. This information is printed on the nameplate on every officer’s uniform. Furthermore, supervisors, managers, and customer support managers are not required to provide the officer’s full name.

As far as the photo ID badge on the officer’s uniform, this is a badge that all airport employees must wear. It’s called a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. Basically, it’s a badge that allows employees access to non-public areas. One side of the badge has the employee’s full name on it. Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges vs. a name badge. This is permissible.

If at any time you need to file a kudos or complaint regarding one of our officers, the only information you need for us to be able to recognize an employee or resolve an issue is:

Last Name/Rank/Date/Time/Location

Our officers have a right to privacy, and TSA has the responsibility of protecting our officers from the harassment that could result from revealing their full names.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team"

I have seen no other published contradictions, or modifications.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by West Cooper on Tue, 2017-07-18 15:27
The last published commentary I found on TSOs identifying themselves was posted here back in 2009, and is as follows:

"Many of our readers have asked if our officers are required to give their full name when asked by a passenger. Hopefully I can provide some clarification.

If asked, our officers are only required to provide their last name and rank. This information is printed on the nameplate on every officer’s uniform. Furthermore, supervisors, managers, and customer support managers are not required to provide the officer’s full name.

As far as the photo ID badge on the officer’s uniform, this is a badge that all airport employees must wear. It’s called a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. Basically, it’s a badge that allows employees access to non-public areas. One side of the badge has the employee’s full name on it. Many officers choose to wear their SIDA badges vs. a name badge. This is permissible.

If at any time you need to file a kudos or complaint regarding one of our officers, the only information you need for us to be able to recognize an employee or resolve an issue is:

Last Name/Rank/Date/Time/Location

Our officers have a right to privacy, and TSA has the responsibility of protecting our officers from the harassment that could result from revealing their full names.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team"

I have seen no other published contradictions, or modifications.

TSA Blog Team

...........................
So a TSA screener refusing to provide their name, and other TSA employees assisting in concealing the identity of a TSA employee are in violation of TSA policy. Is that correct?

How should a person proceed in such an instance?

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on

West,

First, you know as well as everyone else what is meant by confiscate. You can use whatever language you want, but the result is the same.

Second, in the case an item, such as a gun or a non-bomb (TSA hasn't found an actual bomb yet, have they? Only "replicas" that sometimes don't even look like a real bomb, and non-bomb items that remotely resemble IEDs because they have batteries and wires.) who retains control of the item? If the passenger does, then it seems TSA is putting the public in danger while awaiting LEOs to respond. If TSA does, then they have, indeed, "confiscated" the object at least temporarily while LEOs respond. Either way, you are incorrect in your assertion that TSA does not "confiscate."

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on

Because West cannot seem to even give an affirmative answer without obfuscating it, let me parse his answer and paraphrase.

"Yes, they are required to identify themselves, with caveats."

And Blogger Bob's answer that he quotes verbatim contains some whoppers... A government agent performing their duties in public has no expectation of privacy. Court case after court case has shown this to be true.

Submitted by S Richart on

West, get off the "voluntarily surrender" nonsense. You're about the only person who believes it. We all know there is a huge gap between what is supposed to happen at a checkpoint and what actually does happen. Just like we all know what TSA says about training for baggage screeners and what actually happens to baggage at the hands of the TSA, which you seem to want to blame on "others that access the luggage after it is inspected." Blaming others is a SOP for TSA.

screen shot/DHS IG statement

Submitted by West Cooper on

Anon sez - "So a TSA screener refusing to provide their name, and other TSA employees assisting in concealing the identity of a TSA employee are in violation of TSA policy. Is that correct?

How should a person proceed in such an instance?"

I recommend the same basic process that I do in any case where a passenger has a situation where they believe that a TSO is not doing what they are supposed to. Please visit the TSA Contact page, and use the contact heading most in line with your comments - most often, the Customer Service link, or the Claims link (depending on which one best suits your needs).

Not TSA sez - "

First, you know as well as everyone else what is meant by confiscate. You can use whatever language you want, but the result is the same.

Second, in the case an item, such as a gun or a non-bomb (TSA hasn't found an actual bomb yet, have they? Only "replicas" that sometimes don't even look like a real bomb, and non-bomb items that remotely resemble IEDs because they have batteries and wires.) who retains control of the item? If the passenger does, then it seems TSA is putting the public in danger while awaiting LEOs to respond. If TSA does, then they have, indeed, "confiscated" the object at least temporarily while LEOs respond. Either way, you are incorrect in your assertion that TSA does not "confiscate."

Passengers are given options with items that are not allowed (with the above mentioned exceptions), these option include taking the item back out of the checkpoint and putting it in a car, mailing to their home, giving it to a friend or family member, checking the item under the plane. Every single day, thousands of passengers are given the set of options, and choose to take a prohibited item back out of a checkpoint and keep the item. This literally happens at my checkpoint several times a day, it also happened(s) at every other checkpoint that I have worked (LAX, PHX, CLT, RDU, ILM, GSO, MIA). When a passenger does not choose to take advantage of the options provided to them, they voluntarily surrender the item - it is not confiscated.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by West Cooper on

S. Richart sez - "West, get off the "voluntarily surrender" nonsense. You're about the only person who believes it. We all know there is a huge gap between what is supposed to happen at a checkpoint and what actually does happen. Just like we all know what TSA says about training for baggage screeners and what actually happens to baggage at the hands of the TSA, which you seem to want to blame on "others that access the luggage after it is inspected." Blaming others is a SOP for TSA."

I beg to differ. Voluntarily abandon is the last option available to a passenger with prohbited items (that are not dangerous). These options are given to thousands of passengers every single day. The fact that passengers do not choose to take advantage of other options, is entirely their choice (again, with prohibs that are not dangerous). I am not the only one that believes it, as it is the stated process of the organization - publicly, and consistently. I never place bnlame on anyone, I state facts when they are available, public information that the organization has published, and in some rare occasions, opinions, but not blame - facts. If passengers feel that TSOs are not doing the right thing during screening, I ask them to file complaints or commentary by visiting the TSA Contact page. Allowing passengers to take (again, non-dangerous) prohibited items back out of the checkpoint is a cornerstone of our process - we have been doing it since I came to work 12+ years ago.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on

I notice West did not answer who controls a "dangerous" item until LEO responds, thus ignoring the flaw in his verbal gymnastics.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Wed, 2017-07-19 09:24
Anon sez - "So a TSA screener refusing to provide their name, and other TSA employees assisting in concealing the identity of a TSA employee are in violation of TSA policy. Is that correct?

How should a person proceed in such an instance?"

I recommend the same basic process that I do in any case where a passenger has a situation where they believe that a TSO is not doing what they are supposed to. Please visit the TSA Contact page, and use the contact heading most in line with your comments - most often, the Customer Service link, or the Claims link (depending on which one best suits your needs).

TSA Blog Team
..................
So the public files a complaint against TSA John Doe. I just don't see that helping anyone very much.

Why aren't actions taken against TSA employees who obscure their name badge or refuse to state their last name?

Why aren't steps taken to ensure TSA employees know that they cannot hide behind anonymity?

Submitted by Cromulent on

If a screener at a checkpoint says a non-prohibited item isn't allowed, is there anything a passenger can do? It doesn't seem right that an item that is permitted can be arbitrarily denied through the checkpoint just because the screener says so. I've seen some accounts of people getting things confiscated/surrendered lately, even when they check with the AskTSA twitter who says the item is allowed.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Not me sez - "I notice West did not answer who controls a "dangerous" item until LEO responds, thus ignoring the flaw in his verbal gymnastics."

Sorry, I have answered that before, TSA maintains control of any items that are deemed possibly dangerous - that has been the process at least since I got to TSA 12 years ago. If an item is actually deemed a dangerous item (explosive, firearm, etc) , there are different procedures in place depending upon what the item actually is.

RB sez - "So the public files a complaint against TSA John Doe. I just don't see that helping anyone very much.

Why aren't actions taken against TSA employees who obscure their name badge or refuse to state their last name?

Why aren't steps taken to ensure TSA employees know that they cannot hide behind anonymity?"

I can not comment on whether TSOs have not had actions taken against them for failing to ID themselves - as I am uncertain if it has happened or not.

As for TSOs knowing that they are to give their last name, and title, I know for a fact it is emphasized repeatedly at several airports. If a TSO fails to give their last name and title, I agree with you that some form of address by management should take place.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on

So, you're admitting you retain control. Ipso facto, you "confiscate."

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on Sun, 2017-07-23 17:10
So, you're admitting you retain control. Ipso facto, you "confiscate."
......................
Adding on:

TSA claims that police take control of weapons but TSA sure seems to have plenty of time to lay out the guns and knives for picture time. Makes you wonder just who is confiscating what!

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

RB asked "...What percentage of passengers do these 78 passengers with guns represent? What was the cost expended to find these 78 guns."

The percentage of passengers would be roughly 0.00004 percent. Yes, that is four zero's between the number and the decimal, which is a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of one percent of the travellers for the week in question.

As to how much per find regarding firearms.... hard to quantify exactly because the TSA finds so many more things than just firearms. If you wanted to apply the cost of the TSA strictly to firearms that works out to about a million dollars per firearm found.

The more appropriate question to ask is why are we spending roughly 150 million per week funding an Agency that can't demonstrate any effectiveness to provide services 'protecting' us from a fraction of fraction of one percent of the travellers in any given week?