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TSA Week in Review: July 10th - 16th - New Firearm Discovery Record Set, Firearm Concealed in Wheelchair Cushion & More

Friday, July 21, 2017
Discovered Firearms

TSA discovered a record 89 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. The previous record of 82 firearms was set in May of 2017.  Of the 89 firearms discovered, 74 were loaded and 27 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.

A loaded .40 caliber firearm with 15 rounds was discovered concealed in wheelchair cushion at McGhee Tyson (TYS).

A loaded .40 caliber firearm with 15 rounds was discovered concealed inside a wheelchair cushion at McGhee Tyson (TYS).

An AIT anomaly detected in the buttocks area revealed a loaded .22 caliber pistol on a Los Angeles (LAX) traveler.

An AIT (body scanner) anomaly on a Los Angeles (LAX) traveler revealed a bag tucked inside their rear wasteband area with a loaded .22 caliber pistol insde.

A small pocketknife was discovered inside the taped handle of a toothbrush at Cleveland (CLE). All knives are prohibited, and concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest.

A small pocketknife was discovered inside the taped handle of a toothbrush at Cleveland (CLE). All knives are prohibited, and concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest.

This 120mm practice tank warhead was detected in a checked bag at El Paso (ELP).

This 120mm practice tank warhead was detected in a checked bag at El Paso (ELP). We don't know items such as this one 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 live ordnance is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Clockwise from the top, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at ORD, LGA, BOI, ABE, DEN and MEM.

Clockwise from the top, these items were discovered in carry-on bags at ORD, LGA, BOI, ABE, DEN and MEM. While all knives and sharp bladed items 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.

TSA discovered a record 89 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. The previous record of 82 firearms was set in May of 2017.  Of the 89 firearms discovered, 74 were loaded and 27 had a round chambered. *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 Max Yost on

Two comments:

1. Your picture of the toothpaste pocketknife contains an unauthorized Privacy Act violation. I can clearly read the E-ticket number. With five minutes of work, I can find out the identity of the passenger. Pull it down before I get ome from dinner tonight.

2. Your Pornoscope caught a big metal gun that would have been easily detected by a standard metal detector, so don't patronize the public.

Submitted by Cv 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 Max Yost on

You blew me off, but I didn't blow you off. Here is what I wrote in my OIG Hotline complaint:

"Curtis Burns and the blogger/screening clerk known as "West" Knowingly published a picture on the TSA blog containing personally identifiable information (PII) in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended. On the TSA Blog posting of July 21, 2017, the two offenders posted a picture of a pocket knife which, according to the offenders, was confiscated at a TSA checkpoint in Cleveland. In their zeal to publicize this "big catch", they violated the civil liberties and privacy of the passenger. In the picture posted on the blog, one can clearly see the E-ticket number, flight number and seat assignment of the passenger. Without a lot of effort, any number of persons could derive the identity of the passenger. This is clearly a violation of the Privacy Act and I expect you, on behalf of the citizens you serve, to conduct a full investigation. Your findings and recommendations should include disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal from the federal service for Curtis Burns and 'West.'"

Submitted by S Richart on

West, why would TSA force a parent to totally remove a plastic and velcro leg cast from a 3-year old? Why would TSA tell a 3 year to not put his thumb in his mouth and to stop trying to hold his mother?

https://twitter.com/CyberSnark/status/888828593043668992

and

"1/ Hey @TSA, you might want to rethink your algorithm when it selects and terrifies a 3yo for "ehanced security screening".
"Swabbed his hands for explosives, reprimanded him for putting his thumb in his mouth + trying to hold me."

What business is it of the TSA to reprimand a three-year old for his behavior? Why are your trying to stop frightened children from holding their mothers?

screen shot/DHS IG statement

Submitted by S Richart on

Two thumbs up, Max Yost, for filing a complaint with the DHS IG.

Submitted by S Richart on

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

What I want to know is how many dangerous items TSA has EVER found as a result of a sexual assault on a passenger.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Srichart sez - "West, why would TSA force a parent to totally remove a plastic and velcro leg cast from a 3-year old? Why would TSA tell a 3 year to not put his thumb in his mouth and to stop trying to hold his mother?"

That is not the way I understand the process to work. Could you please advise the individual to file a comment with TSA at our contact page? We can not investigate situations if we do not have the official complaints/comments. Thank you for your help!

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by S Richart on

West wrote: "That is not the way I understand the process to work. Could you please advise the individual to file a comment with TSA at our contact page? We can not investigate situations if we do not have the official complaints/comments. Thank you for your help!"

I advised her to file a complaint with the DHS IG, where it has a better chance of being resolved than with the TSA, which will only blame the parent and not do anything to discuss with screeners.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Sun, 2017-07-23 16:16
Srichart sez - "West, why would TSA force a parent to totally remove a plastic and velcro leg cast from a 3-year old? Why would TSA tell a 3 year to not put his thumb in his mouth and to stop trying to hold his mother?"

That is not the way I understand the process to work. Could you please advise the individual to file a comment with TSA at our contact page? We can not investigate situations if we do not have the official complaints/comments. Thank you for your help!

TSA Blog Team
...................
TSA was made aware of the complaint thru a secondary posting to the TSA Blog. Why exactly can't TSA take some tiny bit of initiative and follow up on the information directly with the individual since the information included the persons twitter name?

Submitted by J Green on

Re: Max Yost, I don't know why his comment was posted, but It seems he should calm down. One's right to privacy is diminished once you pull a criminal act, not to mention an idiotic one.

What is MY planning to do once he got "ome" , anyhow?! This sounds like a threat that should not be given voice on a site that tries to contain attacks and offensiveness, while expecting respectfulness.

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

Rather good comments this week. Thanks to all those who contributed.

Far fewer than during more popular times, when folks thought comments here would actually produce needed changes to TSA and this blog.
What I liked is that no one posted their thanks for removing the cast on a 3 year old might have prevented some in-air event. Glad to know my 60 billion dollars is being well spent.

Submitted by S Richart on

J. Green, could you say this again in understandable English, please. "Re: Max Yost, I don't know why his comment was posted, but It seems he should calm down. One's right to privacy is diminished once you pull a criminal act, not to mention an idiotic one.

What is MY planning to do once he got "ome" , anyhow?! This sounds like a threat that should not be given voice on a site that tries to contain attacks and offensiveness, while expecting respectfulness."

Or maybe someone else could interpret what J. Green was trying to say.

Submitted by Max Yost on

"Submitted by J Green on Mon, 2017-07-24 16:09

Re: Max Yost, I don't know why his comment was posted, but It seems he should calm down. One's right to privacy is diminished once you pull a criminal act, not to mention an idiotic one.

What is MY planning to do once he got "ome" , anyhow?! This sounds like a threat that should not be given voice on a site that tries to contain attacks and offensiveness, while expecting respectfulness."

You obviously have no idea about the Privacy Act or FOIA. What the TSA did was a clear and blatant violation of one of the simplest and most basic PA prohibitions. It took several of us to file an IG complaint and the TSA four days to correct the violation. In an agency with no accountability, I'm sure there were no adverse actions taken against anybody.

"ome" -- I can tell by your obvious command of the English language that you have never made a typo.

Submitted by S Richart on

Congratulations, Max Yost. The photo of the knife with the privacy violation has been edited.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by Cv on Sat, 2017-07-22 19:50
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?"
######################
As always nothing productive or constructive to help fix the problems with TSA.

Submitted by Cj on

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on Tue, 2017-07-25 04:07
Rather good comments this week. Thanks to all those who contributed.

Far fewer than during more popular times, when folks thought comments here would actually produce needed changes to TSA and this blog.
What I liked is that no one posted their thanks for removing the cast on a 3 year old might have prevented some in-air event. Glad to know my 60 billion dollars is being well spent."

Wow, where do you get $60 billion dollars from. May I borrow a small amount since you and only you contributed to the DHS budget. In a serious note, I believe it's about 8 billion like others have said, but do not forget TSA is not only spending money. TSA also makes revenue whenever someone buys a ticket, fines for items such as weapons, and the precheck program.

Submitted by S Richart on

Cj, it's 8 billion a year.

Submitted by Cj on

Yes you are right, S Richard. I was correcting CliffOnTheRoad of the actual amount.

Submitted by Ecision Cl on

A federal court ruled in a case that should be of interest to TSA, TSA's Blog Team, and any TSA employee involved with TSA's Social Media efforts. The court ruled that it is a First Amendment violation to ban public access to her Facebook page. TSA and it's employees routinely block citizens access to TSA's various social media accounts. This courts decision removes any doubt that such actions are a clear Civil Rights violation committed individually by various TSA employees.

I expect to see my civil rights complaint, filed with DHS OIG, to move forward quickly now that this similar case has been decided. I hope the action taken against the involved TSA employees is severe given the clear Constitutional and Ethics violations.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

"..TSA discovered a record 89 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation"

Wooo Hoo!

How many terrorists did you catch?

Submitted by Cv on

"As always nothing productive or constructive to help fix the problems with TSA."

Stop using the slow, invasive, ineffective naked body scanners as the primary screening mechanism.

End the pointless shoe carnival and scientifically indefensible liquids farce.

Stop sexually assaulting people.