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TSA Week in Review: July 24th - 31st - New Firearm Discovery Record Set

Wednesday, August 02, 2017
Discovered Firearms

TSA discovered a record 96 firearms over the last week in carry-on bags around the nation. The previous record of 89 firearms was set last month.  Of the 96 firearms discovered, 85 were loaded and 26 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.

An inert grenade was discovered inside a shoe in a checked bag at Milwaukee (MKE).

An inert grenade was discovered inside a shoe in a checked bag at Milwaukee (MKE). 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.


Clockwise from the top, these knives were discovered in carry-on bags at MDW, IAG, SAV, SAT, DEN, IAG and BUR. 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!

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Bob Burns

TSA Social Media


Submitted by Ex 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 Chip In Florida on

96 Firearms and as far as the internet search engines can tell not a single arrest of anyone. In other words..... No terrorists caught this week. That makes over over five hundred weeks with no terrorists caught. If you were a baseball team you would have been shut down a long time ago with those kinds of numbers.

Submitted by Smoke on

Thank you for keeping us safe!

Submitted by Anne Gyles on

Good work. Perhaps showing how these armed and potentiallly dangerous persons are punished would deter others.

Submitted by Valerie Reynolds on

Why are you people such idiots? (commentors) "suffered" full body scans. Oh yeah, lot of pain and suffering involved there. Maybe the pat downs hurt you so so terribly? I have a crapload of metal in one knee, due to a catastrophic knee injury. I go through this every single time I fly, and I fly often. It doesn't hurt or bother me in the least. And how do you know that one of these people with the loaded gun in their carry on, was NOT going to just whack out and start blowing away people on the plane? Oh because he wasn't on the no fly list? Does your internet search their deepest darkest thoughts too? Do me a favor and Drive if you don't like the security measures at the airport. Thanks so much.

Submitted by KevinW on

I see the asinine comments listed before me and am dumbfounded. I applaud everyone working as screeners at our airports. I did the same work over thirty years ago and understand the diligence and patience your jobs require. Please continue doing a fine job keeping our airports safe.

Submitted by Ivy on

Seriously!?! This just blows my mind! How do people think they can fly with a freaking gun?!? Loaded! Chambered? Unreal. Thanks TSA for all you do to keep irresponsible people from bring firearms into our skies.

Submitted by Captain Ken on

I don't know about the last two comments that seem to hate on the TSA, although not enjoyable going through the screening process, there were 96 guns removed. That's 96 possibilities of serious trouble. People can do amazingly stupid stuff once they get on an airplane. They get liquored up, pressurized and sometimes a little angry. No doubt one of them will remember he packed his gun and now we have instant trouble. So what you had to go through a body scanner, the number of alcohol related incidents on a plane in any given day is staggering.

Submitted by SDDad on

In my opinion that previous comment was stupid. I don't care if those individuals that had guns weren't terrorists. I don't want to be traveling with anyone with someone with a loaded weapon, let alone, one in the chamber. I question their mentality...along with the person who left that comment.

Submitted by Tom on

I don't usually add comments or even look at comments on stories, but this story I did because I am a legal concealed weapon carrier and firearms enthusiast. Part of this comment is to SDDad, you need to look in the mirror buddy! Takes one to know one and I could probably guess where you live. Research and studies have shown the only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun. While I am not defending the people who thought they could get by security with a gun, we do not know the reasons they had the gun with them and not in a checked bag. More education can never be bad. Since no arrests were made obviously there wasn't malicious intent. Just wondering what SDDad would say or do if a stranger who was legally carrying a gun protected him and/or his family if an incident occurred. And by the way, most carry with a loaded chamber because you don't necessarily have the time to chamber a round when an attack occurs. Don't believe me? Do some homework and find out for yourself. In regards to the TSA, they are doing their jobs and unfortunately they have to deal with people who don't do their homework before traveling. I am a public safety worker and I cannot imagine the stuff that the TSA agents have to put up with on a daily basis. So I thank them for their efforts. Remember it is the person that harms someone intentionally, not the instrument the person uses.

Submitted by Not TSAgent West on

With a 96% or so failure rate, odds are you flew with multiple firearms on your last flight. Yet not a single incident occurred in flight. This tells me odds are, not a single one of these catches made a bit of difference security-wise.

Submitted by S Richart on

My, my, my, where did Bob/West dig up all the pro-TSA commenters from this week? Doesn't seem to be a coincidence especially since 3 were posted within about 30 minutes of each other.

All you folks complaining about how people need to be arrested because you don't want them near you. Take a look at where most of the firearms are found - open carry states, which means that people are near you all the time in those states with loaded weapons.

Submitted by Chip In Florida on

So seven TSA cheerleaders posted on this topic but judging by the content of each I am going to guess only two or three actual employees did the posting.

To Miss Gyles... your authoritarianism is showing. Expressing a public desire to see others punished borders on the line of mental illness.

To Miss Reynolds.... sorry about all the troubles with your knees, I have a great deal of empathy with you regarding knees. As for the firearm owners who might at any time '...whack out and start blowing away people on the plane?" What makes the airplane so special that these people who are perfectly fine with a firearm are suddenly going to 'whack out?' They aren't shooting people over parking spaces nor are they shooting people for cutting in line at the theater so why would they start shooting on an airplane?

To Miss Ivy... You asked " How do people think they can fly with a freaking gun?!?" And the answer is quite simple: I have no problem driving around with firearm, a loaded one at that, so what makes an airplane so special that I would suddenly become a problem for doing something that isn't a problem anywhere else I travel?

And then to SDDad.... "I don't want to be traveling with anyone with someone with a loaded weapon, let alone, one in the chamber. I question their mentality...along with the person who left that comment." Do you have a problem when you see the Air Marshall? Because they have a loaded gun and depending on their specific training regime could have one in the chamber. I would hazard a guess you don't question the Sky Marshalls mentality. And you know what else.... someone on the flight deck may also be armed. Maybe even everyone on the flight deck. My pilot friend has a firearm with him when he flies and he keeps one in the chamber because that is how we was trained. Are you going to question his mentality?

I didn't forget about you Ken.... you mentioned the number of firearms removed from flights and then mentioned something about how often something else happens. First, the TSA's own testing demonstrates as much as a 90% failure rate regarding their primary search parameters of weapons, explosives, and incendiaries (WEI, or more casually things that go boom). So if 96 firearms were found there were many, many more that weren't. The 'serious trouble' you claim was prevented was due to the lack of trouble generally cause by firearm owners who, on average, commit eleven times less trouble than even police officers. Second; your claim of " the number of alcohol related incidents on a plane in any given day is staggering" is so incredibly staggering that it doesn't even get reported. I had to scroll down to page three of my search engine to find anything about it that wasn't related to pilots and drinking. Which makes a nice tie-in and wrap up for you in number three..... 96 firearms represents approximately 0.0009% of the flying passengers for the week of July 24th through 31st. That is One One-thousandths of a percent, or a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction of one percent. Or something hardly worth spending eight billion dollars per year, or put another way the TSA spent roughly 1.4 Million dollars each to find those 96 guns. If you are looking for a truly staggering number.... there you go.

Submitted by Daniel Martin on

It is truly astonishing that anyone that has gone through training and gotten a License to Carry Permit would be stupid enough to bring a loaded firearm onto a plane with this frequency. How many of these had permits in the states they boarded in?

Submitted by Majid on