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TSA Week in Review: March 12th -18th

Thursday, March 22, 2018
TSA discovered 71 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation last week. Of the 71 firearms discovered, 66 were loaded and 29 had a round chambered.

TSA discovered 71 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation last week. Of the 71 firearms discovered, 66 were loaded and 29 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,066 per violation per person for prohibited items violations and violations of other TSA regulations. Repeat violations will result in higher penalties. 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.

The ammunition pictured here was packed in a carry-on bag at the Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA).

If packed properly, ammunition can be transported in checked-baggage. The ammunition pictured here was packed in a carry-on bag at the Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA). You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with ammunition in checked baggage.

We don’t know if replica or inert items are live until our explosives professionals take a closer look and eventually open the bag. That takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Real, inert, or anything resembling an explosive item is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.

This inert mortar was discovered in a checked bag at the Evansville Regional Airport (EVV).

This inert mortar was discovered in a checked bag at the Evansville Regional Airport (EVV).

These inert anti-structure grenades were discovered in a checked bag at the Dulles International Airport (IAD).

These inert anti-structure grenades were discovered in a checked bag at the Dulles International Airport (IAD).

Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at SAT, CAK, MDW, DEN, ATL, ELP, ATL, SNA, PVD and RDU.

Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at SAT, CAK, MDW, DEN, ATL, ELP, ATL, SNA, PVD and RDU. While these items are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage. However, familiarize yourself with local laws as concealed weapons and martial arts weapons are illegal in parts of the U.S.

TSA discovered 71 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation last week. Of the 71 firearms discovered, 66 were loaded and 29 had a round chambered.Checkpoint and checked baggage screening acts as a deterrent to keep those with ill will from attempting to cause catastrophic damage to an aircraft. 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 pocket knives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

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, 2016 and 2017.

And don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds videos for 2016 & 2017.

Follow @TSA on Twitter and Instagram and Like Us on Facebook. Have a question? Ask TSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger

Bob Burns

TSA Social Media

Comments

Submitted by SAB on

Question - what is the purpose of tracking make/model?

Submitted by RB on

How many bottles of water did TSA confiscate this past week? Were any of them dangerous or even tested to determine if they were dangerous?

Where does TSA derive any authority to confiscate non-WEI materials?

Submitted by Max Yost on

Can you cite the law that justifies you engaging in anti-human trafficking at checkpoints? Last week, I witnessed an ID checker interrogating two young kids in front of their parents by asking each kid individually their name and destination. The kids were shaking and the young mother was red in the face because she wasn't expecting her kids to be interrogated individually right in front of her.

Submitted by Hb 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

Does the TSA Blog have any moderators? Certainly doesn't seem to be any!

Submitted by John on

To RB,

TSA does not confiscate items. If a passenger brings a prohibited item to the checkpoint they are given several options to keep the item or they can make the choice to surrender the item to TSA and TSA will dispose of the item for them.

Submitted by Steve on

why moderate a bunch of whiners

Submitted by Not Steve Or John on

John, 1st, what you describe is what is SUPPOSED to happen. Sometimes, TSAgents fail to provide those options. And in the cases where those options are given, "surrendering" an item to TSA under duress is still, by definition, confiscation.

Steve, when did personal attacks become allowed again?!

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by John on Tue, 2018-04-03 07:34
To RB,

TSA does not confiscate items. If a passenger brings a prohibited item to the checkpoint they are given several options to keep the item or they can make the choice to surrender the item to TSA and TSA will dispose of the item for them.
......................
You can try to pick the fly feces out of the pepper but even senior TSA employees have made statements using the word "confiscate". That will be my choice of terminology because that is exactly what is happening. TSA confiscates harmless items and then disposes of that item without concern for anyone's safety.

TSA is permitted by law to screen for three basic items; Weapons, Explosives, and Incendiaries. Water, soda pop, juice, milk, cup cakes in a jar, peanut butter, lotions, and such are not WEI. So they cannot, by law, be prohibited items. Even if they could be prohibited TSA proves by not treating these items as potential WEI that these types of items are considered to be harmless. Who in their right mind would toss a potential LGA explosive in a common trash bin right where you are working?

TSA wants to make claims that LGA explosives are real and a true threat yet TSA screening actions prove that concern to not be real. That tells me that TSA screeners truly do no understand what a real threat is or don't care if screeners mishandle potential WEI.

So I will ask again, who in their right mind would toss an possible WEI in a common trash bin right where people are standing?

TSA isn't about making anyone safer jut making people "feel" safer. Pure theater, nothing more!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Submitted by John on Tue, 2018-04-03 07:34
To RB,

TSA does not confiscate items. If a passenger brings a prohibited item to the checkpoint they are given several options to keep the item or they can make the choice to surrender the item to TSA and TSA will dispose of the item for them."

To expand upon RB's rebuttal to your comment:

David Castelveter, (former) spokesperson for the TSA:

"We just keep track of the confiscations, because the police don’t always keep us apprised of what happens,” Castelveter said. ”We don’t pay attention to the arrest unless it turns into an indictment and we have an agent give testimony in a trial.”

Or

"All have been confiscated from travelers screened at TSA checkpoints, Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokeswoman at the airport, said Thursday afternoon."

Submitted by West Cooper on

To reiterate Johns comment above - TSA does not confiscate. If an item is prohibited, but not considered illegal or dangerous, the passenger is given the options on what they can do with the item. If an item is deemed dangerous or illegal (firearm, grenades, depending upon locale knives martial arts items, etc), then the local LEOs are notified and they take over the situation. If an item is indeed confiscated, it is done by someone other than TSA, like the local LEOs.

Susan sez - "

David Castelveter, (former) spokesperson for the TSA:

"We just keep track of the confiscations, because the police don’t always keep us apprised of what happens,” Castelveter said. ”We don’t pay attention to the arrest unless it turns into an indictment and we have an agent give testimony in a trial.”

Or

"All have been confiscated from travelers screened at TSA checkpoints, Lisa Farbstein, TSA spokeswoman at the airport, said Thursday afternoon.""

The first comment by Castleveter, was in reference to firearm confiscations by LEOs, not TSA. The full comment with context is as follows :

"

TSA officers have already seized a record 1,500 guns, 1,295 of which were loaded, according to David Castelveter, TSA’s director of external communications. Most of these ended up at airport security checkpoints in the American South.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, the world’s busiest airport by passenger numbers, saw the most firearms, along with five airports in Texas and two in Florida.

Beyond keeping a tally of incidents, Castelveter said the TSA doesn’t follow any arrests that may stem from the violations.

“We just keep track of the confiscations because the police don’t always keep us apprised of what happens,” he told travel news site Skift, which has monitored the trend throughout the year. “We don’t pay attention to the arrest unless it turns into an indictment and we have an agent give testimony in a trial.”

I am incertain where you got the above comment from Lisa, but I am almost certain that she was referencing dangerous/illegal items discovered at checkpoints, which would involve the local LEOs. Can you include a link to where that comment came from originally?

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by The Original RB on

Submitted by Not Steve Or John on Tue, 2018-04-03 14:53
John, 1st, what you describe is what is SUPPOSED to happen. Sometimes, TSAgents fail to provide those options. And in the cases where those options are given, "surrendering" an item to TSA under duress is still, by definition, confiscation.

Steve, when did personal attacks become allowed again?!
.......................

Didn't you get TSA's Blogger Bob's memo, only attacks against TSA supporters and employees are prohibited, anything is fair for posters who oppose TSA.

Submitted by RB on

"TSA officers have already seized a record 1,500 guns....."

Sure sounds like a confiscation to me.

"seized: see definition of seized show
adj confiscated
captured

Synonyms for seized
adj confiscated"

Confiscate has been used in context of other statements by TSA employees which was not about guns.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"There are other items screeners recommend you leave at home, ranging from an assortment of saws, knives and replica guns to a spear gun and a homemade wooden mallet. All have been confiscated from travelers screened at TSA checkpoints, Lisa Farbstein, TSA ..." Farbstein's comment was in the Asbury Park Press, but I'm not about to spend any money to get the exact citation for you.

“All we’re permitted to do is confiscate the weapon and call law enforcement agents, who then will take custody of it and determine whether or not you’re arrested,” said Mr. Castelveter, who is part of the security agency’s effort to notify local news media to aggressively publicize reports of guns and other prohibited weapons being found at checkpoints."

NY Times, September 2012

Care to claim again that TSA doesn't confiscate, West?

Submitted by Not West on

And not a word about all those times TGAgents failed to give any options, other than to "surrender" the item... You know it happens. I know it happens. That is, indeed, "confiscation" regardless of what TSA wants to call it.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "Care to claim again that TSA doesn't confiscate, West?"

Yes, TSA does not confiscate. If it is a dangerous item, that is confiscated, it is done by local LEOs, not TSA. I have consistently stated this, and will continue to state it, because TSA does not confiscate. In the case of other (non-dangerous LGA, pocket knives, torch lighters, etc) prohibited items, TSA is to offer options to the passenger - in any case that the TSO does not offer the passenger options, that TSO is wrong. If you have first hand knowledge of someone not offering the options, then I ask you to file a complaint with TSA Complaints. If you have specific feedback that you would like to provide to TSA, you can visit the TSA Contact page.

TSA does not seize - they contact local LEOs, the local LEOs take possesion of the firearm, and then the local LEOs determine what the process is moving forward - whether it is to charge the individual or not charge the individual, as well as the disposition of the firearm at the end of the encounter.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Sun, 2018-04-08 10:02
Susan sez - "Care to claim again that TSA doesn't confiscate, West?"

Yes, TSA does not confiscate. If it is a dangerous item, that is confiscated, it is done by local LEOs, not TSA. I have consistently stated this, and will continue to state it, because TSA does not confiscate. In the case of other (non-dangerous LGA, pocket knives, torch lighters, etc) prohibited items, TSA is to offer options to the passenger - in any case that the TSO does not offer the passenger options, that TSO is wrong. If you have first hand knowledge of someone not offering the options, then I ask you to file a complaint with TSA Complaints. If you have specific feedback that you would like to provide to TSA, you can visit the TSA Contact page.

TSA does not seize - they contact local LEOs, the local LEOs take possesion of the firearm, and then the local LEOs determine what the process is moving forward - whether it is to charge the individual or not charge the individual, as well as the disposition of the firearm at the end of the encounter.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Sun, 2018-04-08 10:02
Susan sez - "Care to claim again that TSA doesn't confiscate, West?"

Yes, TSA does not confiscate. If it is a dangerous item, that is confiscated, it is done by local LEOs, not TSA. I have consistently stated this, and will continue to state it, because TSA does not confiscate. In the case of other (non-dangerous LGA, pocket knives, torch lighters, etc) prohibited items, TSA is to offer options to the passenger - in any case that the TSO does not offer the passenger options, that TSO is wrong. If you have first hand knowledge of someone not offering the options, then I ask you to file a complaint with TSA Complaints. If you have specific feedback that you would like to provide to TSA, you can visit the TSA Contact page.

TSA does not seize - they contact local LEOs, the local LEOs take possesion of the firearm, and then the local LEOs determine what the process is moving forward - whether it is to charge the individual or not charge the individual, as well as the disposition of the firearm at the end of the encounter.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Sun, 2018-04-08 10:02
Susan sez - "Care to claim again that TSA doesn't confiscate, West?"

Yes, TSA does not confiscate. If it is a dangerous item, that is confiscated, it is done by local LEOs, not TSA. I have consistently stated this, and will continue to state it, because TSA does not confiscate. In the case of other (non-dangerous LGA, pocket knives, torch lighters, etc) prohibited items, TSA is to offer options to the passenger - in any case that the TSO does not offer the passenger options, that TSO is wrong. If you have first hand knowledge of someone not offering the options, then I ask you to file a complaint with TSA Complaints. If you have specific feedback that you would like to provide to TSA, you can visit the TSA Contact page.

TSA does not seize - they contact local LEOs, the local LEOs take possesion of the firearm, and then the local LEOs determine what the process is moving forward - whether it is to charge the individual or not charge the individual, as well as the disposition of the firearm at the end of the encounter.

TSA Blog Team

............................

West, just because you say something doesn't make it true. Other TSA employees have stated that TSA does confiscate items.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Yes, TSA does not confiscate. If it is a dangerous item, that is confiscated, it is done by local LEOs, not TSA. I have consistently stated this, and will continue to state it, because TSA does not confiscate. In the case of other (non-dangerous LGA, pocket knives, torch lighters, etc) prohibited items, TSA is to offer options to the passenger - in any case that the TSO does not offer the passenger options, that TSO is wrong. If you have first hand knowledge of someone not offering the options, then I ask you to file a complaint with TSA Complaints. If you have specific feedback that you would like to provide to TSA, you can visit the TSA Contact page."

At least two people, who are/were far higher up the chain than you, West, say otherwise. I choose to believe them rather than you. Anyone who has had something taken from them at a checkpoint also know TSA confiscates.

If everyone who had something taken away by TSA without being given an option, filed a complaint, the complaint website would seize up due to overload.

You can keep saying until the cows come home that TSA doesn't confiscate, but that still won't make it so.

I can't help it that you live in a world of what is supposed to be, not what actually is. Long-term denial of reality is not good for one's emotional health, West.

Submitted by West Cooper on

RB sez - "West, just because you say something doesn't make it true. Other TSA employees have stated that TSA does confiscate items."

Just because you say that TSA confiscates items, does not make it true. Other TSA employees have said that TSA indeed, does not confiscate...

Seriously, TSA does not confiscate, a person is given options on non-dangerous items. I will reiterate that people need to visit the links above to report when they are not given these options. TSA has consistently posted here and at other sites that we do not confiscate, and that there are options available to the passengers. We have done several mentions of the options in articles posted here in the past, and I will forward a reminder up to HQ to push that reminder back out again.

To our readers - If you are not given options* for prohibited items that are not dangerous (such as pocket knives - liquids, gels and aerosols - tools, etc), please contact TSA at the links above.

*Options for non-dangerous items that are prohibited

  •  Take the item back to your vehicle
  •  Give the item to a friend or family member not going through security
  •  Depending upon your departure point and the airline, you may have the option to stick some items in your checked baggage
  •  Depending upon the airport, there may be an option to mail the item to yourself.
  •  In cases where the item is consumable (food, drink, even some lotions), most people exit the checkpoint and finish consuming the item,
  •  Dispose of the item through some other means
  •  Finally, if you do not avail yourself of those other options, you can voluntarily leave the item with TSA for disposal.

Susan sez - "

At least two people, who are/were far higher up the chain than you, West, say otherwise. I choose to believe them rather than you. Anyone who has had something taken from them at a checkpoint also know TSA confiscates.

If everyone who had something taken away by TSA without being given an option, filed a complaint, the complaint website would seize up due to overload.

You can keep saying until the cows come home that TSA doesn't confiscate, but that still won't make it so."

Again, please file complaints in situations where options are not given. TSA can not address issues if they do not know they exist.

Susan sez - "I can't help it that you live in a world of what is supposed to be, not what actually is. Long-term denial of reality is not good for one's emotional health, West."

I appreciate your concern. Thank you.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Not West on

"*Options for non-dangerous items that are prohibited"

And here we have a TSAgent admitting that the TSA is prohibiting items they know are not dangerous. Either and item is dangerous (which the TSA "takes control of," iow, confiscates, until LEOs show up) or it isn't. Anything prohibited which TSA just admitted aren't dangerous are proof that even TSA knows they are just theatre.

Submitted by Nocaps on

rb (r burns) just because you or any other person says something doesn't make it true.

Submitted by CAPS on

You do realize that Blogger Bob's name Curtis, therefore your connection of RB to Blogger Bob is completely off-base, and could (should) be read as a personal attack on RB. Unless you're talking about the RB impostor that West consistently allows even when it's obviously NOT RB.... While simultaneously censoring comments I make as TSAgent West.