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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: August 20th - 26th

Tuesday, September 04, 2018
TSA discovered 82 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation from August 20th through the 26th. Of the 82 firearms discovered, 67 were loaded and 27 had a round chambered.

TSA discovered 82 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation from August 20th through the 26th. Of the 82 firearms discovered, 67 were loaded and 27 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. Some airlines policies may differ from TSA’s. We strongly suggest travelers contact their airline for specific firearm and ammunition policies and to check local laws related to the carrying and transport of firearms. All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.

The ammunition pictured here was discovered in carry-on bags at the Nashville International Airport (BNA).

If packed properly, ammunition can be transported in checked-baggage. The ammunition pictured here was discovered in carry-on bags at the Nashville International Airport (BNA). You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with ammunition in checked baggage.

Left to right, the items pictured here were discovered at the La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) in a carry-on bag and at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in a checked bag.

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. Left to right, the items pictured here were discovered at the La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) in a carry-on bag and at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in a checked bag.

Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at STL, DEN, DCA, BNA and ABQ.

Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at STL, DEN, DCA, BNA and ABQ. 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 82 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation from August 20th through the 26th. Of the 82 firearms discovered, 67 were loaded and 27 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 Jim Rodgers on

It is unfortunate that so many weapons are discovered in carry-on baggage. However, I'll repeat the question I asked a few years back: With so many weapons being discovered...how is that none of them are actually being used for terror attacks. Security checks and inspections, not to mention X-rays, aren't a new security measure. If the folks bringing these weapons through security checkpoints intended to cause harm, they surely could have done so simply by employing those weapons just as they arrive at the security checkpoints.
My guess is that the vast majority of these weapons being discovered come as the result of honest mistakes on the part of licensed/permitted concealed carry owners.
And yes, I confess that I fell into this latter category myself, a few years back. Accidentally missed a loaded magazine legally-concealed on my person in my home state...and the TSA guys caught it at the checkpoint. I was allowed to recall my checked baggage and placed the magazine and ammo into my previously-cleared containers, and of course the bag went through the checked-bag security process again. I'd also add, the TSA officers who discovered my unwitting violation of the rules with professionalism, tact and even kindness -- kudos to them!
I'm not complaining about the security rules or the checkpoints -- I'm glad they're there. I'm just pointing out that while "82 weapons discovered at TSA checkpoints" makes an ominous headline, the reality is that if the firearms owners had intended any harm, they would have utilized those weapons, not just left them in their checked backage. What TSA is encountering, primarily, is simply a natural consequence of the fast-rising numbers of legal, permitted concealed carry licensees around the entire nation.
Keep the regulations & laws, keep the security checkpoints -- but perhaps TSA could add to their weekly blog, something to the effect that "of the weapons detected, XX per cent were determined to be unintentionally carried, and after correcting the violation, the owners were allowed to continue their travels. However, YY per cent of these violations were determined to be potentially threatening and required further investigation, while ZZ per cent of the weapons were determined to be held by ineligible individuals, and were referred to local Law Enforcement."
Just a suggestion, intended to help reduce the sensationalism of the current TSA blog reports and associated emails.
Thanks for keeping me safe when I travel!

Submitted by Au 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 Pat-down Or Assault? on

How is a passenger to determine whether a pat-down by TSA crosses the line into sexual assault?

Does any such line exist?

What should a passenger who is being sexually assaulted during a pat-down do?

Submitted by Robert Smith on

Fair point, although I would ask, if not for bad intensions or the potential for... Why not check them in "checked luggage"....
They forgot it was in the bag..... How far in advance did they pack?

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Ever wonder why TSA employees are abusive and seem unhappy? I know I do. TSA since its inception has been one of the worst federal agencies to work for as graded by TSA employees. TSA screeners aren't happy and they will make darn sure you aren't happy.

http://bestplacestowork.org/BPTW/rankings/detail/HS10#tab_category_tbl

TSA employees will do all they can to make your time with them just as miserable as they can. They grope you, make loud demands of you, put hands wearing dirty gloves that just search someones dirty underwear on you and any other small minded act they think they can get away with. The check bag screeners are playing their little games too. Opening containers and not replacing lids or caps ruining clothing in the process or flat out stealing from your bags.

So here is what each and everyone of us must do. First file a complaint for each and every time you are screened. File that report with the DHS OIG, not TSA because we already know that nothing is done about passenger complaints by TSA. Even the TSA Administrator testified before Congress that he doesn't believe that any TSA screener has groped anyone yet we all know that is what happened at Denver, even TSA knew it, but took no legal action.

After filing a report with the DHS OIG use social media and let the world know what TSA is up to. TSA is certainly not going to take steps to clean up its on house so it is up to us, the flying public, to do the job for them.

Submitted by Old Bob Adner on

First of all, you are assuming that these 82 incidents were honest mistakes by the passengers.
(Oh, I forgot it was in bag.)I believe if you don't know where your loaded gun is at all times,
you should not own one, it is literally a matter of life and death! It is unknown if the person
was intentionally trying to get a gun on a plane or was attempting a dry run.

Submitted by Joseph on

I just went through TSA Pre check at St Louis Inter (A concourse). Where they had me remove my laptops before I went through screening. Then my bag was still flagged and searched because it has coins (Quarters dimes, pennies) in one of the pockets. Now is this the new standard for TSA Check ,TSA screening equipment is not effective or the agents where not trained properly. If you need to remove laptops and carry no change, that needs to be specified.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by Old Bob Adner on Thu, 2018-09-06 15:07 "...It is unknown if the person
was intentionally trying to get a gun on a plane or was attempting a dry run."

The problem with that idea is the firearms are perfectly legal to carry everywhere else. Why would a bad guy pass up all the other opportunities to do bad things just to 'dry run' at the airports? Or do you honestly believe that bad guys are only focused on aviation?

Submitted by For Real? on

The Original "RB" seems like a miserable sort (based on written comment) but that doesn't mean anyone should make accusations without evidence. For example, it would be unfair to say RB would grope you or make loud demands of you just because the comment makes RB appear unhappy. Far worse would be to condemn an entire group of people based on such faulty reasoning and spurious correlation. For example, anyone with the initials RB would grope you or make loud demands of you. I believe that RB's comment is an example of the worst in human reasoning -- the kind of deceitful mind trick that incites hatred and bigotry.

Submitted by Are You Liar? on

Au, you need to live in the now! It is the year 2018 on planet earth. The scanners may be ineffective (but you have no proof of that), but they are no longer slow, invasive nor naked body scanners. Speak and write truth, AU.

Submitted by Max Yost on

We call this "ExtortionCheck" for a reason. The purpose was to silence criticism by influential frequent flyers. The TSA offered them a "privilege" not available to the ordinary citizenry. Silence was assured because the TSA can withdraw this privilege at any time for any or no reason. This is so Communist it isn't even funny. (Look up "Communist system of privileges" if you doubt or are simply confused.) ExtortionCheck has created a privileged class that is held in check and which ridicules those who don't go through the line fast enough. Lenin would be proud.

Submitted by In Fact, There ... on

This blog has never indicated that a single dangerous object has been found with the naked body scanners that a faster and less invasive metal detector wouldn't have also found. Meanwhile, go to any airport and you'll see people being subject to physical searches indistinguishable from sexual assault as a result of false positive alarms from the naked body scanners. On what planet does that make the naked body scanners effective?

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by For Real? on Mon, 2018-09-10 11:01
The Original "RB" seems like a miserable sort (based on written comment) but that doesn't mean anyone should make accusations without evidence. For example, it would be unfair to say RB would grope you or make loud demands of you just because the comment makes RB appear unhappy. Far worse would be to condemn an entire group of people based on such faulty reasoning and spurious correlation. For example, anyone with the initials RB would grope you or make loud demands of you. I believe that RB's comment is an example of the worst in human reasoning -- the kind of deceitful mind trick that incites hatred and bigotry.

...............................
You accuse me of bigotry and then demonstrate that exact trait in trying to demean and attach me. Bless your heart!

Submitted by SSSS For Some R... on

"...The scanners may be ineffective (but you have no proof of that), but they are no longer slow, invasive nor naked body scanners. Speak and write truth, AU."

First, you have the wrong end of the stick. The TSA is supposed to prove the efficacy of the scanners, not that we are supposed to disprove them.

Second, they are slow because of the 100% false positive rate of scanning.

Third, they are nudie scanners. They look at us through our clothes and all of us, including you, are naked under your clothes.

So take your own advice and Speak and write truth.

Submitted by Iman Azol on

Or maybe the gun was placed there by Russian Hackers.

Why would anyone try a "Dry run"? If you get the weapon through, you use it. Now, add up all the non-Middle Eastern male between 25 and 40 terror attacks in the last 30 years...

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Submitted by In Fact, There ... on Tue, 2018-09-11 08:22
This blog has never indicated that a single dangerous object has been found with the naked body scanners that a faster and less invasive metal detector wouldn't have also found. Meanwhile, go to any airport and you'll see people being subject to physical searches indistinguishable from sexual assault as a result of false positive alarms from the naked body scanners. On what planet does that make the naked body scanners effective?"

I believe that at some time we will learn that the TSA set the scanners to "alarm" on the groin area just to give them the excuse to probe the genitals of passengers for non-existent "dangerous items".

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Curious here. Why was the following posted on the TSA Blog the evening of 9/11/2018? TSA just wanting to demean those killed on 9/11/2001?
...................................................
2018-09-11 purcell test blog
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
image of gonzo from the muppets
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Fixie pok pok whatever, cardigan lomo green juice taxidermy shaman. Sriracha copper mug meditation vexillologist, air plant bicycle rights swag poutine woke kogi kale chips DIY. Vaporware chambray biodiesel kitsch tacos sustainable listicle. Etsy hella offal, tote bag kickstarter umami cold-pressed meditation skateboard man bun af paleo cred swag occupy. Ugh crucifix synth health goth butcher pop-up.

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Tags:
IT Security

Submitted by Some Traveler on

I go through the airport a lot, so I wanted to chime in.

I've seen that body scanners can seem ineffective at times, they do miss things and sometimes they pick up something that isn't there (e.g. zipper pockets). The fact is, we're on an honor system when we go to the airport and take our items out. Can they tell for sure we have nothing on our person? Unless you have PreCheck, the government doesn't think so and will want you to go through a body scanner.

Am I saying that it's a perfect machine? Clearly not.

Do I think it is better than just having someone go through a metal detector, given that modern technology can create fully functional knives and guns not made of metal? I think so. I understand that people do not like to be touched, some especially so regarding their sensitive areas. However, the possibility is there. Do I think it will likely happen? Probably not. Hijackings and bombings in US airspace are exceedingly rare. I understand why they have this approach. I hope you can see why too, even if you do not agree with it.

Also, I don't know what airport you fly out of, but the employees I've met have all been professional and courteous. I know they had a bad rap in their infancy, but they've gotten much better now and surely don't deserve that kind of treatment. They're just doing their jobs within their scope. I can also tell they do not enjoy patting down passengers, but I'm glad they remain professional when doing so.

Submitted by Jimbeaux on

Hey, did that list of guns include the one taken from the FAM who was brandishing one to an FA on a flight to Minneapolis? Or will that be in next week's review?

Submitted by Harassed By TSA on

Has anyone ever had a Latina female TSA agent (e.g. at LAX terminal 3) lie about sexual harassment after you offer out of frustration to be searched when she won't take your word that you don't have anything in your pockets (while in the millimeter wave scanner)? Has anyone been physically coerced by a TSA supervisor into apologizing to said female agent afterwards for her distortions? Has anyone been intimidated by the same supervisor from filing a complaint against him, by positioning himself next to you in an imposing way while you're trying to talk to his supervisor privately? Would just like to know if this is standard TSA policy these days.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"... They're just doing their jobs"

So we're the Khmer Rouge soldiers.

Submitted by What? on

"Do I think it is better than just having someone go through a metal detector, given that modern technology can create fully functional knives and guns not made of metal? I think so. "

Why would you think this?

TSA has been using these slow, invasive, ineffective scanners for years now. But they have never, ever, ever found a single thing that's actually dangerous, but have subjected millions of people to invasive pat downs that are today a form of sexual assault.

How is that better?

Submitted by Max Yost on

Back on August 10th, your boss, Administrator David Pekoske, posted an entry about his first year in office. As I recall, there were several dozen questions that citizens he serves and to whom he is accountable posted concerning TSA practices and policies. Do you TSA employees know if he intends to address these questions and concerns or is he simply going to blow us off? I have a naive attitude that he will actually respond to us. You're right down the hall from him, so please ask him is he intends to engage in a dialogue with the taxpayers who pay his salary.

https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2018/08/10/administrator-look-back-my-first-year

Submitted by Ed F on

TSA has a job to do: Protect the citizens of this country. it was borne out of 9/11, not a political or governmental objective. They may intrude on your personal space but that is a small price to pay for protection from knuckleheads who have different ideals and objectives. If you want to fly, be subject to scrutiny. Simple as that. If you are offended, take a bus, a car, an uber a train...

Submitted by Nope on

"TSA has a job to do: Protect the citizens of this country."

But it does that job very badly, using grossly invasive and ineffective procedures. Why are you so upset at people pointing out how bad TSA is at what it claims its job is?

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by Ed F on Thu, 2018-09-20 00:38
TSA has a job to do: Protect the citizens of this country. it was borne out of 9/11, not a political or governmental objective. They may intrude on your personal space but that is a small price to pay for protection from knuckleheads who have different ideals and objectives. If you want to fly, be subject to scrutiny. Simple as that. If you are offended, take a bus, a car, an uber a train...

*******************************************************

So much bull hockey in such a mindless post. TSA doesn't protect anything but airline revenue and even that is questionable. If terrorist were intent on attacking American aviation interest they could walk right by TSA just like Marilyn Hartman has done so many times. What the public is likely to get from TSA is a full hands on genital groping. Tell me how that protects anyone? If you TSA types could pull your heads out of your anal orfices long enough to look around you might finally learn just how despicable you really are.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Max Yost wrote: " Do you TSA employees know if he intends to address these questions and concerns or is he simply going to blow us off? I have a naive attitude that he will actually respond to us."

Oh now Max, you are being naive in believing we would get any answers to our questions.

It's September 21 and there have been no new blog threads since September 4. Why does the TSA waste time and our taxpayer money publishing this blog?

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...s. If you want to fly, be subject to scrutiny. "

Why?

Why should I give up any of my rights as a citizen just so I can take one particular means of transportation?

Why should I have to suffer invasive and ineffective policing methods simply because I want to fly to my destination?

It's a simple question.... Surely you can provide a justification for an eight billion dollar agency that is protecting us from the last threat. Go ahead... We'll wait.

Submitted by Max Yost on

I think we're sometimes like Charlie Brown with Lucy holding the football. We keep thinking that TSA leadership and this blog will actually engage in meaningful communication just like Charlie thinks that Lucy will actually not pull the ball away this time. The big difference is that we can see humor in Charlie Brown and Lucy. In the TSA from the top down to the most brand new clerks at the "academy", the only things we can see are anger and disgust by what we've allowed them to become.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Has there been no notable contraband found by TSA since August 26th, the end date for the last TSA Blog post, or did Bobbie break his fingers?

Sad!

Submitted by West Cooper on

RB sez - "Curious here. Why was the following posted on the TSA Blog the evening of 9/11/2018? TSA just wanting to demean those killed on 9/11/2001?
...................................................
2018-09-11 purcell test blog
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
image of gonzo from the muppets"

I have no clue, but it seems to have disappeared.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Thu, 2018-09-27 13:10
RB sez - "Curious here. Why was the following posted on the TSA Blog the evening of 9/11/2018? TSA just wanting to demean those killed on 9/11/2001?
...................................................
2018-09-11 purcell test blog
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
image of gonzo from the muppets"

I have no clue, but it seems to have disappeared.

TSA Blog Team
......................

Put "2018-09-11 purcell test blog" in a search engine and you'll find it. I know it's gone now but it was on this blog for a short time. Someone with administrators rights posted it!

Submitted by Brad on

Sexual assault has elements in order to classify it as a crime. One of the elements is "with the intent to arouse either the victim or the actor, a person commits sexual assault if.." With that in mind, TSA is not trying to arouse you and the officer performing the screening is not performing it for the purpose of their arousal either. Therefore it is not a crime.

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by Brad on Thu, 2018-10-04 06:54
Sexual assault has elements in order to classify it as a crime. One of the elements is "with the intent to arouse either the victim or the actor, a person commits sexual assault if.." With that in mind, TSA is not trying to arouse you and the officer performing the screening is not performing it for the purpose of their arousal either. Therefore it is not a crime.
..............................'...'...
You don't know what other TSA screeners are up too. Take the male TSA screeners and his partner in crime who was sexually groping male passengers at DIA. Gropings observed by TSA yet TSA took no legal action against the pair which means either or both of them could still be working for the government.

Which brings up the very valid question that TSA's bloggers continue to ignore; how can a passenger know if a pat down screening crosses the line to sexual assault?

Are you TSA types afraid that the answer is that all full TSA pat downs meet the definition of Sexual Assault?