The item you see pictured here is designed to look exactly like an improvised explosive device (IED). This is why after our officer spotted it on the X-ray image, six checkpoint lanes were immediately closed. Travelers were moved to a safe distance to keep them out of harm’s way while the Port Authority Police, TSA explosives experts, and the Essex County Bomb Squad responded to ensure that the item was inert. Hundreds of travelers were inconvenienced.
The man carrying the IED in his carry-on bag was traveling to Florida to participate in a training event focused on X-ray detection of explosive devices. He knew full well that the inert IED he was transporting was a test item that was built and designed to mimic a fully-assembled bomb when viewed on an X-ray monitor. He should have known better than to bring an inert IED to an active TSA checkpoint. He was arrested by Port Authority Police.
TSA has the authority to access civil penalties of up to $13,000 to individuals who bring weapons to airports. Civil penalties are also issued to individuals who bring realistic replica explosives to checkpoints and to those who interfere with the security screening process.
This occurred on September 4th at the a Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
TSA discovered 147 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation from August 27th through September 9th. Of the 141 firearms discovered, 132 were loaded and 50 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.
If packed properly, ammunition can be transported in checked-baggage. Left to right, the ammunition pictured here was discovered in carry-on bags at ALB, BUR, IAH, IAH, MDW, PHX and SAN. 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. Left to right, the items pictured here were discovered in carry-on bags at LSE and MKE.
Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at IAH, LAS, IAH, IAH, DCA, CMH, CLE, BOI, BNA and BNA. 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.
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.
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