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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week In Review: September 24th - 30th

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Firearms

TSA discovered 91 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation from September 24th through the 30th. Of the 91 firearms discovered, 81 were loaded and 38 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,333 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 inert grenades pictured here were discovered at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) on the same day. One was in a carry-on bag, and the other was 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. The inert grenades pictured here were discovered at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (ICT) on the same day. One was in a carry-on bag, and the other was in a checked bag.

From left to right, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at ANC, BNA, DEN, JFK, ORD and SAT.

From left to right, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at ANC, BNA, DEN, JFK, ORD and SAT. 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.

From left to right, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at ANC, BNA, DEN, JFK, ORD and SAT. 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 Dx 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 SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Of the 91 firearms discovered..."

how many were found using the big, expensive, and slow, nudie-scanners?

In fact, what was found at all using those things?

Submitted by Max Yost on

Bringing this "conversation" into the most current post so it won't get lost, because what the TSA blogger clerks reveal is a complete lack of desire to communicate anything of substance to the public.

Original post (made as far back as August 11, 2018): https://www.tsa.gov/blog/2018/08/10/administrator-look-back-my-first-year

After posting a reminder question pretty much every week asking if the administrator intended to communicate with the public he serves, I finally received this from Clerk Cooper on October 9, 2018:

" Submitted by West Cooper on Tue, 2018-10-09 11:30

Max sez - "If he does not intend to address the questions and issues posed by the citizens he serves, please afford us the decency to say so."

I do not have any scheduled postings or any indicator that the Administrator is going to post here on an ongoing basis (like I do), I believe his interactions here will be more intermittent.

TSA Blog Team"

OK, West... Bear with me while I lead you through how to do the quality of staff work expected of every federal employee.

1. Write a memo up your chain of command. The memo should contain your observation that several members of the public, via the blog, asked specific questions of the TSA administrator. In the memo, you should suggest that the administrator respond to these questions via the blog and other social media. If you email me the format for internal memos, I will write this for you and you can take the credit.

2. The ultimate recipient of the memo should be your boss, the Assistant Administrator for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs, Michael Bilello. If you are able to suggest that he raise this issue with the administrator in your memo, or, if you need to draft forwarding memos for other managers in your chain to Mr. Bilello, I will write those memo for you as well.

3. As an assistant administrator, I'm 100% certain that Mr. Bilello attends senior staff meetings and is able to speak directly with the administrator about pretty much anything. He is the individual who will suggest that the administrator respond to citizens' questions posted on the blog.

4. It will be the responsibility of Mr. Bilello to task other TSA offices to draft responses to specific questions pertaining to their functions. I'm 100% certain that there is an internal TSA action tracking system that does this.

5. Mr. Bilello's staff will compile all of the responses into a single document that will be forwarded through the TSA front office for approval. The administrator will sign off on the final package.

6. Someone in Mr. Bilello's office will task you with the job of posting the responses on the TSA blog and/or other social media.

It's really that simple and would demonstrate to your management that you have initiative.

Submitted by Anonymous on

NICE JOB TSA X-RAYS OFFICERS ...

AS A AVSEC ( AVIATION SECURITY ) I DETECTED FOUR [4] GUNSHOTS AT LAS AMERICAS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT -SDQ. IN A PERIOD OF THREE (3) YEARS AND FIVE (5) MONTHS [ FROM 7 / 2002 TO 12 / 2005 ]. JUST FELT IN LOVE DOING THOSE DUTIES TO PROTECT FIRTSLY LIFE'S PASSENGERS,AIRCRAFT'S CREW, AND AT WHOLE AIRPORT. THANKS YOU TSA FRIENDS . . . . . .....

Submitted by Jhon on

You seem laser focused on this issue, let me help you
1 - Using common sense.
2 - Yes
3 - Ask to speak with a supervisor, file a complain and contact a lawyer.

Submitted by Jared Hawk on

Mr. DX, Over the past 2 or so years, I have seen your EXACT post that NEVER changes on almost EVERY post that TSA put on this Blog. I have some news for you. You are wasting your time because no one wants to hear it! This is why:
1. The Body Scanners are not slow. It’s 2 seconds pre scan
2. The Body Scanners are not Invasive. It looks for stuff that should not be there.
3. The Body Scanners are not Ineffective. They find stuff that should not be where it finds it.
4. The Body Scanners are not useless. A lot of people do not listen to what they should do, therefore they get a Pat-Down.
I think you go back to your job and leave the OUTSTANDING TSA Officers do what they need to do to keep the flying public safe.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Jhon on Sun, 2018-10-14 16:40
You seem laser focused on this issue, let me help you
1 - Using common sense.
2 - Yes
3 - Ask to speak with a supervisor, file a complain and contact a lawyer.
........................
TSA is the party lacking common sense.

How does a traveler know where the line is if TSA will not disclose how a hands on grope down is suppose to be conducted. How can a person give consent to a totally unknown element of screening. I refer readers to my first line, TSA lacks common sense.

I have spoken with TSA supervisors who in most cases will back up their screeners and then retaliate against the traveler.

Filing a complaint goes absolutely nowhere. I don't know TSA's process but it seems to be all complaints go straight to a shredder.

Contacting a lawyer might work except TSA is exempt from courts where real evidence can be offered or where a person can have a jury of their peers to hear that evidence. Not to mention that a person is going to need close to a million dollars just to mount a case against the government who has unlimited legal resources.

I say TSA should be desolved and let the airlines provide for their own security. It is their property, airplanes, and customers so why is government even involved in the security question?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Why does TSA have a fetish for abusing women who are breastfeeding babies? Are TSA screeners so infantile that breasts overly fascinate TSA scereners?

https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/local/tsa-dumps-mothers-breast-milk-at...

"I was told 'Too bad, we have to open it up and test it or you can't take it with you,'" Gieseke said.

She said she feared her baby's only food source might get contaminated. She said TSA officers never took that into consideration when checking her milk. She said she asked to speak with several supervisors who were no help.

"I was told there was no one else I could talk to or nothing I could do," she said.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Jared Hawk on Mon, 2018-10-15 18:39
Mr. DX, Over the past 2 or so years, I have seen your EXACT post that NEVER changes on almost EVERY post that TSA put on this Blog. I have some news for you. You are wasting your time because no one wants to hear it! This is why:
1. The Body Scanners are not slow. It’s 2 seconds pre scan
2. The Body Scanners are not Invasive. It looks for stuff that should not be there.
3. The Body Scanners are not Ineffective. They find stuff that should not be where it finds it.
4. The Body Scanners are not useless. A lot of people do not listen to what they should do, therefore they get a Pat-Down.
I think you go back to your job and leave the OUTSTANDING TSA Officers do what they need to do to keep the flying public safe.
.............................

1. Body Scanners are slow compared to WTMD. I challenge your 2 seconds reference. Proof?

2. Body Scanners look under a persons clothes and take a raw image that is graphic. The machine can be set to save this image for later retrieval.

3. The Body Scanners also find stuff that should be there and are no threat to aviation yet cause TSA to conduct a humiliating invasive Grope Downs. The Body Scanners find piercings, incontinence products, sanitary products, ostomy products, and even alert on people who have excess skin or fat folds.

4. TSA Scanners are near useless for the reasons stated above.

I think you have no idea of how the Body Scanners actually work or what capabilities they are required to have. TSA screeners are in no way and officer. Pretty fake cop uniforms and fake cop badges do not an officer make.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

Clerk Jared Hawk, you and your fellow clerks miss 95% of all weapons, explosives, and incendiaries presented at the checkpoint without any effort at concealment. There is no chance than any reasonably focused concealment effort would fail. Whether it's the uselessness of the machines or the slovenliness and laziness of the clerks, the machines are ineffective. All you and your fellow clerks do is to slow down the line, thus creating a danger if anyone wants to attack the crowd at the checkpoint.

The TSA has no officers at all, let alone outstanding officers. You are clerks looking for water.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"The Body Scanners are not slow. It’s 2 seconds pre scan"

Body scanners take about 10 seconds per scan, far slower than the WTMD.

"The Body Scanners are not Ineffective. They find stuff that should not be where it finds it."

1. How many times do the scanners give false alarms, especially in the "groin" area, requiring travelers to submit to humiliating gropes?

2. How many times are "dangerous items" found? West tells us a gun was found and we know from an FOIA that a small pocket knife was found - both of those from 2017. Both items would have been found using the faster WTMD.

I presume that you are a screener, Jared Hawk. Therefore can you give us an example of "A lot of people do not listen to what they should do"?

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by Jared Hawk on Mon, 2018-10-15 18:39
1. The Body Scanners are not slow. It’s 2 seconds pre scan
2. The Body Scanners are not Invasive. It looks for stuff that should not be there.
3. The Body Scanners are not Ineffective. They find stuff that should not be where it finds it.
4. The Body Scanners are not useless. A lot of people do not listen to what they should do, therefore they get a Pat-Down.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are going to have to agree to disagree.

Item 1 - The Naked Scanners are slow compared to Walk-through-metal-detectors(WTMD). It takes two staff walking the line telling people what they have to do to even get in the scanner. Then the actual scan is the roughly two seconds you mention, but then it takes two or more staff to pat down the traveler because a big yellow square popped up on the screen because there were two many folds in someone's clothing. The WTMD can handle twice as many people in the same amount of time so that makes the big fancy scanners slow.

Item 2 - Invasive has several layers of definition. They are more invasive than the WTMD because they are an imaging device. And the scanners are much less effective at detecting the things the TSA is trying to prevent from getting into the airplane side of the airport. You can not get a knife through a WTMD but it has been demonstrated multiple times how to get one through the big expensive scanners.

Item 3 - Ineffective has several layers of definition so I will use the same criteria as item 2. It is only one example but it is very illustrative of the scanners shortcomings.... my recent trip through my local airport and through the nudie-scanner 'alarmed' on an area on my legs. I was wearing shorts and no shoes. Apparently my hairy legs were enough to trip the alarm on the scanner and I had to step to the side so an Agent could paw at my bare legs because there was a big yellow square on the magic monitor. Again, one example but the internet is full of similar examples that clearly demonstrate the ineffectiveness of the device.

Item 4 - We actually agree on this one, in spirit at least. The Nudie Scanners are useless when it comes to effectively screening passengers. They were extremely useful in making some government official very incredibly rich by winning the contract to install them.

As for going back to my job and leaving the TSA AGENTS alone.... not gonna happen. They are public servants and that makes it my duty to pay close attention to what they are doing to the citizens of this country. To put it very simply, they work for me and I have very high expectations for an organization that is consuming eight billion tax payer dollars a year while providing what is easily demonstrated to be very ineffective security. You can ignore them if you want, but I will not.

Submitted by Bold Blogger on

1. Body Scanners are slow compared to WTMD. I challenge your 2 seconds reference. Proof?

WTMD's don't detect explosives or non metallic weapons

2. Body Scanners look under a persons clothes and take a raw image that is graphic. The machine can be set to save this image for later retrieval.

False. The use radio waves, very similar to your cell phone but not nearly as intense. There is no "looking"

3. The Body Scanners also find stuff that should be there and are no threat to aviation yet cause TSA to conduct a humiliating invasive Grope Downs. The Body Scanners find piercings, incontinence products, sanitary products, ostomy products, and even alert on people who have excess skin or fat folds.

They detect anomalies from the norm. They are unable to determine what an object is.

4. TSA Scanners are near useless for the reasons stated above.

That is your opinion and it is worth exactly what we are paying for it.

I think you have no idea of how the Body Scanners actually work or what capabilities they are required to have.

OI would venture to say the same is very true for you.

TSA screeners are in no way and officer. Pretty fake cop uniforms and fake cop badges do not an officer make.

However a legal classification and determination under the law an officer makes.

Submitted by Bold Blogger on

Submitted by Susan Richart on Wed, 2018-10-17 15:48

Body scanners take about 10 seconds per scan, far slower than the WTMD.
They also detect far more than WTMDs, such as explosives.

1. How many times do the scanners give false alarms, especially in the "groin" area, requiring travelers to submit to humiliating gropes?

Very seldom. They alarm on something. It is up to the officer to determine what that is, thus the pat down.

Submitted by Bold Blogger on

I have been away for a long time. Traveling the world and enjoying life. I see nothing has changed here. Same bored people making the same empty and in educated assumptions about TSA. I just image many of you sitting in a round room yelling and assuming someone is listening. Nope, mostly still just laughing.
BTW, over a year of travel, many many flights out of dozens of airports and still not a shred of mistreatment from TSA.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Boldy wrote: "They alarm on something. It is up to the officer to determine what that is, thus the pat down."

How many times do the "pat downs" come up empty? >95% of the time? How many truly dangerous items are found during "pat downs" that would not have been found by a WTMD.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Boldy wrote regarding body scanner: "They detect anomalies from the norm. They are unable to determine what an object is." Yet just above that sentence he implied that body scanners "detect explosives or non metallic weapons" - both of which can be hidden from the body scanner.

In response to this statement: "Body Scanners look under a persons clothes and take a raw image that is graphic. The machine can be set to save this image for later retrieval", Boldy wrote: "False. The use radio waves, very similar to your cell phone but not nearly as intense."

The MMW body scanners take a picture of travelers' naked bodies which are then, using ATR software, converted to the gumby-like image where the alleged anomaly is highlighted by a yellow box. If TSA wanted to, it could store those naked images.

FYI, Boldy:

"However, in 2013 the U.S. Congress prohibited the display of detailed images and required the display of metal and other objects on a generic body outline instead of the person's actual skin. Such generic body outlines can be made by Automatic Target Recognition (ATR) software. As of June 1, 2013, all full body scanners in use at U.S. airports have used ATR."

Our friend Boldy also wrote: "However a legal classification and determination under the law an officer makes."

There is no "legal classification" that has transformed TSA screeners into "officers". That change was simply a decision by the TSA administration: "But in 2005, in an effort to professionalize the force and boost morale, the TSA reclassified screeners as “transportation security officers.” In 2007, the agency issued screeners uniforms with blue shirts, and the following year, it replaced the embroidered logos with metal badges."

Actually a court (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit) recently determined that TSA screeners are NOT officers: "Transportation Security Administration screeners are not investigative or law enforcement officers under the Tort Claims Act" In fact that same court, likened TSA screeners to meat inspectors. "The court.....found that TSA screeners are more like federal meat inspectors than police officers."

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...I have been away for a long time'

Really? I hadn't noticed you we re gone.

As to the rest of your statement.... Interesting how employees can violate the posted commenting standards but no one else can.

Submitted by Mike J on

Ok. I do not understand how so many loaded handguns and other prohibited items are making appearances at TSA checkpoints. It's unfathomable to me. Where I work, we occasionally have mechanics flying out to locations to do onsite RV repairs and we obsess over TSA and airline regulations due to the obvious penalties for attempting to bring prohibited items onboard an airplane. The TSA has done a remarkable job (this blog) of making this information easily accessible to the public and holding us accountable for the necessary regulations. It's not like they're trying to take advantage of anybody. We live in a world full of dangers and ignorant people. We have been able to effectively train our mechanics on TSA and airline regulations, e.g. https://carcarehumbletexas.com/tsa-airliner-travel-tips-for-mechanics/ thanks to this website. As someone who has every right to complain about making my employees lives more "difficult" by regulating what they can and cannot bring with them to that they can do their job, I sincerely appreciate the TSA for keeping airline passengers safe - not to mention everything they have to put up with. 81 loaded handguns and nearly half of them had a round chambered. Unbelievable!

Submitted by SimplyAwesome on

Simple solution to all your TSA problems. Promise, this will fix all your worries. Don’t worry about contacting your over paid lawyer.

This is what you do. DONT FLY, then!! Maybe walk to your destination, it may cool you down.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...This is what you do. DONT FLY, then!! Maybe walk to your destination, it may cool you down."

Fine. How long is it going to take to walk to Hawaii?

Or to London?

Perhaps you could share why citizens should surrender their privacy, and several Constitutionally guaranteed rights, just because of the choice of transit method?