TSA Week in Review: November 1 - 11

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

TSA discovered a total of 139 firearms in carry-on bags at 70 airports from Nov. 1 through 11. Of the 139 firearms discovered, 122 were loaded and 59 had a round chambered. Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333. Repeat violations will result in higher penalties.

Learn how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage. Note that airline policies may differ from TSA’s, so we strongly recommend travelers check with their airline prior to traveling. Travelers should also review state and local firearm laws as they vary by state and locality.

All of the firearms pictured were discovered from Nov. 1 to 11.

Stun guns

Stun guns for self-defense continue to increase in popularity. They work by delivering a high-voltage shock that can immobilize a person. Stun guns and shocking devices are not allowed in carry-on bags, but may be placed in checked baggage. However, airline policies may differ so we recommend checking with them as well as reviewing state and local laws prior to traveling. Pictured on the left are two flashlight stun guns that were discovered at ANC and SMF. The stun gun ring was found at CMH, and the stun guns on the right were found at OAK and OKC.


It can be difficult for TSA officers to tell on the X-ray screen if items like the grenades pictured above are real or just inert replicas. When our officers discover a suspected explosive item, we immediately call one of our explosives specialists. This can lead to an airport shutdown and evacuation. Anything resembling an explosive item is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage. The item on the left was discovered in a carry-on bag at SDF. On the right are two inert training aids that were detected in a carry-on bag at MSP. The checkpoint was closed for 23 minutes, which led to delays and long lines.

Fun fact: TSA has approximately 400 explosives specialists; around 90 percent of them have served in the military. Watch our TSA on the Job video highlighting one of our explosive specialists at MCO.

TSA Officers Ramsey and Stanley

Officers Ramsey (left) and Stanley (right) from LIT discovered the two firearms pictured on Nov. 7. Officer Ramsey discovered her first firearm, a loaded .45 Colt Defender with a round chambered. She has been with TSA for less than a year. Officer Stanley, who has been with TSA since 2016, also detected her first firearm, a loaded .380 Smith & Wesson Bodyguard.

TSA screening procedures prevent dangerous items from entering the sterile area of the airport. Along with the finds highlighted in this post, our officers regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, BB and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, small pocket knives and many other prohibited items.

In most cases, passengers say they forgot the item was in their bag. This can lead to a citation and, in some cases, arrest. Unfortunately, this happens far too often. Our goal in sharing these finds is to remind travelers to check their bags and the rules before heading to the airport.

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Jay Wagner

TSA Guest Blogger

About This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to share the latest news and helpful information with the public. If you have questions about TSA or the information presented here, please contact our AskTSA customer care team on Twitter or Facebook.

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