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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: November 1 - 11

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Firearms

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.

Grenades

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.

Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 blog posts.

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 travel-related question? Reach out to our AskTSA team on Twitter or Facebook Messenger.

Jay Wagner

TSA Guest Blogger

Comments

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...
TSA discovered a total of 139 firearms in carry-on bags at 70 airports from Nov. 1 through 11"

Thats nice dear. How many passengers were screened during that time? How many bags were scanned during that time? Put your numbers in some context or they are useless data.

Submitted by 2 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 West Cooper and Jay Wagner 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 Susan Richart on

Again, why are screeners being recognized on this blog for finding weapons? Is morale that bad that the blog feels the need to feature these individuals for doing their jobs.

Submitted by SSSS For Some R... on

How many robbers did your city catch in 11 days? How many law abiding citizens are living there? It doesn't really matter how many citizens there are in total, does it?. The robber was caught, that is the number that matters. 139 firearms were illegally introduced through the checkpoints and they were caught. That data is not useless, unlike your comment.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "Again, why are screeners being recognized on this blog for finding weapons? Is morale that bad that the blog feels the need to feature these individuals for doing their jobs."

It is logical and normal to give employees that do a good job some recognition. It also lets our public see the faces of the people working to help protect air travel.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by West Cooper on Wed, 2018-11-21 08:25
Susan sez - "Again, why are screeners being recognized on this blog for finding weapons? Is morale that bad that the blog feels the need to feature these individuals for doing their jobs."

It is logical and normal to give employees that do a good job some recognition. It also lets our public see the faces of the people working to help protect air travel.

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

Is the TSA definition of doing a good job at TSA the same as doing the minimum required work. Finding WEI is the expected level of work for TSA screeners, it is not doing a good job.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West wrote in part: "It is logical and normal to give employees that do a good job some recognition."

No, West, when screeners are given recognition for simply doing their job, i.e., finding guns, it implies that many screeners miss guns and other weapons. Finding weapons is not a "good job" it IS their job.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Submitted by SSSS For Some R... on Tue, 2018-11-20 10:58
How many robbers did your city catch in 11 days? How many law abiding citizens are living there? It doesn't really matter how many citizens there are in total, does it?. The robber was caught, that is the number that matters. 139 firearms were illegally introduced through the checkpoints and they were caught. That data is not useless, unlike your comment."

~~~~~~

Lets just skip over the bit about TSA employees violating the commenting standards with impunity and get to the heart of your misunderstanding, shall we?

My particular town has a hundred and fifty thousand residents as of the last census. My local police department captured one robber last week. According to your logic we should be applauding the local constabulary for catching the one robber. There is something your question missed.... there were eighteen robberies last week. And only one of them was committed by the robber they did catch so there are up to seventeen more robbers out on the streets. Not such a great success rate for the local police now, is it?

The TSA screened, if the week covered by this blog post was an average week, a bit more than seven million passengers. They found 139 firearms but those firearm finds did not result in any arrests. There are no news reports in any part of the internet that indicates any of those firearm finds resulted in the up to the multi-thousand dollar fine the TSA says it can levy. To use your analogy of the police catching robbers.... the TSA didn't catch any robbers. There aren't even any robbers out there TO catch as is evidenced by the failure rate reported by the TSA's own internal testing because if there were robbers, to keep with your analogy, they would have cleaned the joint out already.

So why is the context of the numbers important? Because my local police department spends a tiny fraction per employee compared to what the TSA spends and has a better track record even with the fact that they only caught one robber last week.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Ask to speak to a Supervisor