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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: November 12 - 18

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
TSA Week in Review: November 12 - 18

TSA screened 15.6 million passengers and discovered 78 firearms in carry-on bags at 46 airports from Nov. 12 through 18. Of the 78 firearms discovered, 65 were loaded and 25 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. 12 to 18.

Loaded gun discovered by TSA at OKC

On Nov. 15, TSA officers at OKC discovered the above loaded 9 mm Sig Sauer firearm. Local police ran a check that indicated the firearm was stolen. The passenger was arrested on a state charge and said he forgot it was in his bag. Unfortunately, this is the most common explanation we hear from passengers. Remember to always check your carry-on before heading to the airport and you can contact your local law enforcement agency to check if your firearm has been reported stolen.  

Self-defense weapons discovered by TSA

Self-defense weapons, including pepper spray, are not allowed in carry-on bags. Some self-defense weapons are allowed in checked baggage and you can find out which by searching on the “What Can I Bring?” tool on our website. Again, your airline’s policies may be different than ours, so check their policies and review state and local laws for these items prior to packing them. From the left, these self-defense weapons were discovered at EWR, LGA, STL, and EWR.

TSA officer

Officer Groves from AUS discovered all three firearms pictured above. Starting from the top, a loaded 9 mm Luger was discovered on June 18, a loaded 9 mm Glock with a round chambered on July 5, and most recently a .45 Glock on Nov. 2. It’s worth noting that Officer Groves joined TSA in May of this year. As of Nov. 18, AUS has discovered 82 firearms in 2018.

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Whether you’re driving, flying, riding or just staying at home, TSA wishes everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

Check out our Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Tips post before heading to the airport.

Jay Wagner

Comments

Submitted by RB on

Jay, are you the new TSA Blogger in Charge? Will take some getting use to "Blogger Jay" but I wish you well.

Don't forget to update "Meet Our Bloggers" on the side menu.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thanks, I know it's a unthankful job.

Submitted by 3 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 SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333. "

Why is this number changing? It used to be eleven -something but now its higher?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason wrote:
"...Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333. "

Why is this number changing? It used to be eleven -something but now its higher?

It went up some time ago, probably more than a year ago. However, I read just this week someplace that the average fine is under $4,000 - I wonder how many people actually pay it.

Submitted by RB? on

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on Fri, 2018-11-23 06:27

"...Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333. "

Why is this number changing? It used to be eleven -something but now its higher?

-------------------------------

Stupidity tax.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

Anybody who does a job really really badly can expect it to be a thankless job.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on Tue, 2018-11-27 18:21
Anybody who does a job really really badly can expect it to be a thankless job.
..........................................

Hear, Hear! Wish there was a like button on this blog.

Submitted by West Cooper on

SSSS Sez - "Why is this number changing? It used to be eleven -something but now its higher?"

Susan sez - "It went up some time ago, probably more than a year ago. However, I read just this week someplace that the average fine is under $4,000 - I wonder how many people actually pay it."

The fines changed a while back, I am uncertain when that happened, but there are cases where the fine can go all the way up to the $13,333 threshold for fireams. If you click on the link above in the post about the fines, it will take you to the TSA Civil Enforcement page. We have updated that resource, and the links, and it has a break down of some the fines, and ranges (predominantly the ones TSA sees most frequently). I hope that this will help with any of your questions moving forward.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Susan Richart on

The Original "RB" wrote: "Hear, Hear! Wish there was a like button on this blog."

I completely agree with that!

Submitted by Susan Richart on

And still West won't address the issue of a father being told by a screener that his child had to have his genitals touched because he could be a drug mule.

But then there is the report of a screener who claims he found a gun, perhaps a 3D gun, in a passenger's genitals. That never made the weekly report.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Susan Richart on Thu, 2018-11-29 16:02
And still West won't address the issue of a father being told by a screener that his child had to have his genitals touched because he could be a drug mule.

But then there is the report of a screener who claims he found a gun, perhaps a 3D gun, in a passenger's genitals. That never made the weekly report.
.........................

Or an imaginary gun!

Submitted by Liars Gonna Lie on

...and West Cooper gonna West Cooper.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Liars sez - "...and West Cooper gonna West Cooper."

I can't help but notice you havent pointed out where I lied. STILL waiting...

Susan sez - "And still West won't address the issue of a father being told by a screener that his child had to have his genitals touched because he could be a drug mule."

I addressed it, you just didn't like the answer. Just for those that did not see the previous answer:

TSA does not search specifically for drugs, they search for WEI - if during the search for WEI they come across "drugs", they will notify the STSO, who will in turn notify the local LEO. Anyone that says differently is wrong.

I have not seen the report of the gun, so I give it about as much creedence as I do any other unsupported claim.

One point that I have not seen reiterated here in a while - the weekly reports are not all inclusive. Not all items for the week make the blog post, due to reporting process, report compilation, and deadlines. The yearly posts are the year end report and should include final statistics for the year (which is why they are traditionally done later than the first week of the year).

This means that sometimes not all of the "cool", different or dangerous items make the weekly reports - some of the crazy stuff falls through the cracks.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Cooper wrote: "I addressed it, you just didn't like the answer."

You gave your standard answer that the TSA doesn't search for drugs. We've all heard it before and very few of us believe it.

Why don't you address that fact that a screener told a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule? What don't/won't you understand about that?

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - " What don't/won't you understand about that?"

What don't/won't you understand about my statement "Anyone that says differently is wrong"?

Again, I have addressed your question, you just don't like the answer. I have also addressed the question in more than one thread. The fact that you disagree with the answer or are not happy with the answer does not mean I have not addressed it.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by This Is Why We ... on

West Cooper, the question is about why a screener told a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule.

You have not answered that question. At all. All you've done is regurgitate your usual boilerplate nonanswer about incidental drug finds. That has NOTHING to do with why this screener told a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule.

So, once again, why did this screener tell a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Will try again, West. Is it appropriate for a screener to tell his father that his child has to be groped because he could be a DRUG MULE? I don't given a hoot about whether TSA searches for drugs or not, but for a screener to suggest that a child could be a DRUG MULE is totally inappropriate.

However, I know your response to this: you didn't hear the screener say that so it didn't happen.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

What don't/won't you understand about my statement "Anyone that says differently is wrong"?

Nothing. We understand it perfectly. Why won't you admit understanding that we know you're lying.

Submitted by West Cooper on

This sez "You have not answered that question."

Asked, and answered - ad nauseum. Again, the fact that some folks that post here do not like the answer, does not mean it has not been given.

"TSA does not search specifically for drugs, they search for WEI - if during the search for WEI they come across "drugs", they will notify the STSO, who will in turn notify the local LEO. Anyone that says differently is wrong."

Susan sez - "Will try again, West. Is it appropriate for a screener to tell his father that his child has to be groped because he could be a DRUG MULE?"

See my explanation above in this comment.

Susan also sez - "However, I know your response to this: you didn't hear the screener say that so it didn't happen."

I have not said that, as a matter of fact, I have not commented one way or the other on the veracity of the comment.

Herm sez - "Nothing. We understand it perfectly. Why won't you admit understanding that we know you're lying."

Annnnddddd, still waiting for you to post where I have lied. Please, take your time.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Answer The Ques... on

How is what you wrote a response to the simple question, "Why did this screener tell a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule?"

Imagine you were a parent and you'd let your teenager borrow the car on the condition that he fill the gas tank. You ask the teenager if he remembered to fill the tank. And he responds, "Cars have gas tanks. Some cars have gas tanks that hold 15 gallons. Many people fill gas tanks at gas stations. Our car has a gas tank, too."

Would you consider that a sufficient answer or would you ask again?

Submitted by Anonymous on

How is it sexual assault? very vague question. did something happen or are you really asking a question. when your trained to look for prohibited items, your not thinking about sexual assault. the other reason this question has no real traction,
officers are busy and moving on to another task.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Answer sez - "

How is what you wrote a response to the simple question, "Why did this screener tell a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule?"

Imagine you were a parent and you'd let your teenager borrow the car on the condition that he fill the gas tank. You ask the teenager if he remembered to fill the tank. And he responds, "Cars have gas tanks. Some cars have gas tanks that hold 15 gallons. Many people fill gas tanks at gas stations. Our car has a gas tank, too."

Would you consider that a sufficient answer or would you ask again?"

This is an inapt comparison. A better comparison would be as follows:

A commentor said "an employee said "A""

The Blog said "Anyone that says "A" is wrong".

Yes, I consider my response a sufficient answer.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by I Will Use Simp... on

A commenter did not say "an employee said A."

A commenter asked, "Why did this screener tell a parent his child had to have his genitals searched because he could be a drug mule?"

When a question starts with "why," any response that does not include a reason is at best inadequate, at worst dishonest.

(At least you're admitting that you people grope children's genitals. I suppose that's progress, though not as much as stopping groping people's genitals.)

Submitted by Easy on

"How is it sexual assault?"

Because it's coercive, unwanted groping of passengers' genitals.

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

I submitted a comment asking a very specific question asking if a screener can make contact with a minor male child in a certain way. I used medically correct terminology, nothing that violates the blogs illegal posting guidelines, (this is a federal government site that must comply with the First Amendment) yet my comment was not posted.

Screener West keeps asking for instances where he has not been truthful. Seeing as how TSA screener West is former Army Military Police he knows that evasive answers, incomplete answers, and answers which do not address the question are very strong indicators of dishonesty. I will let the history of this blog determine who is honest and who is not. I will state that when the few answers as are seen here all the time there is very good reason to suspect less than honest participation by TSA blog representatives.

So I will ask the same question again and leave off the descriptive information.

Is there ever a time when a TSA screener is authorized to touch the genitals, through clothing, of a minor male during the course of a TSA Checkpoint screeening?

The answer is simple, it is either Yes or NO.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

Clerk West, to take just one (relatively minor) example, every time you refer to TSA screening clerks as "officers," that is a lie.

Submitted by Alissa on

If you have not seen what people can/will do with 'their' children and/or self, then you might want to do some research. This world is disgusting and getting worse. "Groping" is definitely the wrong word. In order to grope it needs to be grabbed. They are not being grabbed and I have never seen a child being patted down but I have seen parents and teens being patted down.

Submitted by Alissa on

Yes, with the back of the TSO hands (like every pat down) on a person under 18. Under 12 is a different story. There is no 'groping' everything should be told to the parents before it is done. If the parent doesn't like it they can definitely say so and will most likely be escorted back out since the screening can not take place.

Submitted by Gregczar2 on

No it is not a thankless job. Without them people don't have to worry as much.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by The "Original" RB on Thu, 2018-12-06 00:02
I submitted a comment asking a very specific question asking if a screener can make contact with a minor male child in a certain way. I used medically correct terminology, nothing that violates the blogs illegal posting guidelines, (this is a federal government site that must comply with the First Amendment) yet my comment was not posted.

Screener West keeps asking for instances where he has not been truthful. Seeing as how TSA screener West is former Army Military Police he knows that evasive answers, incomplete answers, and answers which do not address the question are very strong indicators of dishonesty. I will let the history of this blog determine who is honest and who is not. I will state that when the few answers as are seen here all the time there is very good reason to suspect less than honest participation by TSA blog representatives.

So I will ask the same question again and leave off the descriptive information.

Is there ever a time when a TSA screener is authorized to touch the genitals, through clothing, of a minor male during the course of a TSA Checkpoint screeening?

The answer is simple, it is either Yes or NO.

.......................................

What's the matter TSA, is this question to yard to answer?

Silence is as good as saying yes which suggests that TSA court filings were not truthful.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Rb sez – “Is there ever a time when a TSA screener is authorized to touch the genitals, through clothing, of a minor male during the course of a TSA Checkpoint screeening?

The answer is simple, it is either Yes or NO.”

Actually it is not a simple yes or no question. You are asking me to disclose something that is not published anywhere by TSA, and the answer would be considered SSI. I can say that all passengers will be screened, and all alarms on a passenger will be cleared per SOP – what those levels of screening are, I can not say specifically.

Hermann sez – “Clerk West, to take just one (relatively minor) example, every time you refer to TSA screening clerks as "officers," that is a lie.”

Your personal opinion regarding the official title, is not a lie on my part. Stillll waiting.

Anon sez – “What's the matter TSA, is this question to yard to answer?

Silence is as good as saying yes which suggests that TSA court filings were not truthful.”

See my answer to RB above.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by That's Funny on

West Cooper STILL hasn't explained why a TSA screener is telling people that he has to grope their children's genitals because of drug trafficking.

It's like West Cooper is dishonest or a coward or both.

Submitted by Jeremylox on

Hello. And Bye.

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Thu, 2018-12-13 09:09
Rb sez – “Is there ever a time when a TSA screener is authorized to touch the genitals, through clothing, of a minor male during the course of a TSA Checkpoint screeening?

The answer is simple, it is either Yes or NO.”

Actually it is not a simple yes or no question. You are asking me to disclose something that is not published anywhere by TSA, and the answer would be considered SSI. I can say that all passengers will be screened, and all alarms on a passenger will be cleared per SOP – what those levels of screening are, I can not say specifically.

Hermann sez – “Clerk West, to take just one (relatively minor) example, every time you refer to TSA screening clerks as "officers," that is a lie.”

Your personal opinion regarding the official title, is not a lie on my part. Stillll waiting.

Anon sez – “What's the matter TSA, is this question to yard to answer?

Silence is as good as saying yes which suggests that TSA court filings were not truthful.”

See my answer to RB above.

TSA Blog Team

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

So you can't or won't say that TSA doesn't grope children's genitals! Way to man up!

The court filings in Linlor vs Polson seem to call the accuracy of your statement in to question.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hey, Alissa, have you had two twitter accounts over the last 3 weeks or so that you have closed?

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

"Your personal opinion regarding the official title, is not a lie on my part."

This is a lie too. It's not a matter of my personal opinion - "officer" has a clearly defined and understood definition, and TSA clerks unmistakably and unequivocally do not meet that definition. The fact that they wear toy badges doesn't make them officers. My daughters have toy "Deputy Sheriff" badges, but that doesn't make them deputy sheriffs.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Actually, a court has said that TSA screeners are NOT officers and has likened them more to being "meat inspectors." That is exactly why the 3rd Circuit granted them immunity - a terrible decision that is going to be reviewed by the entire court in February. http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/153047po.pdf

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Noticed the "Meet Our Bloggers" link is gone. Why?

Submitted by Aaron on

Richmond international in va did not catch my large bottle of shampoo or toothpaste last Saturday. Both well above the size allowed. I did not know I could not bring them until I go off my last plane and people were surprised to see me pull these out of my bag.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

It really surprises me that the TSA missed a bottle of shampoo. They're usually great at detecting water, juice, shampoo, peanut butter, and snowglobes. What they miss 19 times out of 20 are guns, explosives, or anything that can be used to start a fire. One of the best ways to get a gun past the TSA checkpoint is to ride through it on an elephant, holding the gun above your head, but with the elephant holding a bottle of water in its trunk. The clerks will swarm on the water bottle and take it away, and then you ride the elephant through the checkpoint.

Submitted by You Are Sick on

Get help

Submitted by Anonymous on

how come there is so little evidence the tsa has ever stopped a terrorist

Submitted by It's Simple on

Because they never have.