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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: November 19 - 30

Tuesday, December 04, 2018
Firearms

TSA screened 26.8 million passengers and discovered 122 firearms in carry-on bags at 68 airports from Nov. 19 through 30. Of the 122 firearms discovered, 110 were loaded and 47 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. 19 to 30.

Grenades

It can be difficult to tell on the X-ray screen if items are real or replicas. Smoke grenades and anything resembling an explosive item are prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage. 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. Pictured on the left are three smoke grenades that were discovered in a checked bag at Nashville International Airport on Nov. 19. Pictured on the right is an inert grenade detected in a carry-on bag at McCarran International Airport on Nov. 27.

Handgun

This .22 revolver was discovered in the pocket of a Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport passenger on Nov. 23 by TSA officers after it alarmed our advanced imaging technology. Our law enforcement partners confirmed that the weapon was loaded with a round chambered. The passenger presented a concealed carry license. Even if you have a weapons permit, firearms are not allowed onboard a plane. Bringing a firearm through the security checkpoint, whether on your person or in a carry-on bag, may result in a civil penalty or arrest.

Knives

This knife comb pictured above was discovered at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport on Nov. 21 and the knife on the right was discovered inside the medicine bottle at Springfield-Branson National Airport on Nov. 26. Knives can be used as a lethal weapon and are prohibited in carry-on bags, no matter the size. Knives are allowed in checked bags, so remember to secure the blade to prevent accidents when your bag is being handled. If traveling with a knife concealed as or inside an everyday item, as pictured above, we recommend you check with your airline and local laws before packing in your checked bag.

TSA officer

Officer Brown from McGhee Tyson Airport discovered this pen gun on Nov. 24. Officer Brown has been with TSA since 2002 and is celebrating 16 years with the agency. This is her second firearm discovery. We celebrated TSA’s 17th birthday on Nov. 19, marking the day George W. Bush signed into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act in response to the 9/11 attacks. TSA hired the first group of officers in 2002. We thank Officer Brown for her 16 years of public service.

To see why we require e-cigarettes to be packed in your carry-on bag, watch this video of a smoking bag that closed a BOS baggage room for almost an hour on Nov. 28.

This Thanksgiving travel season was historic in terms of passenger volume and fast security lines. Nov. 25 set a record as our busiest day ever, screening 2.7 million travelers with 95 percent of passengers waiting less than 20 minutes in security lines. For more information, see our press release.

TSA screening procedures prevent prohibited items and other threats to transportation security 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, stun guns, small pocket knives and many other dangerous items.

In most cases the traveler forgets the item is 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? Ask TSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger.

Jay Wagner

Comments

Submitted by 4 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 Patdown 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

I think it cute how you highlight Agents doing their job. The most basic part of their job, I might add. It's like congratulating someone for showing up today.

Submitted by West Cooper on

4 sez - "

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?"

Awkward...  I ask you to actually read the post one more time.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Not Really on

...since a metal firearm would have been detected with a WTMD.

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

You guys wrote this just to see if anyone noticed, right? Quote
...as pictured above, we recommend you check with your airline and local laws before packing in your checked bag.

A knife in a bottle inside your checked bag is nobody's business any more than the label on one's underware.

Unrelated, the ongoing comments by others is still true but the message has not gotten to anyone at TSA who is person enough to rattle the tree.

I make special note that rewarding people and having special events for employees doing their job is not a good use of taxpayer money. Otherwise, you might as well give prizes to repeat travelers who have never carried a gun through a metal detector.

Submitted by Jay Wagner on

Thanks for the question, CliffOnTheRoad! We do recommend you check with your airline and local laws before packing self-defense type weapons in your checked bags. Local laws can vary significantly for possession of these items.

We agree, a knife in your checked bags is good to go; however, both the knives above were discovered in a carry-on bag.

A significant portion of the firearms we find are loaded without a holster or any other safety measures. There are countless incidents of firearms accidentally discharging after a bag is dropped or mishandled. I include a photo of our officers to remind everyone that there are people involved.

I love the idea of giving prizes for passengers who follow the rules! I also enjoy reading about a police officer who caught a criminal, firemen who put out a fire and when our military has a successful operation.

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

Submitted by Jay Wagner on Wed, 2018-12-12 17:45
Thanks for the question, CliffOnTheRoad! We do recommend you check with your airline and local laws before packing self-defense type weapons in your checked bags. Local laws can vary significantly for possession of these items.

We agree, a knife in your checked bags is good to go; however, both the knives above were discovered in a carry-on bag.

A significant portion of the firearms we find are loaded without a holster or any other safety measures. There are countless incidents of firearms accidentally discharging after a bag is dropped or mishandled. I include a photo of our officers to remind everyone that there are people involved.

I love the idea of giving prizes for passengers who follow the rules! I also enjoy reading about a police officer who caught a criminal, firemen who put out a fire and when our military has a successful operation.

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

Countless incidents of accidental discharge of firearms in luggage?

Really? Name 10 incidents!

Submitted by Advanced Imagin... on

Actually, the .22 was discovered by the body scanner. Its stated right there.

Submitted by Wintermute on

You miss the point. It would have also been detected by the much-less invasive WTMD... And also could have made it past the body scanner if the passenger had made an attempt to conceal it, as there are blind spots, which TSA refuses to admit but are widely known about.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"This .22 revolver was discovered in the pocket of a Gulfport–Biloxi International Airport passenger on Nov. 23 by TSA officers after it alarmed our advanced imaging technology."

How many other guns have been found via the body scanner? Would not those guns have been found with the metal detector?

Submitted by Jim on

There are 3D printed firearms that would not set off the metal detector. I have no idea how many or even if the TSA has ever found one of those. But they do exist and do work. Perhaps the Blog team can tell us if the TSA has found any?

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Agent Jay said "...There are countless incidents of firearms accidentally discharging after a bag is dropped or mishandled. "

No. There are not. A casual search using a common search engine reveals about a dozen stories of negligent discharges in the last year and none are from a firearm in a bag being mishandled.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by Jim "...There are 3D printed firearms that would not set off the metal detector. "

No. There are not. There are 3d printed firearms, there was quite a bit of debate recently regarding the plans for making them and their availability on the internet. However, the bullets inside the gun are metal and will set off the WTMD. The firing pin in the 3D gun is metal and will set off the WTMD. You could get the plastic bits through security but you couldn't do anything with it beside throw it really hard at someone's head. Painful but not dangerous.

Submitted by The "Original" RB on

Submitted by Jay Wagner on Wed, 2018-12-12 17:45
Thanks for the question, CliffOnTheRoad! We do recommend you check with your airline and local laws before packing self-defense type weapons in your checked bags. Local laws can vary significantly for possession of these items.

We agree, a knife in your checked bags is good to go; however, both the knives above were discovered in a carry-on bag.

A significant portion of the firearms we find are loaded without a holster or any other safety measures. There are countless incidents of firearms accidentally discharging after a bag is dropped or mishandled. I include a photo of our officers to remind everyone that there are people involved.

I love the idea of giving prizes for passengers who follow the rules! I also enjoy reading about a police officer who caught a criminal, firemen who put out a fire and when our military has a successful operation.

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

Still intersted in hearing about some of the countless accidental firearm discharges in dropped or mishandled bags.

Credibility is a fleeting thing isn't it Jay?

Submitted by The Original "RB" on

https://nypost.com/2018/08/04/3-d-printed-guns-are-an-imaginary-problem/

"You won’t find any news stories about high-tech plastic weapons being used in the real world to hijack airplanes or assassinate charismatic DAs in court, because — to repeat — they do not, at the moment, exist."

"Approximately 0.0 percent of the homicides committed annually in New York City involve a 3D printed gun"

"We have real problems. Why focus on the imaginary ones?"

Submitted by Jim on

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason "...the bullets inside the gun are metal and will set off the WTMD. The firing pin in the 3D gun is metal and will set off the WTMD."

you seem to have a lot of faith in the infallibility of the WTMD. Do you know how they work? I have metal on my clothing and in my body yet I do not set them off when I walk through them. I easily have more metal in/on me than a single .22 round and a firing pin combined. What would be the reason why it doesn't alarm on me if, as you say, they would be set of by a firing the size of a tack nail?

now who is spreading a false narrative about our screening technologies capabilities to lull the masses into a false sense of security?

Submitted by Jim on

typo- they would be set of by a firing the size of a tack nail?

meant to say firing pin.

sorry.

Submitted by Jim on

typo- they would be set of by a firing the size of a tack nail?

meant to say firing pin.

sorry.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by Jim on Sat, 2018-12-22 03:00
Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason "...the bullets inside the gun are metal and will set off the WTMD. The firing pin in the 3D gun is metal and will set off the WTMD."

you seem to have a lot of faith in the infallibility of the WTMD. Do you know how they work? I have metal on my clothing and in my body yet I do not set them off when I walk through them. "

Do -you- know how they work? I am guessing you don't, really, or you would already understand why the metal inside your body doesn't set off the detectors. And you would already understand that the sensitivity of the equipment -can- be adjusted to alarm on something as insignificant as the metal fillings in your teeth or the screws in your artificial hip.

And coming back around to the plastic guns.... the firing pin may be below the common threshold set for the WTMD, but the bullets are considerably bigger and have considerably more metal in them than the ten-penny nail that is commonly used in the Liberator Pistol.

Then to your idea that a single 22lr could be smuggled past the WTMD... it could be smuggled past the Nudie Scanners even easier so I'm not sure what your point is. And in context, what good does one bullet do you as far as terrorizing an aircraft in flight? Or even two bullets. If you shoot out a window all you do is make those masks drop out of the overhead, the crap where people get sucked out the hole in the window only happens in the movies. If you shoot a person, two even, you still have a hundred or more that are going to pound you into a lovely pattern of reds spread across the carpet and walls. If you try and shoot out the lock on the cockpit door, well lets go back to the pounding into a thin meat paste I mentioned before. And all you will have to defend yourself is your plastic gun that if you are lucky, I mean really lucky and have really good aim, you might put someone's eye out when you throw it.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Talk to a Supervisor

Submitted by West Cooper on

Anon sez - "Talk to a Supervisor"

This is always a good starting point when you feel something untoward or illegal has happened. Thank you for seconding up on some good advice!

TSA Blog Team