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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Month in Review: January 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019
guns

We’re back and looking forward to providing you with routine updates!

During the month of January, TSA screened 61 million passengers and discovered 327 firearms in carry-on bags. That is six firearms more than the same month last year. Of the 327 firearms discovered, 291 were loaded and 130 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.

It is important to know 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 at both their departure and destination, as they vary.

All of the firearms pictured above were discovered at Indianapolis International Airport in January. View the full list of firearm discoveries.

Top row:

On Jan 4, a loaded 9mm Smith & Wesson was discovered in a carry-on bag. The passenger said they forgot about the firearm and was issued a summons before boarding their flight.

A loaded .380 caliber Smith & Wesson was discovered on Jan 6.

The following day, Indianapolis officers discovered an unloaded .380 Ruger in a passenger’s carry-on bag.

A loaded Ruger with one 9 mm round chambered was discovered on Jan. 11 inside of a carry-on bag. The passenger forgot about the firearm and was issued a summons by local law enforcement.

Middle row:

The next day, a loaded 9 mm Keltec was discovered in a carry-on bag. This passenger also forgot that the firearm was in the bag and received a citation from local law enforcement.

On Jan. 16, a loaded .380 Ruger was discovered in a carry-on bag along with an additional magazine with six more rounds. The passenger received a summons from law enforcement.

On Jan. 17, a loaded .380 Smith & Wesson with a round chambered was discovered in a carry-on bag. The passenger received a citation from local law enforcement.

Making it a three-day streak, a loaded .380 Ruger with a round chambered was discovered in a carry-on bag. For forgetting the firearm was in the bag, the passenger received a summons from local law enforcement officials.

Bottom row:

A loaded Smith & Wesson revolver was discovered in a carry-on bag on Jan. 22. The passenger stated they forgot the firearm was in their bag.

On Jan. 24, a loaded .380 Ruger was detected in a carry-on bag along with a pocket knife.

An antique 1914 loaded Smith & Wesson revolver was discovered in a passenger’s carry-on bag on Jan. 26. The passenger stated a family member packed the bag and was unaware of the firearm.

grenades and road flares

All of the items pictured above were discovered at the screening checkpoint, starting from the left. Packing grenades, road flares or attempting to conceal prohibited items may also result in a civil penalty or arrest.

Top row:

Security screening at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport briefly closed on Jan. 6, when officers discovered a grenade in a passenger’s bag. Security screening resumed after an explosives specialist determined it was inert.

A knife was discovered inside of a flashlight at Eugene Airport on Jan 2.

On Jan. 12, officers discovered a road flare at Bill and Hillary Clintion National Airport.

Bottom row:

A Springfield-Branson National Airport X-ray officer spotted a knife inside a tissue box on January 11.

During AIT screening, Orlando International Airport officers discovered a flask hidden on the body of a passenger on Jan 17.

An inert grenade was discovered at Raleigh Durham International Airport on Jan 29.

ammunitions

Ammunition isn’t allowed in carry-on bags, but may be allowed in checked bags. If you’re planning on packing ammo, check your airline’s website for their policies. Small arms ammunition must be securely packed in fiber, wood or metal boxes or other packaging designed to hold ammunition and be placed in your checked bag.

Top row:

On Jan 22, officers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport discovered 100 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition.

Quad City International Airport officers discovered 100 rounds of .22 Long caliber ammunition along with a loaded magazine in a carry-on bag on Jan 17.

A firearm along with 87 rounds of .22 Long Rifleammunition was discovered in a carry-on bag at Rouge Valley International Airport on Jan 16.

Bottom row:

Two boxes of .22-caliber ammunition were discovered in a carry-on bag at El Paso International Airport on January 18.

110 rounds of .380-caliber ammunition were discovered in a carry-on bag at Charleston International Airport on Jan. 23.

During X-ray screening, officers at Grand Forks International Airport discovered 50 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition and 20 rounds of .38-caliber on Jan 15. 

knives

Tied with ammunition, large knives are the most popular prohibited items officers discovered in January. Knives and other bladed items are allowed in your checked bags. To point out the obvious, please secure any sharp edges to prevent accidental injury when handling the checked bag.

Top row:

On Jan. 20, Nashville International Airport officers discovered a large double-edged knife in a carry-on bag.

During X-ray screening, Charleston International Airport officers identified a sword cane on Jan. 20.

A hatchet was located in a carry-on bag of an El Paso International Airport passenger on Jan. 2.

Bottom row:

Santa Barbara Airport officers discovered a knife-wrench combo on Jan. 8. Quick tip: tools shorter than seven inches, without blades are allowed in carry-on bags.

A 23-inch kanata sword was located in a carry-on bag by Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport officers on Jan. 27.

A decorative sword cane was discovered at Myrtle Beach International Airport on Jan. 8.

Did you know that swordsticks were considered a fashion accessory in the late 1800s? If you plan on using a vintage or secondhand cane to get through security, give the handle a tug to make sure it’s just a cane before heading to the airport.

Every day, 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 other firearm components, realistic replica firearms, BB guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, batons, stun guns, small pocket knives, and many other dangerous items.

As noted in the examples above, travelers frequently forget a prohibited 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 2018 blog post.

And don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds video for 2018.

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 SSSS For Some Reason on

"...after an explosives specialist determined it was inert."

Once it was determined to not be a threat was it allowed to fly? If not, why not?

Submitted by ANobody on

SSSS,
"Once it was determined to not be a threat was it allowed to fly? If not, why not?"

I'm sure the blog team will answer this more satisfactorily, but, if I were to hazard a guess it's because threatening/bluffing with an inert explosive will likely have the same result as threatening with a real one. ie; mass panic with people trampling each other to escape, fear induced compliance, and/or a group attacking the attacker. I would hope for the last one but it is the fear of the other two that makes them prohibit even the inert explosives. again, this is just me guessing as to the reason. take it as you will.

Submitted by 7 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

"...threatening/bluffing with an inert explosive will likely have the same result as threatening with a real one."

So you are saying you don't trust the TSA anymore than I do. If you saw someone with an inert grenade on the secure side of the airport your first thought would be that someone was able to get something dangerous past the checkpoint. Your first thought isn't that the TSA did their job so the hunk of metal that is grenade shaped is just that, an inert hunk of metal.

Good to know that we agree even if we come at that agreement from different directions.

Submitted by ANobody on

um, yeah I guess. not really the point, I was talking about crowd mentality. but me personally? my first thought is more likely along the lines of beating this A hole into the ground and get that thing away from him. I'm pretty sure considering how he got it in and if it was inert and let go, or active and missed, is the last consideration I would be making in that situation. the TSA is full of security holes for sure. and though I trust their efforts enough to continue to fly, I am still watchful and, hopefully, ready in case a hole in screening is exposed while I am on a flight.

it's like with the shoe bomber or the underwear bomber. they did their research (or someone who directed them did), found a hole, and used it. luck and ineptitude played a major role in preventing those potential tragedies. the TSA likes to flaunt their zero terrorist attacks on civil aviation in America since 9/11 but in truth had either bomber tried that here in the US at that time we would have failed. the TSA reacted to those holes by removing shoes and adding AIT screening. but there are still problems with it. I think we can definitely agree that no matter the screening we receive when we fly we should never really trust it whole heartedly and always try to be ready to react in an emergency appropriately. I think the majority of the TSA is trying to help though.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Naked body scanners? where? you seem to be highly misinformed

Submitted by Jared Hawke on

Just as predicted. I see the same old statement again about your “naked body scanners”. And once again you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

The Advanced Imagery Technology (AIT) Body Scanner does not, and will not use, save, or project a naked body for anyone to see or use. I help manufacture these machines, I know what I'm talking about. You DON'T!!! So stop with your agenda of trying to destroy the TSA!!!

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...The Advanced Imagery Technology (AIT) Body Scanner does not, and will not use"

Then how is it going to work? Does it just randomly pick a spot to show the little yellow square and do it to random people? Because that doesn't sound like a very effective way to catch WEI items.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Jared Hawke wrote: "The Advanced Imagery Technology (AIT) Body Scanner does not, and will not use,...a naked body..."

Of course they use a naked body, Jared. "The new software for scanners has been applied by US Aviation Security, so the new full-body scanner will not give image of nudity of the person who is scanned to the operators of the scanner, but only give the image as a generic male or female figure with no features. Opponents of full body scanners still consider this to be an unconstitutional strip search, because even though the operators see an edited version of the image, a naked image is still captured by the machine, and there is no guarantee that the Government or private companies won't store the images in the case that a terrorist attack were successful."

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West, you are still taking my words out of context. Hawke wrote ""There have been many items that have been discovered by the Body Scanner that would have not been found by the Walk Through Meatal Detector."

I then responded with: "Name them for us, please, Jared. Name the things that would present a danger to an aircraft or the passengers on that aircraft."

I am looking for him (and you) to name all the items that HAVE BEEN FOUND BY BODY SCANNERS that would/could present a danger to an aircraft and that would not have been found by metal detectors. It's really very simple.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Susan sez - "West, you are still taking my words out of context."

Not even remotely. I even addressed it with more clarity after the first statement. You obviously missed that in your previous reading, so let me post it for you to peruse once more -

 "Susan sez - "You took that statement out of context, West."

No, I took it exactly as it was written. I would be happy to compile a list for the other question:

1. Ceramic knives

2. Kubatons

3. Tactical Spikes

4. Tactical Pens

Now, I will add a list of items that the AIT can find that the WTMD can not:

1. Moldable explosives

2. Corrosives in a sealed packet

3. Kubatons

4. Tactical Spikes

5. Tactical Pens

6. Ceramic knives

7. 3D printed firearms (the ammunition is a different story)

8. Carbon Fiber cutting devices (knives, etc)

9. A sealed packet of liquid explosives

I could probably come up with more examples, but I think that the lists above are sufficient. The simple fact, is that the AIT gives TSA a better chance of finding more possible threats - metallic and non-metallic.

TSA Blog Team"

I bolded the part that applies to your comment earlier, but just to clarify a bit more, let me list the things that I personally have seen found with the AIT:

1. Kubatons

2. Tactical Pens

3. Carbon Fiber knife

4. Hardened plastic knives

5. a bottle of booze

6. A sealed packet of marijuana

7. A sealed packet of booze

Now, these items are not likely to create a catastrophic failure, but they are prohibited (and in some cases illegal). The AIT gives us a better capability to find threats, both metallic and non-metallic.Any of those items that were containers, could have been replaced with something that presents an opportunity for a catastrophic failure of the aircraft.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Now, I will add a list of items that the AIT can find that the WTMD can not:

1. Moldable explosives

2. Corrosives in a sealed packet

3. Kubatons

4. Tactical Spikes

5. Tactical Pens

6. Ceramic knives

7. 3D printed firearms (the ammunition is a different story)

8. Carbon Fiber cutting devices (knives, etc)

9. A sealed packet of liquid explosives"

Cool.

Now how many on that list have actually been found with the big, expensive scanners.

Not could. Have. How many of those have you found.

Submitted by West Cooper on

SSSS sez - "Now how many on that list have actually been found with the big, expensive scanners.

Not could. Have. How many of those have you found."

If you would kindly read the previous comment, at the bottom I wrote:

"just to clarify a bit more, let me list the things that I personally have seen found with the AIT:

1. Kubatons

2. Tactical Pens

3. Carbon Fiber knife

4. Hardened plastic knives

5. a bottle of booze

6. A sealed packet of marijuana

7. A sealed packet of booze"

If I had to come up with a rounded number of items on that list found with the AIT at our airport, I would have to go with around 50 total, that I personally have been around to see. Kubatons/tactical spikes/tactical pens are by far the most common item, followed closely by folks trying to sneak in booze. Another item that shows up fairly often, is the Cat Ears Self Defense Key Ring, which is a hardened plastic cats head with sharp ears. We have had some folks leave the Cat Ears in their pocket, or a change pocket in their pants, even in a breast pocket of a shirt, the Cat Ears are technically illegal in some areas, and are prohibited on airplanes.

These are the items discovered with the AIT that I perrsonally have been invovled with.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"..."just to clarify a bit more, let me list the things that I personally have seen found with the AIT:"

So you haven't found molded explosives or seal packets of liquid explosives or liquid corrosives.

I already know the answer regarding liquid explosives because they are not a viable threat to aviation. But it still begs the question.... how is the big expensive scanner going to find a moldable explosive when one of the original ways to get around the big expensive and slow nudie-scanner was to mold the explosive into what looked like, on the scanner at least, a beer gut?

Submitted by Redstone on

Stop spamming this crap. You watch too much online pornography.

Submitted by Redstone on

I've had handguns. Passengers said "I thought Obama made it legal."

Submitted by Jared Hawke on

Susan Said:

Of course they use a naked body, Jared. "The new software for scanners has been applied by US Aviation Security, so the new full-body scanner will not give image of nudity of the person who is scanned to the operators of the scanner, but only give the image as a generic male or female figure with no features. Opponents of full body scanners still consider this to be an unconstitutional strip search, because even though the operators see an edited version of the image, a naked image is still captured by the machine, and there is no guarantee that the Government or private companies won't store the images in the case that a terrorist attack were successful."

And you are still wrong. The machine does not Store, Use, or project a naked image. It can't. So unless you can show me in the manuals I use to construct these machines, you are flat out wrong!!!

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"..The machine does not Store, Use,"

If it doesn't look under our clothes then how does it work?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

West wrote: "Kubatons/tactical spikes/tactical pens are by far the most common item..." But TSA allows knitting needles, including circular needles, scissors 4" long from fulcrum, in effect 2 4" long knives, shoe laces, pens and pencils, 7" long tools, including screwdrivers, all of which can cause just as much damage as the items mentioned above. It's mind-boggling.

Submitted by Arnor on

Carbon Fiber Knifes

Submitted by Anonymous on

it wasnt. the reason? they prefer to steal items off of passangers