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Transportation Security Administration

Week in Review: February 18 - 24

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Week in Review: Everything from Finger Knives to Grandpa’s Grenade Image

Between Feb. 18 and 24, TSA screened 15.6 million passengers and discovered 83 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 83 firearms discovered, 75 were loaded and 30 had a round chambered. Reminder folks: bringing your firearm through a security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333 and a disqualification from TSA Pre✓®.

The good news is that there’s an easy and proper way to travel with your firearm. Just check out our Transporting Firearms and Ammunition page to learn how. Also, remember to take a look at your airline’s policies and the laws at your destination, as rules and laws vary.

Review all the firearm discoveries from Feb. 18 to 24 here.

prohibited items discovered

Above are some of the prohibited items discovered in carry-on bags at Raleigh-Durham International Airport:

  • A loaded .380 Smith & Wesson was discovered with a round chambered on Feb. 19 by TSA officers. The passenger was cited by local law enforcement officers for carrying a concealed weapon.
  • On Feb. 22, a double edge knife was discovered during X-ray screening. The knife was confiscated by local law enforcement officers and the passenger received a citation.
  • Another passenger was cited by local law enforcement for carrying a concealed weapon after TSA officers discovered a butterfly knife on Feb. 24.

Knives and ammunition

As a reminder, attempting to conceal prohibited items from TSA officers may result in a civil penalty or arrest. Knives and ammunition are allowed in your checked bags. Just put them in there! I guarantee you that the cost of a checked bag is significantly less than the civil penalty.

Pictured above from left:

  • A small pocket knife was discovered inside a medicine bottle on Feb. 17 at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
  • TSA officers at Alexandria International Airport discovered a magazine loaded with six .380-caliber rounds in the lining of a carry-on bag. It appeared that the passenger was hoping it wouldn’t be found. Bad idea.

Grenades

I don’t think I’ll blow your mind when I tell you grenades, real or fake, aren’t allowed in your carry-on or checked bags. Whenever we find grenades during security screening, our TSA officers need to call on our explosives specialists to evaluate them to determine if they are real or inert. This takes time and can cause security to slow down or stop all together.

Pictured above from left:

  • Security screening was paused for approximately 10 minutes at Dallas Love Field Airport on Feb. 18 after an inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag during X-ray screening.
  • One security screening lane was closed for around 30 minutes at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Feb. 23 after a passenger packed “Grandpa’s grenade” in a carry-on bag.

Knives, sharp objects and self-defense weapons

Knives, sharp objects and self-defense weapons are…wait for it…NOT allowed in carry-on bags! If for some reason you need a cane sword or throwing knives for your upcoming vacation to Gotham City, we recommend packing them in your checked bag.

Top row:

  • TSA officers discovered a finger knife at LaGuardia Airport on Feb. 18.
  • On the same day, at the same airport, officers discovered a 7-inch combat knife.
  • On Feb. 21, officers at McCarran International Airport discovered a cane sword.

Bottom row:

  • A belt buckle knife was discovered by O’Hare International Airport officers on Feb. 20.
  • Officers at Albany International Airport said “hello kitty” to a cat-eye key chain on Feb. 21. Cat-eyes are self-defense weapons and must be packed in checked bags.
  • Three 4-inch throwing knives were discovered at Colorado Springs Airport on Feb. 24.

Our mission at TSA is to ensure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off your plane. The most common explanation we hear from travelers is “I forgot it was in my bag.” Don’t be that person. Save yourself some money and embarrassment and thoroughly check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.

If you think this blog features all the prohibited items we found between Feb. 18 and 24, you’re mistaken. Every day our officers stop way more prohibited items than what is featured in this blog. Like way more.

So come prepared. For a list of prohibited items, see our What Can I Bring? page. And if you have questions about the security process, ask us at AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team will happily answer even the most outlandish travel related questions

Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2018 blog post.

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

Want to learn more or see the other wacky finds? Follow us @TSA on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Jay Wagner

Comments

Submitted by GK on

A professor told the class about your blog so I decided to give it a look. I did not expect it to be...wait for it...funny! :)
Keep up the good work!

Submitted by Jay Wagner on

@GK - Sounds like you have a smart professor! @GK's Professor - *fist bump*

Submitted by Leslie on

Your blog was not only full of useful information, but also lots of humor. It was a fun read! Great job, keep it up!

Submitted by 9 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 Old COB on

I wish to address, for conversation sake, two points: first, the articles do not always describe how/where the prohibited items were discovered, although most of the time persons do attempt to hide them in their accessible property. Second, your use of the term "naked body scanners" is incorrect and uninformed. No pictures are taken or retained by screening personnel/equipment with current technology.

Submitted by Trollwatch on

- Submitted by Pat-down Or Assault on Fri, 2019-03-01 10:47
"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?"
seen you post this every week for as long back as I can remember, multiple answers that left you unsatisfied. you keep going regardless... are you familiar with the often quoted definition of insanity?

same to the "Nudie scanner" troll.

Submitted by Joanne K Miller on

We arrived in Maui 3/1/19 and found our luggage keys had been broken off, which we placed to keep the baggage handlers out of our things. Come to find out, it was done by TSA. Thank you very much for leaving us your pamphlet of explanation. We originally thought it was done by a baggage handler. It never dawned on us that it may have caused extra suspicion. We now will be more careful in the future when traveling. Thank you for all you do.

Submitted by Perhaps on

Perhaps if West Cooper and Jay Wagner weren't too cowardly and dishonest to address the question it would stop being posted every week?

Submitted by West Cooper on

Perhaps sez - "Perhaps if West Cooper and Jay Wagner weren't too cowardly and dishonest to address the question it would stop being posted every week?"

Perhaps, but, no. I have posted an answer numerous times, you are simply not happy with that answer - and that is ok, difference of opnion is rampant and encouraged in this country. The pat-down is a part of the regulatory search process, utilized to determine if a passenger is trying to transport something dangerous on their person - it has been in use since the inception of TSA (and actually it was used some prior to TSA). The pat-down has changed over the years, based upon intelligence gathered, policy development at the HQ level and through research that helps the development process.You may disagree with that, but it does not mean we have not answered, nor does it mean that the pat-down will necessarily change because you disagree with it

So, for anyone that has missed it, there is your answer.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Dishonest As Al... on

...since nowhere in that feeble word salad was anything resembling an explanation of what distinguishes today's TSA patdowns from sexual assault. In fact, you have never actually answered that question. So, once again: Where does the line between a patdown and a sexual assault lie? Where is that line? How is someone to know how much gential groping is a patdown and how much more genital groping is an assault? How far into one's waistband are a screening clerk's fingers supposed to go in a patdown, and how much farther amounts to a sexual assault?

A while back, TSA screening clerks in Denver were using your naked body scanners as an excuse to grope passengers they found attractive. Were those patdowns fundamentally different from the ones you and your ilk perform every day on innocent men, women, and children, with no dangerous objects found in 99.999999999% of these patdowns? Or are the patdowns you perform every day so invasive that nobody needs to add anything to them for them to be sexual assaults?

Submitted by Jose Tejeda on

what kind of license is needed to be able to ship with the airlines? thanks in advanced

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by West Cooper on Tue, 2019-03-05 08:40
Perhaps sez - "Perhaps if West Cooper and Jay Wagner weren't too cowardly and dishonest to address the question it would stop being posted every week?"

Perhaps, but, no. I have posted an answer numerous times, you are simply not happy with that answer - and that is ok, difference of opnion is rampant and encouraged in this country. The pat-down is a part of the regulatory search process, utilized to determine if a passenger is trying to transport something dangerous on their person - it has been in use since the inception of TSA (and actually it was used some prior to TSA). The pat-down has changed over the years, based upon intelligence gathered, policy development at the HQ level and through research that helps the development process.You may disagree with that, but it does not mean we have not answered, nor does it mean that the pat-down will necessarily change because you disagree with it

So, for anyone that has missed it, there is your answer.

TSA Blog Team

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

Does the TSA Pat Down require contact with the individuals genitals and if the pat down requires that contact does the Pat Down Advisement state that fact?

Simply two part question that has not been answered!

Submitted by RB on

15.6 million passengers and TSA found 83 firearms in carry-on bags.

83/15,600,000 = .00000532051 firearms per person.

Yet TSA makes firearms the highlight of each blog post when in fact the abuse of passengers by TSA screeners is a much greater problem.

Does the TSA Pat Down require the screener to make contact with the passengers genitals?

Why is it so hard for TSA to be truthful and answer a simple question?

Is it a Pat Down or Sexual Assault?

Submitted by Susan Richart on

RB wrote: "Does the TSA Pat Down require contact with the individuals genitals and if the pat down requires that contact does the Pat Down Advisement state that fact?

Simply two part question that has not been answered!"

You are spot on, RB. West Cooper did not answer your question. West, are passengers advised that their GENITALS will be touched during a "pat down"? A simple "yes" or "no" answer will suffice. A reference to "resistance" or "sensitive area" is not acceptable. Does the TSA use the word GENITALS when describing the breadth and scope of the pat down? Again, a yes or no response will suffice.

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 Jared Hawke on

RB said "Does the TSA Pat Down require contact with the individuals genitals and if the pat down requires that contact does the Pat Down Advisement state that fact?"

I have watched, and received the TSA Patdowns for a while now. The answer is NO!!!! They do not contact the Genitals. The explain what they will do completely.

Submitted by RB Is At It Again on

RB, Let's put it a different way. If there is an Alarm/Anomaly etc, in a passenger's groin area, how do YOU propose that be resolved?
And in another post you claimed you fly twice a week. Have you never heard the advisements? If you have, why are you asking? Trolling again?

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by Jared Hawke on Wed, 2019-03-06 19:09
RB said "Does the TSA Pat Down require contact with the individuals genitals and if the pat down requires that contact does the Pat Down Advisement state that fact?"

I have watched, and received the TSA Patdowns for a while now. The answer is NO!!!! They do not contact the Genitals. The explain what they will do completely.

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

Many reports from other travelers would disagree with your assessment. Apparently some TSA screeners are engaged in sexual assault of travelers if your statement is true.

Thanks for confirming what is apparent.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by Jared Hawke on Wed, 2019-03-06 19:03
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!!!

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

Once again the MMW WBI's in use require network capabilities, image storage capability and the ability to connect a viewing monitor. The addition of Privacy Filters, as mandated by Congress, has made the use of remote viewing rooms unnecessary but the capabilities are still built into these machines. Helping manufacture these devices could be something as simple as putting on some cable clamps and certainly doesn't indicate knowledge of the contract specifications.

If you want to prove the current machine has no capability to store, transmit, or display images then post the contract specifications proving that claim.

Submitted by Really, Jared? on

Does that mean if a screener DOES grope a passenger's genitals, the screener is out of line and the passenger can file sexual assault charges against them?

Submitted by One More Time on

How do YOU propose a screener clear an alarm in the groin area?
Very simple question.

Submitted by Jared Hawke on

To SSSS, RB, Susan Richart, and anyone else whose mission is to take down the TSA.

I finally have you figured out.

It is impossible to change someone’s mind using facts. This happens due to “Motivated Reasoning”, a psychology term that refers to the way people usually believe whatever they want to believe and use the flimsiest piece of evidence to justify that belief, even when there is plenty of verified evidence to disprove it.
So to all of you, I have given my verified evidence and I am done. Bye Bye.

Sincerely, Jared T. Hawke

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by RB Is At It Again on Thu, 2019-03-07 10:43
RB, Let's put it a different way. If there is an Alarm/Anomaly etc, in a passenger's groin area, how do YOU propose that be resolved?
And in another post you claimed you fly twice a week. Have you never heard the advisements? If you have, why are you asking? Trolling again?
..............................
This is twice that you have given yourself by using multiple identities, a prime mark of a TROLL.

I never said I fly twice a week. What I said was clear but you apparently have a problem with understanding.
.......................................................................

Submitted by RB on Thu, 2019-02-28 17:11

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

I've flown twice this month. How many flights did you take this month?

Submitted by Wrong Question on

The right one is, why does TSA continue to use an invasive and ineffective technology that frequently alarms on nothing at all, and with a false positive rate of 100%? (Note to the cowards West and Jay: This is rounded up from 99.9999999999%.)

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"... and I am done. Bye Bye."

Well....

Bye.

Submitted by RB Still Trolling on

Yes RB, you did say twice in a month, an error on my part. However YOU still have not answered the question - How would YOU clear a groin alarm?

Submitted by CliffOnTheRoad on

Jose, you will find the info you seek if you look. A "known shipper" is a company who paid the $ and was investigated to insure they were OK and wouldn't allow bad things on the plane. Gone are the days when I drove to air cargo with my box.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Dishonest sez – “since nowhere in that feeble word salad was anything resembling an explanation of what distinguishes today's TSA patdowns from sexual assault.”

And “A while back, TSA screening clerks in Denver were using your naked body scanners as an excuse to grope passengers they found attractive.”

The explanation has been posted numerous times – the pat-down is not sexual assault, and what you can expect from a pat-down can be found here  What to expect during a pat-down

The video gives an outline of exactly what to expect, and even shows how the pat-down is done. So, sexual assault is something other than the pat-down. Again, the fact that you and/or others are not satisfied with that answer does not mean that the answer has not been provided.

The incident in Denver was noticed by a co-worker, and reported it – as is expected of all of our workforce. You can read the official response at our blog here Denver Incident

**Note – requests for specific procedures and protocols is considered SSI, and can not be disclosed.

Jose sez – “what kind of license is needed to be able to ship with the airlines? thanks in advanced

Hello Jose, you can begin your trek to cargo certification by visiting our TSA Cargo programs page.

Wrong question sez – “(Note to the cowards West and Jay: This is rounded up from 99.9999999999%.)”

Now, now. Personal attacks are a direct result of weak discussion positions. It is also a dirty trick, instead of trying to communicate based upon the position you are taking.

RB is at it sez – “Trolling again?”

Please see the above comment – personal attacks detract from your position

RB Still Trolling – see the above comments about personal attacks

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Incapable Of Ho... on

"So, sexual assault is something other than the pat-down."

Why? What characteristics of the TSA patdown distinguish it from sexual assault?

"The incident in Denver was noticed by a co-worker, and reported it – as is expected of all of our workforce."

Nonresponsive, since the question was whether the patdowns done for sexual gratification differed in any way from the standard patdown.

Why is telling the truth so hard for TSA and its propagandists?

Submitted by West Cooper on

Incapable sez - "Why is telling the truth so hard for TSA and its propagandists?"

I would like to request that you point out where I have not told the truth. I will wait.

Also, as indicated numerous times before, specific processes and protocols are listed as SSI and can not be disclosed.

TSA Blog Team