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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: April 22 - 28

Wednesday, May 01, 2019
Firearms cover

We are off to the races! The Kentucky Derby is this weekend and if you decide in the spur of the moment to attend, you can trot through the security checkpoint with these travel tips. If you’re flying out after the race, be sure to hoof it to the airport at least two hours before your flight! But don’t worry, we’ll make sure you don’t have to stand in line furlong.

If you’re packing one of those fancy hats in your checked bags, we’d recommend putting it in a case to keep it stable and make sure it doesn’t get damaged while your bag is being transported. And if you’re like me, you can’t leave Kentucky without a big ol’ bottle of bourbon. Bottles larger than 3.4oz must go in your checked bags. The airport will have a complimentary bottle wrapping service to ensure your hooch makes it home.

Now it’s your regularly scheduled post-time:

Between April 22 and 28, TSA screened 16.6 million passengers and found 85 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 85 firearms discovered, 75 were loaded and 28 had a round chambered.

Bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. That is a lot of money to pony up, so if you must travel with your firearm check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly.

See all firearm discoveries from April 22 to 28 in this chart.

ExplosivesCover

Odds are that most of you know NOT to pack lighter fluid, live smoke grenades and replica explosive detonators! But just in case, don’t go for the trifecta, leave these items at home! Lighter fluid or replica explosives are not allowed at all.

Pictured above from the left:

  • Two large cans of lighter fluid were discovered in checked bags at San Diego International Airport on April 25. I’ve heard smoking may make your voice horse, so just say neigh. And speaking of smoke;
  • A live smoke grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on April 25.
  • Multiple replica detonators were discovered in a checked bag at San Antonio International Airport on April 27.

 Weapons Cover

Whoaa! Packing your nunchucks and knives in your carry-on bag is lame. If you want to be a traveling stud, you’ll put these items in your checked bag.

Pictured above from the left:

  • TSA officers at Southwest Florida International Airport discovered two sets of nunchucks in a carry-on bag on April 27.
  • A fixed blade knife was located in a carry-on bag at San Antonio International Airport on April 24.

 Take Our Duaghters and Sons to Work Day Cover

I had the pleasure of participating in Albuquerque International Sunport’s Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day last week. We honked horns on the snow plows, blasted the sirens in a police cruiser and toured TSA’s security checkpoint and baggage screening locations. It wasn’t all horsing around though, the kiddos learned all about the aviation industry including TSA’s mission of protecting the traveling public.

Our mission at TSA is to ensure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. 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.

So, come prepared! For a list of prohibited items, be sure to use the What Can I Bring? tool. If you have questions about the security process, reach out to 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.

Also, 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 Anonymous on

I fail to see why TSA continues to frame Handguns as the leading topic of the weekly screening reports.

16,600,000 passengers divided into 85 firearms equals a tiny fraction of 1% (.00051204819%) of firearms per passenger. I understand and agree that firearms in the cabin are a real concern but in reality the numbers of firearms found just do not justify the intense coverage on the blog. I doubt anyone reading this blog is going to be a violator anyhow.

Tell me, if TSA can't find guns then what else can't TSA find?

Submitted by May Mental Heal... on

Reading the blog posts it is important to remember the importance of good mental health. Getting obsessed with a topic, especially one that you have no control over, can make for difficult times. Please look after yourselves and each other.

Submitted by A Gree on

Yeah RB, Susan, SSSS. This one's for you.

Submitted by AdbotSeada on

I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays.|
That is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!|

Excellent knowledge Thank you.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Submitted by A Gree on Sun, 2019-05-05 10:52
Yeah RB, Susan, SSSS. This one's for you."

Perhaps RB and SSSS can interpret this statement but I certainly can't.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by May Mental Heal... on Fri, 2019-05-03 06:59
Reading the blog posts it is important to remember the importance of good mental health. Getting obsessed with a topic, especially one that you have no control over, can make for difficult times. Please look after yourselves and each other.

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

And you have nothing better to do than monitor my posts here. Well bless your heart!

Submitted by Anonymous on

Submitted by Susan Richart on Mon, 2019-05-06 15:24
"Submitted by A Gree on Sun, 2019-05-05 10:52
Yeah RB, Susan, SSSS. This one's for you."

Perhaps RB and SSSS can interpret this statement but I certainly can't.

******

Got me, not even a complete thought.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Perhaps RB and SSSS can interpret this statement but I certainly can't."

Nope. It makes even less sense than the 311 rules.

Submitted by Theory on

is it possible RB, SSSS, and Susan are the SAME blogger using different names to give each other support? hear me out. they never disagree, there is nothing to stop you from using different names when posting (I know), and it seems odd that any person not employed by the TSA would have this level of obsession about it, let alone 3 different people. not trying to insult, just theorizing.

Submitted by Ex Plain on

Submitted by May Mental Heal... on Fri, 2019-05-03 06:59

Reading the blog posts it is important to remember the importance of good mental health. Getting obsessed with a topic, especially one that you have no control over, can make for difficult times. Please look after yourselves and each other.

reply

..

Submitted by A Gree on Sun, 2019-05-05 10:52

Yeah RB, Susan, SSSS. This one's for you.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

"Submitted by Theory on Tue, 2019-05-07 01:16
is it possible RB, SSSS, and Susan are the SAME blogger using different names to give each other support? hear me out. they never disagree, there is nothing to stop you from using different names when posting (I know), and it seems odd that any person not employed by the TSA would have this level of obsession about it, let alone 3 different people. not trying to insult, just theorizing."

Your "theory" is wrong, of that I can assure you.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by Theory on Tue, 2019-05-07 01:16
is it possible RB, SSSS, and Susan are the SAME blogger using different names to give each other support? hear me out. they never disagree, there is nothing to stop you from using different names when posting (I know), and it seems odd that any person not employed by the TSA would have this level of obsession about it, let alone 3 different people. not trying to insult, just theorizing.
.........................
To put your mind at ease I can assure you that the 3 of us are different people. Yes the 3 of us have similar opinions of TSA but that's as far as it goes.

I have never considered working for TSA and have never applied for TSA job. I have more self respect than working for an organization that is so anti-american as is TSA. Seriously, why would anyone that thinks as I do about TSA even think working there was a good idea?

I suspect that a large number of TSA employees would move on if they had any other viable options but with no real skills TSA is about the best they can do.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"..especially one that you have no control over,"

Good advice in general.

The TSA, however, is a Government entity. That means I DO have some control over it. Granted that control is extremely small, but this is still the US. We the people, in order to form a more perfect Union... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. The Constitution, despite what many think, places limits on the Government and the TSA is in violation of more than a few parts of that particular document. It will take a while to get that fixed, and unlike all of the TSA cheerleaders here, I am willing to fight that fight no matter how long it takes.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"...Submitted by Theory on Tue, 2019-05-07 01:16
is it possible RB, SSSS, and Susan are the SAME blogger using different names to give each other support"

All three of us, and I am sure even more of the regulars you didn't mention, have been reading and commenting on this blog since the earliest days of the blog. I won't speak for the others but I have been reading and commenting on this blog since the days when the comments were posted in real time and if you kept hitting refresh you could actually converse with someone. I remember more than a couple of nights comment/chatting with some folks who supported the TSA for no other reason than they worked for the TSA (even though they denied it). Interesting ideas that still echo through these pages, things like 'knowing what's going on but can't say anything because SSI' and, my favorite, 'if you knew the things that we know' like some line agent looking at the little light on the WMD would 'know' anything or have heard 'the chatter' like they had access to that big room you always see on TV.

And speaking of RB and Susan, and some of the other long time commentors too, we got find a way to get together in real-space some day and share a beer. I would suggest an airport to meet but, in my airport at least, all the bars are past security and I really don't feel like subjecting myself to an even more invasive inspection by the TSA if they knew specifically when and where I was going to be. Sure they would 'say' I had been randomly selected but we really know how that little trick works, don't we Theory?

Submitted by Wesley Trueax Sr on

Would i be able to bring my bullet proof vest im a fugitive recovery agent my first time flying.

Submitted by Hermann Fegelein on

Clerk Theory, why does it surprise you that 3 people have the same negative opinion of you and your fellow TSA clerks? Look in a mirror and look at how your fellow clerks behave on the job. Ask your non-TSA clerk acquaintances what they think of the TSA and let us know if any of them has a positive or even neutral opinion.

Why not try to do your job in a better way than the lazy and slovenly way you currently do it, rather than try to delegitimize the opinions of others.

Submitted by Nut on

It only takes one genius.

Submitted by Theory on

I'm sorry I forgot to mention you Hermann Fegelein, I just didn't remember you when I formulated my theory.

Clerk? I know I'm lighting the fuse on a powder keg here, but why Clerk? I get not saying the TSA are Officers despite that being the actual title. I even understand the avoidance of the term Agent for the same reasons, but why not guard? I was a security guard at a university once (admittedly long ago) and I was given that as a title and I had a lot less responsibilities and power than a TSA Officer. or are you trying to be degrading to the entire work force?

since you pre-judge every person who works for the TSA as "lazy and slovenly" it's not so much a theory as a fact, provable with empirical evidence, that you have a problem with prejudices. I don't need to "delegitimize" your opinions, your unfounded hateful words have done that for me.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Wesley sez - "Would i be able to bring my bullet proof vest im a fugitive recovery agent my first time flying."

Hello Wesley. According to the TSA "What Can I Bring" tool, body armor is allowed in both checked bags, and carry on bags. Good luck in your recovery efforts.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

"Submitted by Nut on Sat, 2019-05-11 05:20
It only takes one genius."

I am not a genius. I don't play one on TV nor am I a paid actor portraying a genius for the purpose of this post. Having said all that I can list three different ways to get all kinds of stuff past the TSA and that is just using my meagre IQ that is only average.

I'll give you the easiest one.... the 311 liquid rules. You can't take a water bottle with any amount of liquid through the screening because it might be the dreaded liquid explosive (that doesn't exist, but whatever). A typical water bottle is 16 ounces. If I take the same liquid and pour it into six different three ounce containers suddenly it becomes safe enough to go through screening. What is stopping me from taking my magical liquid explosive, splitting it into six smaller containers to get through security and then refilling the original 16 ounce bottle? Why is sixteen ounces in one container too dangerous but sixteen ounces split into six different smaller containers safe? Is it the addition of the one quart zippy bag that transforms the liquid from dangerous to safe? - Not even a genius to figure this one out, the question was asked by a six year old. Granted it was asked much less eloquently, but still.... a six year old figured this one out.

Here's a second for you..... Pre-Check. Several airports I transit have special Pre-Check lanes. Those are the lanes where you don't have to play the shoe-carnival and you can leave your laptop in your bag. At the head of the line there is an iPad looking thing that points an arrow and some people who *aren't* Pre-Check get diverted to that line. If you can randomly choose people to get reduced screening then the reduced screening should be all that is needed for everyone. Because randomly letting people through a different level of security means you have a a random chance of a terrorist being chosen for the reduced scrutiny. That would mean that the 'enhanced security measures' are for nothing more than show if you are going to roll the dice on who does or doesn't get screened.

And since I mentioned three...... Airport employees only get screened if they go through the security checkpoint. Once past security they have full run of the place including access to the aircraft. And there are more than one or two stories about airport employees getting busted for smuggling stuff between airports. It is a pretty small step from smuggling drugs to to allowing terrorist on board.

So like I said, I am not a genius but I just shared three ways to bypass the TSA. Imagine what a determined group could do if if they wanted.

Submitted by West Cooper on

Herman sez - "Why not try to do your job in a better way than the lazy and slovenly way you currently do it, rather than try to delegitimize the opinions of others."

Says the person attempting to delegitimize an opposing viewpoint. The vast majority of people I have interacted with have a predominantly neutral experience when traveling through TSA checkpoints. Some of the people indicate that they had a positive experience coming through. Some (a decided minority in my personal experience) indicate that they have bad experiences. Glad to see you posting more consistently Herm. We missed you there for a while.

TSA Blog Team