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Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: May 20 - 26

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Firearm Cover

Here we are, only a few days past Memorial Day, and we are off and running with the 2019 summer travel season. If the numbers from last weekend are any indication, it looks like we’re in for one of our busiest summer travel seasons ever. Friday, May 24, set a daily record with nearly 2.8 million passengers going through the security checkpoint. If you’re planning on heading to the airport for an early summer vacation, be sure to give yourself plenty of time. We recommend arriving two hours early for domestic and three hours for international flights.

And if you’re looking to save some money and bring the good times with you on that vacation, you can pack your daiquiri blenders in your checked bags! That’s an unofficial #TSAtraveltip from me to you.

Between May 20 and 26, TSA screened 17 million passengers and found 97 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 97 firearms discovered, 85 were loaded and 45 had a round chambered.

As a reminder, bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. And if you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, you could lose your status. 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 May 20 to 26 in this chart.

Box Cutters and Blades

When I was in high school, I remember hiding a few of my summer vacation activities from my parents. When they found out, however, I would pay the price. One thing I never did though was wrap up a bunch of box cutters and blades and hide them in the lining of my carry-on bag. If you decide that’s your type of summer fun, you’ll end up paying the price of a civil penalty. Besides, box cutters and razor blades are totally allowed in your checked bags. TSA officers at Nashville International Airport discovered these items on May 22.

Explosvies Cover

Vacationing somewhere where you need to pack explosive equipment? I’d reconsider. Replica or inert explosives are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags, even when they are wrapped in nifty moustache duct tape. Any time our officers discover explosive components they must call a specialist. This takes time and can cause people to miss flights. That’s not gonna make you popular with your fellow passengers.

Pictured above, from the left:

  • Two inert projectiles were discovered in a checked bag at San Antonio International Airport on May 24.
  • An inert initiator was discovered at El Paso International Airport on May 21.

Knives

 As the old saying goes, there are thousands of ways to cut a watermelon, but only one way to pack a sharp weapon. In your checked bag! I hope you find this travel tip fruitful and you don’t start your summer vacation off feeling meloncholy.

Pictured above, top row from the left:

  • A push dagger was discovered by TSA officers at Bradley International Airport on May 20.
  • Four throwing stars were located by officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on May 21.
  • A hatchet and fixed blade knife were found at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport on May 24.

Pictured above, bottom row from the left:

  • A finger knife was discovered at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on May 25.
  • Three throwing knives were found at Kansas City International Airport on May 21.
  • A fixed blade knife was located at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island on May 20.

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 RB on

And what was the cost to taxpayers to find these 97 handguns, or .00057058823% guns per passenger?

There has to be a more efficient way than employing 60,000 government employees.

Submitted by Nice Gun on

How much do you want for that Walther?

Submitted by MF on

Oh boo hoo

Submitted by Susan Richart on

Would somebody from TSA please cite the Federal law that requires TSA screeners to report suspected drugs to local law enforcement? Thank you.

Submitted by DS on

I travel with a firearm all the time and always pack it in a locked cases and unloaded in my checked bag. You know how many guns were used on 9/11, ... 0.000000000000% (smart @ss) You dont need a gun to commit a criminal act in a metal tube traveling at the speed of sound.

Submitted by DS on

I travel with a firearm all the time and always pack it in a locked cases and unloaded in my checked bag. You know how many guns were used on 9/11, ... 0.000000000000% (smart @ss) You dont need a gun to commit a criminal act in a metal tube traveling at the speed of sound.

Submitted by I Thought So on

Susan Richart said: "Would somebody from TSA please cite the Federal law that requires TSA screeners to report suspected drugs to local law enforcement?"

TSA's practice of referring evidence of criminality to other law enforcement entities is not only good public policy, it is fully supported by the court decisions. The courts have recognized that illegal items found during a warrantless “special needs” or administrative search is warranted.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by DS on Sun, 2019-06-02 16:51
I travel with a firearm all the time and always pack it in a locked cases and unloaded in my checked bag. You know how many guns were used on 9/11, ... 0.000000000000% (smart @ss) You dont need a gun to commit a criminal act in a metal tube traveling at the speed of sound.
...............................
First thing first, commercial aircraft currently in service do no fly at the speed of sound. The Concorde was retired from service in 2003.

As far as your point that 9/11 attackers didn't use firearms you are dead on point. Which is why I question TSA's primary focus of reporting on the number of firearms found. If TSA's screeners can't find firearms reliably then what else can't they find? A firearm should be the easiest thing for a screener to find. I think the problem is that TSA screeners are focused on finding things that are of no threat to commercial aircraft service. Things like water, marijuana, and the like. I would suggest it is way past time that TSA rethink their screening priorities.

Submitted by SSSS For Some Reason on

Submitted by RB "...I would suggest it is way past time that TSA rethink their screening priorities."

I would suggest it's way past time for the TSA and we defund them and eliminate the agency entirely.

But that's just me. I don't see the need to have a multi-billion dollar agency do what could be done by your average mall-cop or bar-bouncer for a tiny fraction of the cost of the TSA. And considering that I hang out with average mall-cops and bar-bouncers I can attest to the fact that they would do a much better job than any blue-shirt in any airport right now.

Submitted by RB on

Submitted by I Thought So on Mon, 2019-06-03 16:36
Susan Richart said: "Would somebody from TSA please cite the Federal law that requires TSA screeners to report suspected drugs to local law enforcement?"
................
TSA's practice of referring evidence of criminality to other law enforcement entities is not only good public policy, it is fully supported by the court decisions. The courts have recognized that illegal items found during a warrantless “special needs” or administrative search is warranted.

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

TSA claims that the referral is required by law. Do you want to address the question that was asked? What law requires TSA to involve to law enforcement when suspected drugs are found.

If it truly a requirement then citing the law should not be difficult.

Submitted by Susan Richart on

I Thought So wrote: "TSA's practice of referring evidence of criminality to other law enforcement entities is not only good public policy, it is fully supported by the court decisions. The courts have recognized that illegal items found during a warrantless “special needs” or administrative search is warranted."

Please answer the question that I asked, to wit: "Would somebody from TSA please cite the Federal law that requires TSA screeners to report suspected drugs to local law enforcement?"

P.S. You copy and paste well.

Submitted by Jhon on

Recently some nutjob with a gun killed 12, on the ground.
How many would be dead had he been aboard a plane.

Submitted by SSSS For Some R... on

"...Submitted by Jhon on Tue, 2019-06-04 17:46
Recently some nutjob with a gun killed 12, on the ground.
How many would be dead had he been aboard a plane."

What an inane question. If all twelve of the people he wanted to kill were aboard the same aircraft then the answer would be twelve. The guy was, indeed, a nut job. But he didn't just go on some random shooting spree, he went to a specific place and shot specific people in that place. The death toll was so great because no one was allowed to be armed so they were all defenceless. Kind of like people in an airplane, forced to be disarmed because you are scared of something.

Submitted by Anonymous on

So untrained for what we pay..

Submitted by RB - Not Thankfully on

Submitted by RB on Tue, 2019-06-04 13:59

TSA claims that the referral is required by law.
----------------------------------------------------

RB, Please cite where TSA specifically says the referral is "Required by law". I've never once seen them say that.
If they have, it should be easy for you to cite.

Submitted by Anonymous on

TSA's official policy - No where do I see "Required by law". Simply says that TSA will refer (or is that reefer?)the matter... Time for new specs RB. Or maybe you're spending too much time on this site looking for conspiracies where none exist.

"TSA’s screening procedures are focused on security and are designed to detect potential threats to aviation and passengers. Accordingly, TSA security officers do not search for marijuana or other illegal drugs, but if any illegal substance is discovered during security screening, TSA will refer the matter to a law enforcement officer."

Submitted by I Thought So on

Susan Richart said:Please answer the question that I asked, to wit: "Would somebody from TSA please cite the Federal law that requires TSA screeners to report suspected drugs to local law enforcement?"

Well Susan, I answered your question, but I'm not from TSA, so you'll have to wait. However here is a thought, why don't you try to look it up yourself, because now matter what answer comes your way, my guess is you'll just ignore it out of hand anyway, or flat out reject the fact given to you.