TSA Week in Review: 32 Loaded Firearms, Live Smoke Grenades & A Strange Item at PHX

Loaded firearm discovered in carry-on bag at PHX

Two live smoke grenades were discovered this week. One was in a carry-on bag at Austin (right), and the other was in a checked bag at Columbus (left).

What ended up being a homemade handheld gaming device strongly resembled an improvised explosive device on the X-ray monitor. Homemade gadgets can resemble IEDs and result in evacuations and delays while explosives specialists work to clear the item.

Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because the explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on the aircraft. Read here on why inert items cause problems.

Inert 120mm Tank Round (RNO)

  • An inert 120mm tank round was discovered in checked bag at Reno (RNO).
  • Four inert/replica grenades were discovered this week. Three were in carry-on bags at Austin (AUS), New Orleans (MSY), and San Francisco (SFO), and one was discovered in a checked bag at Laramie (LAR).

L-R - Replica Flash Bang Grenade Hot Sauce (MSY), Replica Cologne Grenade (LAR) and Inert Grenade (AUS).

Artfully Concealed Prohibited Items
– Artfully concealed is a term used to describe an item that was intentionally hidden. It could be anything from a knife sewn into the lining of a bag to a sword hidden inside of a walking cane. If a concealed prohibited item is discovered in your bag or on your body, you could be cited and possibly arrested by law enforcement. Here is an example from this week where an artfully concealed item was discovered by our officers.

  • A concealed detachable belt buckle knife was detected in carry-on bag at San Francisco (SFO)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items
– In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

Top to Bottom, Knives Discovered At: COS, ABQ & SNA
Bladed Multi-tool Amongst Other Items at LAX
Stun Guns - 21 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags. Two were discovered at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), two at Dallas Love (DAL), two at Las Vegas (LAS), and the remainder were discovered at Abilene (ABI), Burbank (BUR), Chicago Midway (MDW), Evansville (EVV), Nashville (BNA), Oakland (OAK), Ontario (ONT), Palm Springs (PSP), Phoenix (PHX), Portland (PDX), Sacramento (SMF), San Francisco (SFO), San Jose (SJC), Scranton (AVP), Seattle (SEA).

Ammunition – When packed properly, ammunition can be transported in your checked baggage, but it is never permissible to pack ammo in your carry-on bag.

Clockwise from top, firearms discovered at: MEM, ORF, IND, ATL, and MKE
Clockwise from top left, firearms discovered at:SAN, BUF, LAS, and ATL

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, this data is compiled from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly from what is reported in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will be actual numbers and not estimates.

You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline.You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

Unfortunately these sorts of occurrences are all too frequent which is why we talk about these finds. Sure, it’s great to share the things that our officers are finding, but at the same time, each time we find a dangerous item, the line is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested. The passenger can face a penalty as high as $11,000. This is a friendly reminder to please leave these items at home. Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not mean they had bad intentions; that's for the law enforcement officer to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items.

Read our 2014 Year in Review post! If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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Posted by Bob Burns (TSA Blog Team) at 4/03/2015 06:37:00 PM