TSA Week in Review - February 12th – 18th: 81 Firearms Discovered in Carry-on Bags Around Nation

Friday, February 23, 2018

TSA discovered 81 firearms in carry-on bags around the nation last week. Of the 81 firearms discovered, 70 were loaded and 24 had a round chambered. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.

TSA may impose civil penalties of up to $13,066 per violation per person for prohibited items violations and violations of other TSA regulations. Repeat violations will result in higher penalties. Travelers should familiarize themselves with state and local firearm laws for each point of travel prior to departure.

You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with your firearms in checked baggage.

All of the firearms pictured were discovered over the last week. See complete lists below.

If packed properly, ammunition can be transported in checked-baggage. The ammunition pictured here was packed in a carry-on bag at the San Diego International Airport (SAN).

You can go here for more details on how to properly travel with ammunition in checked baggage.

We don’t know if replica or inert items are live until our explosives professionals take a closer look and eventually open the bag. That takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Real, inert, or anything resembling an explosive item is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage. All of the inert items pictured above were discovered in checked bags at (L-R) CLT, DEN, ATL and YKM.

This camp stove along with a 16-ounce can of cooking fuel was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE). Stove fuel is prohibited in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Camp stoves are permitted in carry-on and checked bags as long as they’re empty and there are no traces of fuel or fumes. Check with your airline first prior to packing.

This saw blade was discovered concealed inside the lining of a carry-on bag at Milwaukee (MKE). Concealed items can lead to fines and arrest. Saw blades may be packed in checked bags.

Clockwise from the top, these prohibited items were discovered in carry-on bags at JFK, SJC, SJC, SFO, ORD, ORD, LGA, BNA and ATL. While these items are prohibited in carry-on bags, they may be packed in checked baggage. However, familiarize yourself with local laws as concealed weapons and martial arts weapons are illegal in parts of the U.S.

Checkpoint and checked baggage screening acts as a deterrent to keep those with ill will from attempting to cause catastrophic damage to an aircraft. In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly in carry-on bags, our officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, stun guns, small pocket knives and many other prohibited items too numerous to note.

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. 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.

If you haven’t read them yet, make sure you check out our year in review posts for 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

And don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds videos for 2016 & 2017.

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Bob Burns

TSA Social Media