Friday, May 10, 2013

TSA Week in Review: Record 50 Firearms Discovered This Week (45 Loaded) – Plus Other Items of Note

Loaded Gun (SAN)

Record 50 Firearms Discovered This Week – of the 50 firearms, 45 were loaded and 15 had rounds chambered. See a complete list and more photos at the bottom of this post.

Two One-pound Cans of Black Powder – While resolving an alarm in a checked bag at Honolulu (HNL), a TSA officer discovered two one-pound cans of black powder. This goes without saying, but black powder is a prohibited hazardous material.

Black Powder (HNL)
3-ounce Can of CS Teargas in Carry-on at Atlantic City (ACY) – Compressed gas – especially teargas – is prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags.

Seven Undeclared Firearms Concealed in Checked Toolbox - It’s permissible to travel with firearms and ammunition in checked baggage as long as the proper guidelines are followed. Not only do you have to pack the firearms in accordance with the guidelines, you also have to let the airline know you’re traveling with them. (These guns are not included in this week's record number)

Undeclared Guns (MIA)
Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. - We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited - real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.

Tobacco Grinder Grenade (DAY)

  • A passenger at Dayton (DAY) had what appeared to be a grenade in his carry-on bag. During the secondary bag search, officers found a grenade-shaped tobacco grinder and a soda can with a false bottom that was filled with marijuana.
  • Two inert grenades were discovered in a checked bag at Fort Wayne (FWA). The items belonged to an instructor.

Inert Grenades (FWA)

Stun Baton (ISN)
Stun Guns – 10 stun guns were discovered this week in carry-on bags around the nation. Two were discovered at Baltimore (BWI), and the others at Atlanta (ATL), Cleveland (CLE), Denver (DEN), Jacksonville (JAX), Mercedita (PSE), Phoenix (PHX), Reagan Washington National (DCA), and Williston (ISN).

Items in the Strangest Places –It’s important to examine your bags prior to traveling to ensure no prohibited items are inside. If a prohibited item is discovered in your bag, you could be cited and quite possibly arrested by local law enforcement. Here are a few examples from this week where prohibited items were found in strange places.

  • A sword was discovered this week inside a cane at Denver (DEN). Who knew that a 20-inch blade was hiding inside… Not the passenger, that’s for sure. She presumably was just as shocked as we were.
  • A 2½-inch knife was detected concealed in a cane at Washington-Dulles (IAD).
  • Two belt knives were discovered this week at Denver (DEN), and Los Angeles (LAX).

Discovered at (L-R) IAD, DEN, LGA, SLC, DEN, AUS
Flare (JNU)

Miscellaneous Prohibited Items - In addition to all of the other prohibited items we find weekly, our Officers also regularly find firearm components, realistic replica firearms, bb and pellet guns, Airsoft guns, brass knuckles, ammunition, batons, and a lot of sharp pointy things…

Firearms Discovered This Week in Carry-On Bags

Discovered at (L-R) MFR, FLL, MCO, MCO, BHM, BNA,BHM, CLT, JAX

Discovered at (L-R) ATL, ATL, SJU, OAK, SEA

Discovered at (L-R) SAF, SMF, MCO, DTW, FLL, BMI, LAX

Discovered at (L-R) DFW, SHV, CLE, AUS, ATL, IND, DAL

Discovered at (Top to Bottom) PDX, IND

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 throughput 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 $7,500.00. 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.

*In order to provide a timely weekly update, I compile my data from a preliminary report. The year-end numbers will vary slightly (increase) from what I report in the weekly updates. However, any monthly, midyear, or end-of-year numbers TSA provides on this blog or elsewhere will not be estimates.

If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure you check out our post highlighting the dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012. The 2011 list can be found here.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

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