Record Number Of Firearms Seized By TSA In 2014

24 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Guns aren’t the only weapons passengers try to bring on planes.

At Detroit Metro Airport, 32 guns were seized in 2014 from carry-on bags or on the person of passengers trying to board planes, the TSA said. WASHINGTON: Inspectors at US airports found a record 2,212 guns, most of them loaded, in travellers’ carry-on baggage in 2014, the Transportation Security Administration said on Friday.”There was a 22 percent increase in firearm discoveries from last year’s total of 1,813,” The TSA noted on its blog. “Of those, 2,212 (83 percent) were loaded.” “Passengers always say they just forgot that it was in their bag,” TSA press secretary Ross Feinstein told The Denver Post in December. “It never ends up being something nefarious, but passengers end up paying the price.” TSA screened more than 653 million passengers in 2014, which is about 14.8 million more than in 2013.

Kennedy airport in New York, but it declared many of the details classified to try to hide the embarrassing information from the public, the agency’s internal auditor charged in a report released Friday. Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for the TSA, told Al Jazeera that the number of passengers traveling with firearms in their carry-on bag has been increasing every year since 2007. Dallas, Atlanta, Phoenix, Houston and Denver led the list of 224 airports — 19 more than 2013 — where TSA inspectors stopped passengers from taking guns onto their flights. Among the more notable 2014 discoveries are a homemade avalanche control charge found in a carry-on at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Alaska and an Mk 2 hand grenade in a carry-on at LAX.

Among the weapons discovered were an assault rifle with three loaded magazines and a loaded folding-stock rifle with two loaded magazines – both at airports in Dallas, Texas. Passengers found to have a firearm in their carry-ons are subject to fines ranging from $3,000-$7,500, in addition to being detained at the airport where local authorities can make the decision to arrest.

SSI markings should be used only to protect transportation security, rather than, as I fear occurred here, to allow government program officials to conceal negative information within a report,” Mr. In Texas, for example, packing a gun in one’s hand luggage constitutes a third degree felony, according to Dallas police department’s Lieutenant Emmitt Jackson. They also uncovered an 8.5-inch (20 centimeter) knife inside an enchilada in Santa Rosa, California and razor blades hidden in a Scooby Doo greeting card in Newport News, Virginia. There was a saw blade in a Bible, rounds of .22-caliber ammunition inside a shirt cuff, and an entire machete concealed into a bag lining, per the report.

Under federal law, anyone who tries to take a gun onto an airline flight as a carry-on item — loaded or not — can face criminal prosecution and a $10,000 fine. Bag searches turned up inert explosives and artillery shells, an improvised explosives training kit, a replica Claymore anti-personnel mine, grenade launcher practice rounds and an unloaded cannon barrel.

A hand grenade discovered at LAX forced the checkpoint to close while it was transported to an off-site location, and resulted in the delay of five flights. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport was the airport with the highest number of reported firearms in carry-on bags with 120 reported incidents, followed by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with 109.

A baggage handler who worked at Atlanta International was charged for bypassing metal detectors to help smuggle guns into secure areas in the airport. The agency seized more than $10 million in counterfeit Beats by Dre headphones, more than $1 million in counterfeit Gibson, Les Paul and other brand-name guitars, and more than $1 million in counterfeit soccer apparel with fake trademarks from popular teams such as Real Madrid, Celtic and Chelsea.

Despite the record number of firearms discovered by TSA, about 99% of airline passengers waited 20 minutes or less in airport security lines last year, the DHS statistics show. Pistole’s successor should personally review the redactions and find a way to release the full report. “Proper transparency is key to good governance and by insisting this report be partially redacted, TSA undercuts this transparency,” Mr. Thompson said. “Unfortunately, government agencies have all too often over-classified material under the pretext of security in order to sweep negative or embarrassing information under the rug.” The TSA referred questions to the Homeland Security Department, which oversees the agency, and which said it takes airport safety seriously, and has already begun to fix some of the problems the inspector general found. Watchdogs, however, have accused the TSA of using SSI designations to shield information that could be released, and often has been released in the past.

Roth said employees regularly left secure doors propped open, didn’t keep visitor logs of who entered sensitive communications rooms, allowed some supposedly secure data cabinets to be used for storing cleaning supplies as well. Investigators said of 21 TSA rooms they looked at, 14 didn’t have smoke detectors, another 14 didn’t have fire extinguishers and eight lacked automatic sprinklers.

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