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Tag: TSA

2019 Was Record Year for Guns Confiscated at Airports by TSA

Guns seized at US airports, via TSA

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The TSA seized more firearms at airports in 2019 than any year in its 18-year-history.

TSA officers discovered 4,432 guns in carry-on and checked bags at checkpoints nationwide, a 5% increase over 2018, the TSA announced in a news release.

“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travelers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” David Pekoske, the TSA’s administrator, said.

“There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”

Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) ranked first among the nation’s airports with 323 firearms confiscated. DFW International Airport came in second with 217 guns confiscated. Denver International Airport (DEN), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) rounded off the top five.

All travelers, apart from law enforcement, are barred from bringing guns in airplanes, though firearms may be stored in checked luggage if all local, state and federal gun laws are followed.

You Won’t Believe the Bizarre Banned Items Confiscated at Airports in 2019

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The TSA confiscated tens of thousands of banned items at security checkpoints in 2019.

Some of the items were dangerous, and others were just strange. They ranged from slingshots and fireworks to a gun-shaped toilet paper roller, according to a compilation by The Washington Examiner.

Here is a sample of what TSA officers found:

 

Amid Fierce Criticism, Homeland Security Abandons Plans to Photograph American Travelers at Airports

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Facing a firestorm of criticism, Homeland Security is abandoning plans to expand the federal government’s facial recognition system by requiring all travelers, including Americans, to be photographed if they are leaving or entering the country.

Homeland Security was expected to propose the regulation change in July, igniting privacy concerns and trepidation about the accuracy of facial recognition technology.

Homeland Security officials responded by saying it no longer plans to move forward with the plan.

“There are no current plans to require U.S. citizens to provide photographs upon entry and exit from the United States. CBP intends to have the planned regulatory action regarding U.S. citizens removed from the unified agenda next time it is published,” the agency said in a news release.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., who was among the toughest critics, had pledged to introduce legislation to stop the proposal.

Facial recognition technology has come under intense criticism from local, state and federal lawmakers because of its lack of accuracy, especially when applied to people of color.

TSA Agents Find Gun-Shaped Toilet Paper Holder at New Jersey Airport

Photo via TSA.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

TSA agents believed they had discovered a gun in a passenger’s carry-on at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey.

But this item was meant to hold toilet paper, not bullets.

Upon closer inspection last week, TSA agents found a gun-shaped toilet paper holder, the agency said in a news release.

TSA prevents travelers from boarding planes with real or replica firearms. So the traveler was given a choice: Surrender the gun or place it in a checked bag.

The traveler forfeited it to the TSA.

‘Dangerously Cheesy:’ Woman Stopped by TSA for Having ‘Like 20 Bags’ of Cheetos

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The TSA was not messing around when Emily Mei tried to pass through airport security with more than a dozen bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in her carry-on bag.

After all, the Cheetos slogan is “dangerously cheesy.”

The 25-year-old was pulled aside at Los Angeles International Airpot so a gloved TSA agent could methodically examine each package of Cheetos.

“Will never forget the day TSA stopped me cuz they thought i was hiding shit inside my bag cuz all i had was like 20 bags of Hot Cheetos,” Emily Mei tweeted, posting a video of a TSA agent checking for chemicals with a swab test on each bag.

Mei followed up her tweet with an explanation for bringing so many Cheetos onto a plane.

“For everyone who’s asking why i had so many bags of Hot Cheetos, apparently it’s hard to get in korea so my friends always ask me to bring it for them LOL.”
After finding nothing sinister about the bags of Cheetos, Mei was allowed to board her flight with her bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

Quick-Acting TSA Officer May Have Saved the Life of a Traveler in Alaska

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A TSA officer may have saved the life of a passenger who was choking on a grape at an Alaskan airport.

Juneau International Airport Lead Transportation Security Officer Brenda Irizarry sprung to action last week after she was alerted that a woman was choking on a grape, Juneau Empire reports.
Irizarry performed the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the fruit from the 26-year-old Brenda Studley’s throat.

“We are extremely thankful to the excellent training that Brenda has obviously received,” a family member wrote in an email.

The family was on their way to a wedding in California and didn’t miss their flight thanks to the TSA officer’s quick actions.

FBI Arrests TSA Agent Accused of Downloading Child Pornography for Years

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 34-year-old TSA agent accused of downloading child pornography for years.

Curtis Fleming, who worked at Orlando International Airport, told authorities he had looked at child pornography since he was 14 years old, WFTV-9 reports.

The FBI said it tracked down Fleming from a file-sharing site and then traced the IP address to the home of his parents.

Fleming told agents he tried to curb his behavior but couldn’t, according to authorities.

One of the videos downloaded by Fleming allegedly depicted children as young as 3 years old getting raped.

Fleming faces up to 15 to 30 years behind bars.

Trump’s Crackdown on the Border Could Make Airports Less Safe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration, which protects America’s airports by screening passengers, could lose substantial funding to finance President Trump’s crackdown at the southern border.

The Department of Homeland Security is asking for $232 million from the TSA to fund increased security measures at the border, a controversial move that underscores the dramatic shifts in priorities after the 9/11 attacks.

Homeland Security is requesting the money in case Congress doesn’t support a $1.1 billion funding request, according to documents obtained by NBC News.

A DHS spokesman said the agency is “considering all options” to combat the influx of migrants at the southwest border.

“We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress,” said DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton.