Marine Brings Ammunition Through Checkpoint at LAX, TSA Doesn’t Notice

They’ll delay you for hours because they don’t adapt their schedules to peak air travel times. They’ll take away Disney toys from children. And they’ll break the law with impunity.

But even as the TSA takes away your right to opt out of naked imaging screening, they fail to catch ammunition going through the checkpoint (translation by Google Translate).

An active duty marine flew Los Angeles to Taipei and was connecting on China Airlines flight CI120 to Okinawa when he was found with 40 rounds of ammunition while going through transit security. The marine explained that he had ‘forgotten to take them out’ of his bag, but he wasn’t carrying a gun to use them with in any case.

The bullets were immediately visible to screeners in Taipei using a standard x-ray machine. To screeners at LAX, not so much. They’re too busy manipulating advanced imaging machines so they could fondle attractive passengers.

Of course TSA misses 95% of the weapons which pass through the checkpoint.

Playmobil Airport Security Playset — Traditional Metal Detector

Let’s not forget these ideas for improving TSA:

(HT: weltfrieden)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. In 2002 I forgot to take out my rather sizable Swiss Army knife from my backpack on my way to Tibet. I made it through security in ATL, EWR (had to go through security again in those days), and HKG, and no one caught my knife. In the tiny airport in China they caught it. I guess the Chinese are trained to do their jobs well!

  2. I also flew with a Swiss Army knife. I went from JFK to Paris in Jan of last year with the knife in my jacket pocket. The jacket went through the screening process and they didn’t notice it. It was a full size version. I checked it on the return flight. It was an honest mistake on my part. I had no idea it was in my pocket as I hadn’t worn that jacket in 2 or so years.

  3. How would they be able to find 40 rounds of ammunition? They only care about the bottle of water you bring from home or the jar of homemade fruit jam that you bought during your trip. Those are the real danger for airlines and passengers.

  4. Each airport has different security priorities. At LAX, airport security is not looking for bullets. At MNL, airport security is allegedly planting bullets.

  5. I traveled on 1 RT journey, and then got to my outbound destination on a second journey. It wasn’t until I went through security on my return trip that they found a razor blade in my backpack that I had no idea was there (I had put it there a long time prior and forgotten about it). So that’s 3 times out of 4 they missed a steel razor blade that I was in no way attempting to hide. And when it was finally found, they simply took it and threw it out, with no additional screening for me. WTF?!?

  6. I imagine ammunition looks different than a water bottle so there’s that. What’s the argument against private sector auditing of the TSA again? Or you know just plain old private sector security?

  7. I haven’t taken out my freedom baggie in years at US airports, and not a single time have they asked me about it. The TSA is a sham that only exists to receive an increasing budget every year to “keep us safe”. We could completely cut out or cut in half all the government agencies and things would go on like nothing happened at all. But governments get bigger, it’s what they do.

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