I received a response from TSA today. While they did not specifically mention DSLRs in their response to my very specific question, my take on their response is that their policy does not require DSLRs to be removed from bags.
"Laptop computers, full-size video game consoles, full-size DVD players, CPAP breathing machines and video cameras that use video cassettes must be removed from their carrying cases and submitted separately for x-ray screening. Laptop computers and video cameras that use cassettes have long been subject to this policy. Small and portable electronic items do not need to be removed from their carrying cases."
Pro photographers Scott Kelby and Tom Hogan have both blogged about their recent experience going through airport security in the United States while traveling with their DSLR cameras. It appears that there is a new TSA policy that requires DSLRs to be removed from their bags when going through the airport security screening area. TSA has had a policy of requiring laptops and video cameras to be removed from their bags, but DLSR cameras are a new addition.
Scott said in his blog that "while passing through security the TSA Agent at the X-ray belt, said: “That’s a LowePro camera bag; do you have a DSLR in there?” I said yes, and he said I had to remove it and put it on the belt." Scott questioned another TSA agent about the new policy, who said that as of August 4, 2007 that all DSLR are supposed to be removed, but not all airports have instituted this new policy yet, but he felt certain most would.
According to the TSA website:
"Laptop computers and video cameras with cassettes must be removed from their carrying cases and placed in one of the bins provided. You will also need to remove your coat, jacket, suit jacket or blazer and place it in one of the bins. These items go through the X-ray machine."I was unable to locate any mention on their website of DSLR cameras being added to this policy. I submitted a request to TSA for additional information regarding this new policy but have not received a response as of this writing. I will post an update if/when I hear back from them.