Not TSA-approved. Ever

Multi-bladed folding knife 3

The TSA’s plan to allow passengers to once again carry small knives on board airplanes got nixed a while back.

But even if it had gone forward the knife pictured above would never had made the, uh, cut.

Made around 1880 as an advertising item for a store window in New York City, the knife’s 100 “blades” include a cigar cutter, a button hook, a tuning fork and pencils.

Look closely and you’ll even spot a .22 pinfire revolver.

That tiny revolver is why the knife is on display at the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

The knife is on loan to the museum until 2015 along with 63 other historically significant firearms from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, which began collecting firearms in 1876.

Along with the many-bladed knife, the items on loan include a rifle made for Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia with a velvet cheek piece so that her royal face would not rest directly on the stock.

Catherine the Great rifle 2

(All images courtesy the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center, via Buffalo Bill Center of the West)

Guns at airports. Way too many at Atlanta airport


The TSA discovered more than 1500 guns at airport checkpoints last year, and 100 of those were found in the carry-on bags of passengers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

In fact, according to a press notice the airport sent out on Wednesday, during 2012 more firearms were confiscated at ATL than at any other airport. This year ATL leads the pack as well, with 67 firearms found so far.

That’s not the list the airport wants to be leading, so on Thursday airport officials and representatives held a press conference/refresher course on the right and wrong ways to travel with firearms and the legal consequences for violating the federal and local laws.

“If you attempt to bring a gun through these checkpoints, you will be breaking federal law, and you will be arrested,” said Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Louis Miller, who explained that violators will miss their flight, be taken to jail and be subject to prosecution and fines up to $7,500.

Want to see what kinds  of – and how many – guns are found at this airport and others each week? The TSA Blog presents a weekly review of the firearms (including a count of those found loaded and chambered) and other prohibited items discovered.

The list of what people simply ‘forget’ they have in the carry-on bags is often quite alarming.

You’ll see.


TSA Week in Review – bonus edition

Everyone needs a break or an actual vacation in the summer time.

Even Bob Burns, the TSA employee who puts together the weekly round-up on the TSA blog of all the firearms, stun guns, knives and miscellaneous other items on the prohibited items list that are discovered on passengers and in their carry-on at airport security checkpoints.

I don’t know for sure if Blogger Bob was at the beach last week, but I do know that last week there was no Week in Review on the TSA blog.

And I missed it. The blog is a bit terrifying because so many people either try to sneak loaded guns and other pretty dangerous items onto airplanes or they carry those things around with them everyday and just forget that they have those things with them. I’m not sure what’s worse.

The report is back now with two week’s worth of ‘findings,’ including 77 firearms, of which 69 were loaded and 21 had rounds chambered.

MCO firearm

Courtesy TSA

Also found: 27 stun guns, a cane sword, knives, brass knuckles and a bunch of cocaine hidden inside candles.

You can see all the details – and some photos – on the TSA Blog


Travel Tidbits: Guns at airports + travel contests

A little bit of this and that..

As more and more groups come out in opposition to the TSA’s impending rule changes about allowing small knives and some other previously prohibited items back onto planes as carry-ons, TSA chief John Pistole said the agency is sticking to its guns about the change in its ruling about knives.


From the TSA Blog – just one of the 20 loaded guns found at airport checkpoints this week.

In the always entertaining – and often shocking – TSA Week in Review report, TSA blogger Bob Burns reports that this week 21 guns were found at airport checkpoints around the country. 20 of those guns were loaded and seven of those guns had rounds chambered.

Vermeer Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

KLM shared the news that it has been flying Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter to various museums around the world lately and to celebrate the painting’s return to the Rijksmuseum, the airline is having a contest to give away a trip for two to Amsterdam in April, when the Rijksmuseum is set to reopen.

And, while we’re talking about contests, American Airlines has a new contest with prizes that include business class trips for two on several new routes, including Dallas/Fort Worth to Seoul, Chicago to Dusseldorf and Dallas/Fort Worth to Lima.

Virgin America also kicked off a contest this week to promote flights between Newark (EWR) and both San Francisco (SFO) and Los Angeles (LAX). Enter the Fly Like a Boss contest by April 1st to get 25% off a flight to Newark Airport and a chance to be part of the airline’s April 9th launch party in Newark, which, they promise, includes a chance to hang out on an aircraft with Mashable CEO & founder Pete Cashmore and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson.

Guns at airports

(Guns at the Airport: TSA Catching Firearms at Record Pace is my first story for AOL Travel. An excerpt from the story is below. More to come. )

TSA Stuffed Animal

Firearms top the list of items passengers are prohibited from taking past airport security checkpoints and onto airplanes. Yet, during 2012 that didn’t stop travelers from trying to get more than 1,500 handguns and other firearms past Transportation Security Administration officers at U.S. airports.

According to the TSA, last year 1,543 firearms — 1,215 (78%) of them loaded – were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints at 199 of the nation’s more than 450 commercial airports.

Most of the firearms discovered were handguns. One gun was found inside a hollowed out book at the Honolulu International Airport. A dissembled gun (and ammunition) was found hidden inside three stuffed animals at Providence T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island. And while some people certainly try to sneak guns past checkpoints, most travelers caught with firearms at airports claim they simply forgot they had the weapon with them.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (where in 2008 officials tried – and failed – to have the entire airport declared a gun-free zone) holds the number one spot for 2012 on the list of “Top 5 Airports for Gun Discoveries” posted on the TSA’s blog. During 2012, 95 firearms were discovered at the ATL checkpoint.

Other airports on the “Top 5” list include Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (80 firearms), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (54 firearms), Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (52 firearms) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (42 firearms found).

In response to the Newtown school shootings, President Barack Obama has put new gun control laws on the table. But Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at the UCLA School of Law and the author of “Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,” says he hasn’t heard any new proposals for banning guns in the pre-security areas of airports.

“People are talking about more broad-based types of laws,” said Winkler, “But if there was a mass shooting in a non-secure area of an airport, you’d hear it being discussed.”

In the meantime, TSA continues its efforts to keep firearms (and other prohibited items) from passing through airport checkpoints.

In the first two weeks of January 2013, 49 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at U.S. airport checkpoints, including one handgun at the Atlanta airport and two at Phoenix Sky Harbor.

During the first two weeks of 2012, “only” 38 firearms were spotted in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints.

(For the full version of this story see Guns at the Airport: TSA Catching Firearms at Record Pace on AOL Travel.)

(Photo courtesy TSA)