TSA. airport security

Don’t take your gun to the airport

It’s been a while since we took a look at the count of guns and other dangerous items travelers try to take through airport security checkpoints.

For the record, firearms, grenades and a long list of other dangerous – or dangerous-looking items – aren’t permitted airside in airports.

Yet each week passengers do show up at airport checkpoints with guns, live ammunition and other prohibited items in carry-on bags.

During the peak Thanksgiving holiday period, between November 18 and December 1, TSA officers found 153 firearms in carry-on bags.

Of those 153 firearms discovered, 127 were loaded. And 47 of those firearms had a round chambered.

In addition to firearms, TSA officers also found this novelty item at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on November 25. Grenades and inert grenades, no matter how cute, are on the list of items to leave home.

These grenades also showed up recently at airport checkpoints.

In this picture:

An empty grenade discovered by TSA officers at Louisiana’s Monroe Regional Airport on December 1.

An empty grenade discovered during X-ray screening at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on November 24. 

A novelty belt buckle grenade discovered at Louisville International Airport on November 28.

According to TSA, the most common reason travelers give when firearms and other dangerous items are discovered in their carry-ons is “Oops, I forgot that was in there.”

What happens to people who get caught with these items at the airport?

Some get fines up to $13,333. Some get arrested. And TSA Pre-check members run the risk of losing their status.

TSA’s Top 10 most unusual finds for 2016

The TSA has issued its Top 10 list of the most unusual items found at airport checkpoints in 2016.

All are somewhat alarming, although not all were prohibited from being carried onto a plane.

For starters, there were five dead endangered seahorses inside an oversized bottle of brandy,  a replica suicide vest spotted and a trailer hitch cover shaped like a hand grenade.

Then there was the five-bladed flogger someone tried to take onto a plane at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

The list also includes a Hello Kitty-themed firearm found at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut and a movie prop corpse that was spotted at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport checkpoint that evidently had a ticket and was permitted to board, along with its very much alive travel companion.

All ten items are featured in the quirky video in which TSA social media specialist Bob Burns offers a charmingly corny countdown of the list.

 

Most items in the video will be familiar to those who follow the TSA blog or its popular Instagram account, where the agency shares a weekly report on the number of firearms (loaded and unloaded) and posts photos of notable “finds.”

Travelers who would like to make sure the contents of their carry-on luggage aren’t included in TSA’s 2017 Top Ten List can check to see if an item is permitted on the TSA’s “Can I bring my… through the security checkpoint” tool or on the “Ask TSA” Facebook Messenger site.