Unusual Items Confiscated by the TSA

Most air travelers don’t ever get a close-up look at how screeners from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prevent banned items from making their way onto airplanes. And when some do, it often causes a delay in security lines, which can overshadow the safety concerns in the minds of passengers.

Screeners catch prohibited items on a daily basis, though, and the TSA blog reports on some of them every week.

During the week of October 2, TSA employees discovered 53 firearms, mostly hand guns, in carry-on bags at airports across the country. Of those, 48 were loaded—and 17 of them had a round in the chamber.

William P Hobby Airport (HOU) in Houston had the most firearm confiscations with five, followed by four at Florida’s Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

Kinda makes you think twice about getting annoyed when you’re pulled aside for a manual pat down. After all, it’s their job to be on guard for anything that looks suspicious, and better safe than sorry, right?

The strangest items found were an inert grenade and a multi-tool that someone tried to conceal in a hollowed-out shaving cream can.

Other prohibited items confiscated included a knife hidden in a cane, an assortment of small throwing knives and a shuriken (a small, multi-bladed weapon akin to a throwing star). This may sound like the stuff of spy novels and urban legends, but apparently some people actually get in in their heads to try and sneak these things aboard.

There were also 14 stun guns discovered and confiscated, two at Dallas Love Field (DAL), and the rest mostly at other airports in the Western and Midwestern United States. Baltimore–Washington International Airport (BWI) was the only East Coast airport with such a confiscation.

One would hope that passengers’ reasons for packing these items are for protecting themselves and other passengers from any type of terrorist activity while in the air, but it’s good to know that TSA screeners are protecting us against the dangers that would-be vigilantes pose, as well as against those who would intentionally cause harm.

For meetings and event professionals going to IMEX America, IMEX Group has set up an online application for travelers to enroll in TSA Pre-Check for their travels to Las Vegas for the show.