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Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Research Center

Learn more about the laws and policies that govern transportation security and details on how to file a Freedom of Information Act request.

Civil Enforcement Policies

Information For Travelers on Prohibited Items

TSA needs the help of the traveling public in reducing the number of prohibited items brought to airport screening checkpoints. Visit this link for the list of prohibited items. TSA recognizes that most passengers who carry prohibited items do so without any ill intent. TSA does not impose fines on the vast number of passengers who inadvertently carry prohibited items. Dealing with any prohibited item, however, adds time to the screening process both for the traveler who brought the item and for other travelers as well. Some items pose such a risk to the traveling public and the screening work force that TSA will consider imposing a fine on the traveler.

Items for which fines may be imposed include firearms, ammunition and other explosives, incendiaries including larger amounts of self-defense spray, and certain dangerous knives. Fines also may be imposed when passengers attempt to artfully conceal prohibited items or behave in a manner that is so uncooperative and disruptive that it physically interferes with the screening process. Carrying some prohibited items could result in both a civil and criminal enforcement action.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) establishes that federal agencies must generally provide the public with access to government information, thus enabling them to learn about government operations and decisions.

Transportation Security Fees

To help finance the increased cost of securing the nation's transportation systems, the Transportation Security Administration has implemented Congressionally legislated security fees. The revenue generated from these security fees is utilized to help ensure the safe and efficient flow of people...