Week in Review: February 18 - 24

Thursday, February 28, 2019
Week in Review: Everything from Finger Knives to Grandpa’s Grenade Image

Between Feb. 18 and 24, TSA screened 15.6 million passengers and discovered 83 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 83 firearms discovered, 75 were loaded and 30 had a round chambered. Reminder folks: bringing your firearm through a security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333 and a disqualification from TSA Pre✓®.

The good news is that there’s an easy and proper way to travel with your firearm. Just check out our Transporting Firearms and Ammunition page to learn how. Also, remember to take a look at your airline’s policies and the laws at your destination, as rules and laws vary.

Review all the firearm discoveries from Feb. 18 to 24 here.

prohibited items discovered

Above are some of the prohibited items discovered in carry-on bags at Raleigh-Durham International Airport:

  • A loaded .380 Smith & Wesson was discovered with a round chambered on Feb. 19 by TSA officers. The passenger was cited by local law enforcement officers for carrying a concealed weapon.
  • On Feb. 22, a double edge knife was discovered during X-ray screening. The knife was confiscated by local law enforcement officers and the passenger received a citation.
  • Another passenger was cited by local law enforcement for carrying a concealed weapon after TSA officers discovered a butterfly knife on Feb. 24.

Knives and ammunition

As a reminder, attempting to conceal prohibited items from TSA officers may result in a civil penalty or arrest. Knives and ammunition are allowed in your checked bags. Just put them in there! I guarantee you that the cost of a checked bag is significantly less than the civil penalty.

Pictured above from left:

  • A small pocket knife was discovered inside a medicine bottle on Feb. 17 at John Glenn Columbus International Airport.
  • TSA officers at Alexandria International Airport discovered a magazine loaded with six .380-caliber rounds in the lining of a carry-on bag. It appeared that the passenger was hoping it wouldn’t be found. Bad idea.


I don’t think I’ll blow your mind when I tell you grenades, real or fake, aren’t allowed in your carry-on or checked bags. Whenever we find grenades during security screening, our TSA officers need to call on our explosives specialists to evaluate them to determine if they are real or inert. This takes time and can cause security to slow down or stop all together.

Pictured above from left:

  • Security screening was paused for approximately 10 minutes at Dallas Love Field Airport on Feb. 18 after an inert grenade was discovered in a carry-on bag during X-ray screening.
  • One security screening lane was closed for around 30 minutes at St. Louis Lambert International Airport on Feb. 23 after a passenger packed “Grandpa’s grenade” in a carry-on bag.

Knives, sharp objects and self-defense weapons

Knives, sharp objects and self-defense weapons are…wait for it…NOT allowed in carry-on bags! If for some reason you need a cane sword or throwing knives for your upcoming vacation to Gotham City, we recommend packing them in your checked bag.

Top row:

  • TSA officers discovered a finger knife at LaGuardia Airport on Feb. 18.
  • On the same day, at the same airport, officers discovered a 7-inch combat knife.
  • On Feb. 21, officers at McCarran International Airport discovered a cane sword.

Bottom row:

  • A belt buckle knife was discovered by O’Hare International Airport officers on Feb. 20.
  • Officers at Albany International Airport said “hello kitty” to a cat-eye key chain on Feb. 21. Cat-eyes are self-defense weapons and must be packed in checked bags.
  • Three 4-inch throwing knives were discovered at Colorado Springs Airport on Feb. 24.

Our mission at TSA is to ensure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off your plane. The most common explanation we hear from travelers is “I forgot it was in my bag.” Don’t be that person. Save yourself some money and embarrassment and thoroughly check your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.

If you think this blog features all the prohibited items we found between Feb. 18 and 24, you’re mistaken. Every day our officers stop way more prohibited items than what is featured in this blog. Like way more.

So come prepared. For a list of prohibited items, see our What Can I Bring? page. And if you have questions about the security process, ask us at AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team will happily answer even the most outlandish travel related questions

Want to know how many firearms we found last year? Check out our 2018 blog post.

Don’t forget to check out our top 10 most unusual finds video for 2018.

Want to learn more or see the other wacky finds? Follow us @TSA on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.

Jay Wagner

About This Blog

The purpose of this blog is to share the latest news and helpful information with the public. If you have questions about TSA or the information presented here, please contact our AskTSA customer care team on Twitter or Facebook.

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