TSA Week in Review: July 15 - 21

Wednesday, July 24, 2019
firearm cover

Dang, was it a hot one last weekend?! If you’re headed to the beach to escape the heat, a friendly reminder that Shark Week starts this weekend! You might be thinking, “We’re going to need a bigger… air conditioner.” If the baby shark, mommy shark or daddy shark doo-doo-dooesn’t scare you, then here are some travel tips for you!

Harpoons and spear guns are allowed in checked bags. You may bring your fishing pole and tackle in your carry-on bag, but we recommend that you check with your airline for their carry-on size restrictions first. Sunscreen that conforms to our liquids rule, towels and swimsuits can be packed in carry-on or checked bags.

Between July 15 and 21, TSA screened 18.1 million passengers and found 90 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 90 firearms discovered, 80 were loaded and 31 had a round chambered.

Don’t pack your firearm in your carry-on bag. Bringing a firearm to the security checkpoint may lead to a civil penalty of up to $13,333 or an arrest. And if you’re a TSA Pre✓® member, you could lose your status. Check out our transporting firearms and ammunition page to learn how to pack it properly.

See all firearm discoveries from July 15 to 21 in this chart.


If you thought last weekend was warm, think about the hot water you’ll be in for packing an inert grenade. Packing real, fake, inert or replica explosive ordinances in your checked or carry-on bag could lead to a civil penalty or even arrest. Additionally, when our officers discover suspected explosive ordinances they consult an explosive specialist. This takes time and can lead to missed flights or long delays.

Pictured above, from the left:

  • TSA officers at Pittsburgh International Airport discovered this inert grenade in a carry-on bag on July 16.
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport officers located an inert grenade on July 17.
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport officers received a scare after finding an inert grenade in a carry-on bag on July 20.
  • Officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport discovered an inert grenade in a carry-on bag on July 21.
concealed knife

 Did you know you that knives can be packed in your checked bags? One place you shouldn’t pack your knife is inside a bag of salt, placed inside a metal tin, in your carry-on bag. Why? Because attempting to conceal a prohibited item can lead to a civil penalty or arrest. On July 15, a Eugene Airport passenger admitted that she packed the knife to avoid detection by TSA.

AIT Firearm

There is something fishy about this firearm. It wasn’t located in a carry-on bag, but was found in a passenger’s pocket after alarming the AIT machine. You’ll be as sharked as we were that the passenger admitted he forgot it was in his pocket. This incident happened at Albuquerque International Sunport on July 18.

Our mission at TSA is to do everything in our power to make sure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off planes. The most common explanation we hear from travelers for prohibited items 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.

So come prepared! For a list of prohibited items, be sure to use the What Can I Bring? tool. If you have questions about the security process, reach out to AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook. 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.

Also, 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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