USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Transportation Security Administration

TSA Week in Review: August 12 - 18

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
firearms discovered at security checkpoints

I went fishing last weekend and caught a whopper of a fish. I didn’t have my camera though so you’ll just have to trust me ;) Lucky for you, our officers did have their cameras when we caught these whoppers!

If you’re angling to get in one more fishing trip before the end of summer, here are some travel tips that you can reely sink your hook into!

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.

Between August 12 and 18, TSA screened 17.2 million passengers and found 85 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 85 firearms discovered, 77 were loaded and 33 had a round chambered.

See all firearm discoveries from August 12 to 18 in this chart.

camping cover

It just wouldn’t be a glamping trip without your propane, hatchet and lighter fluid. But before you head off for a weekend in your yurt chalet take a minute to see which of these items you can and can’t fly with. Hint: the only purpose for propane and lighter fluid to exist is to be flammable so they’re prohibited on a plane – in carry-on or checked bags. Just buy it when you get there. Hatchets and machetes are allowed in your checked bags.

Pictured above:

  • Two propane tanks discovered at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport on August 14.
  • A hatchet was found at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on August 15.
  • Lighter fluid was located in a carry-on bag at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on August 14.

Grenades found during screening

If your idea of fishing is pulling a pin on a grenade and dropping it in the water, then I would find a new hobby. Real, inert, replica or toy explosive devices aren’t allowed in carry-on, checked bags, and they aren’t allowed on your belt either. We hate to rain on your Rambo fashion parade but just leave these items at home. If we come across a suspected explosive device, we call in an explosives specialist. This can lead to delays and missed flights as noted below.

Pictured above:

  • TSA officers at Fort Lauderdale International Airport were evacuated for 14 minutes after discovering what turned out to be an empty – but real – grenade in a carry-on bag on August 14.
  • A novelty replica belt buckle grenade found during checkpoint screening led to an evacuation and three delayed flights at Long Island MacArthur Airport on August 14.
  • An empty replica grenade was found in a checked bag at Kansas’s Manhattan Regional Airport on August 16.

 Smallest firearm

According to the box in the photo, the “world’s smallest derringer” was found at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on August 15. Officers are trained to find even the tiniest of firearms and regardless of the size and caliber, you still receive the full size civil penalty amount.

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