Monday was National Dog Day! We held the Cutest TSA Explosives Detection K9 Contest on our Instagram page. The winner was Alfie from Sky Harbor International Airport-Phoenix (PHX). Congratulations to Alfie and all TSA canines, because in my book they are all the cutest! Alfie wins the distinct pleasure of being the judge of which fast food chain has the best tasting fried chicken sandwich. Kidding! Seriously though, all of TSA’s canines have a hard job – sniffing out potential explosive threats to keep you safe when traveling.
TSA currently has more than 1,000 explosives detection canine teams deployed nationwide tasked with screening passengers, cargo, mass-transit and maritime systems and supporting other security missions. Each dog is specially trained to detect the scent of explosive materials. They are paired with TSA handlers and use their keen sense of smell when working in and around travelers and their belongings in busy transportation environments, including airports. Learn more about TSA’s explosives detection canine training program.
Between August 19 and 25, TSA screened 16.7 million passengers and found 69 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 69 firearms discovered, 59 were loaded and 23 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 August 19 to 25 in this chart.
Anything resembling explosives or ordnance items are not allowed, whether it’s real, replica or snarky. Anytime TSA officers discover a suspected explosive device, they call a TSA explosives specialist. This takes time and can lead to delays and missed flights. Just leave them at home, seriously!
- A 3-for-1 prohibited item; replica grenade, brass knuckles and knife was found during X-ray screening at LaGuardia Airport on August 23.
- This replica grenade was found during X-ray screening at Indianapolis International Airport on August 19. The number I took was 13,333 which so happens to be the maximum civil penalty amount for attempting to bring this item through security.
The Risky House Knives of Pittsburgh are pictured above. All of these knives were found at Pittsburgh International Airport over the summer. Be real and let’s stop the drama, just pack your knives in checked bags. Is that a dancing dragon or two guys riding bikes on that handle in the middle?
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.