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TSA Week in Review: September 16 - 22

Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Firearms discovered at TSA checkpoints

Between September 16 and 22, TSA screened 16 million passengers and found 91 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 91 firearms discovered, 82 were loaded and 25 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 September 16 to 22 in this chart.

ORF explosive devices

What’s worse than packing an empty grenade in your checked bag? How about packing two realistic grenades in your checked bags! Double your prices, double your civil penalty – not double the fun – with two explosive devices.

But seriously, don’t pack anything that looks like an explosive device. When our officers discover a potential explosive threat, they’ll request an explosives specialist. That can mean evacuations, delays, missed flights and just a general pain for everyone involved.

These two empty grenades were discovered by TSA officers at Norfolk International Airport during checked baggage screening on September 17.

MCO Flare Gun

What we have here are two blades and a flare pen gun. The Police said the flare gun is used to send out an SOS to the world. We hope you get the message in the bottle that flares of any type are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags because they contain explosive material. You can pack knives in your checked bags.

These items were found by TSA officers Orlando International Airport on September 20.

Air bags discovered at TSA checkpoints

Here is something we don’t see too often, an air bag! Air bags are basically inflated using a small explosive actuator. These actuators are a big no-no! They aren’t allowed in carry-on or checked bags. The airbag on the left was discovered at Boston International Airport on September 20. On the right was discovered at Baltimore Washington Airport on September 21. Hot tip – modern aircraft have all the security features you need to ensure a safe trip.

Razor blade concealed inside a shoe

One shoe, two shoe – don’t put a razor blade in your shoe! Attempting to conceal prohibited items from TSA officers can lead to a citation and possible civil penalty. Take this San Diego passenger who was cited for possessing a concealed weapon after TSA officer discovered a razor blade in their shoe on September 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