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TSA Week in Review: September 23 - October 6

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Firearms discovered at checkpoints

Between September 23 and October 6, TSA screened 32 million passengers and found 206 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 206 firearms discovered, 176 were loaded and 60 had a round chambered.

We found 391 firearms in September, 34 more firearms in September this year compared to 2018.

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 23 to October 6 in this chart.

Razors found in shoe wax at Nashville International Airport

This Nashville International Airport passenger really wanted to bring razors on his trip. But what really got the passenger in trouble was hiding those razors in a tin of shoe wax, then packing them in a carry-on bag. In the words of the great Mr. Miyagi, “Wax-on, wax-off.” Do not attempt to hide prohibited items from TSA officers. While the passenger won’t have to wax any cars, he/she may be facing a sharp civil penalty.

Safety razor blades aren’t allowed in carry-on bags, but they can easily be packed in your checked bags. If you don’t want to pay the fee, then invest in some disposable razors when you travel! Read our blog all about razors.

Two incidents involving grenades at checkpoints

Two passengers thought, “A grenade in my bag? Meh, no big deal!” They now both face civil penalties. These empty replica grenades aren’t allowed in carry-on or checked bags. Just leave them at home or it might be a bigger deal than you think!

  • Pictured on the left, two empty replica grenades discovered during checked bag screening at San Antonio International Airport on September 26.
  • On the right, an empty replica grenade discovered in checked bag on October 1 at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Country Airport.

A hand holding a 155MM projectile that is green in color with yellow writing.

This replica 155MM projectile was discovered in a carry-on bag at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City on September 30. As if we haven’t said it enough times, explosive devices, including replicas, are not allowed in carry-on or checked bags – even if they look like something out of a Bond film. When we find items like this, we call an explosives specialist. Clearing the item takes time and can lead to delays or missed flights. On top of that, you could face arrest and a civil penalty.

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