TSA Week in Review: December 2 - 15

Firearms at Security Checkpoints

Happy holidays! As we near the end of the year everyone is busy shopping for gifts, choosing which cookie recipes Santa will like and preparing for holiday trips! And if you’re flying on Christmas Eve, be sure to keep an eye out for Rudolph and follow these holiday travel tips!

Wait to wrap your presents! First show off your generous gifts to our officers and pack wrapping paper and scissors less than four inches, then you can go ahead and wrap them while on the plane. Involve your neighbor, I’m sure they will be thrilled to spread some holiday cheer with you!

And remember, if you need to settle any family debates this holiday season, we’re available on Twitter and Facebook to answer even your most outlandish travel questions!

Between December 2 – 15, TSA screened 31.4 million passengers and found 180 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 180 firearms discovered, 162 were loaded and 67 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 December 2 to 15 in this chart.

ATW Concealed Knife in Boot

A boot scootin’ boogie out of Appleton International Airport attempted to conceal a knife in their boot on December 8. After X-ray screening and knocking da’ boots around, TSA officers discovered the knife and determined the boots were actually made for walking and escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint. Attempting to conceal prohibited items can certainly get you the boot and a civil penalty that can cost you about as much as a pair of John Wayne’s boots.

TUS Empty Grenade

This empty grenade was discovered by TSA officers at Tucson International Airport on December 8. A TSA officer called for a supervisor and an explosives specialist who was able to quickly clear the item causing minimal delays. The passenger stated the empty grenade was a gift for his son before he voluntarily abandoned the item. Well, it’s the thought that counts!

And you should also think about checking out our What Can I Bring? tool to see if an item is allowed. Can’t find the answer? Reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook!

BNA - Flashlight Knife

This flashlight is powered by the owner’s fear of the dark. While these items may be legal in some places they can be against the law in other states or counties. We strongly recommend checking local laws before packing these types of items. If you must travel with self-defense items, please check with your airline and always place them in your checked bags. TSA officers at Nashville International Airport discovered this tactical flashlight-knife self-defense weapon in a carry-on bag on December 12.

Pro tip: Carrying concealed weapons whether they are manufactured or made by you, can increase civil penalty amounts.

RIC Knife Gun

This knife/firearm is threatening in more ways than one… or three? We promise NOT to do what the knife threatens if you forget this in your carry-on bag. However, after you see the civil penalty amount you may feel like doing that to yourself for not checking your carry-on bag before heading to the airport. Richmond International TSA officers discovered this replica firearm during X-ray screening on December 10.

Our mission at TSA is 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 by thoroughly checking your bags for prohibited items before heading to the airport.

Be 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 detected 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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