Travel Security: A Look at the Dangerous, Scary, and Downright Unusual Items TSA Officers Found in 2012

Courtesy of the TSA Blog!

After screening 637,582,122 passengers in 2012 (around 1,746,800 a day), here are some of the more dangerous, scary, and downright unusual items our officers found in 2012. This post is a reflection of the outstanding work our officers are doing in the field thanks to their vigilance and attention to detail.

1,543 firearms have been discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country. That’s a little over four firearms per day! Of those, 1,215 (78.7%) were loaded. Firearms have been found at a total of 199 airports with Atlanta (ATL) on top of the list – 95 in 2012.

Here are a few of the more notable firearm incidents: 

Gun In Book (HNL)

While the number of firearms discovered this year might shock you, here are some explosively dangerous items that passengers attempted to travel with this year: 
In addition to the live explosives items mentioned above, we also find a lot of inert items that look like the real deal. The problem with these types of items is that we don’t know if they are the real deal until we call out the bomb experts, and sometimes even they have a hard time figuring it out. Inert items can lead to closed terminals and checkpoints, which usually result in canceled or delayed flights. Here are some of the more interesting  inert items we’ve found so far this year:

And of course, there are those items that fit into the odd/interesting category. A few examples would be bear mace in a sock, a spear gundead venomous snakes, a chastity belt, more cane swords than you could shake a cane sword at, a shocking amount of stun guns, a gassed up chainsaw, an 8oz. bottle of vodka discovered in a passenger’s pants, a knife mounted on a walkereelsprohibited bling, a marijuana filled grenade, anotherspeargunsamurai swords, a stun cane, and jingle bell shotgun shells.

While this doesn’t fall into any of the categories above, it deserves to be mentioned that last August, two Behavior Detection Officers (BDO) at Miami (MIA) thwarted a kidnapping. Read more about it here.
You can check out our archives of TSA Week in Review posts to see pictures and read about many other instances where dangerous, scar, and odd items are found. Our Week in Review posts are published every Friday evening.


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