Week in Review: February 25 - March 3

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Between Feb. 25 and March 3, TSA screened 15.3 million passengers and discovered 76 firearms in carry-on bags. Of the 76 firearms discovered, 61 were loaded and 28 had a round chambered. A friendly reminder to traveling firearm owners: bringing your firearm through a security checkpoint may result in a civil penalty of up to $13,333 and a disqualification from TSA Pre®.

What is easier than saving money on your car insurance?

Properly traveling with your firearm! Check out our Transporting Firearms and Ammunition page to learn how. Also, remember to take a look at your airline’s policies and the laws at your destination, as rules and laws vary.

We discovered 340 firearms in February 2019 compared to the 315 guns officers detected the same month a year ago.

Review all the firearm discoveries from Feb. 25 to March 3.

Let’s pull the pin on what seems to be a common misconception. Grenades are not allowed in your carry-on or checked bags, even if they’re fake!

Our TSA officers have to call the explosives specialists to evaluate any grenade found during screening to determine if it is real or inert. Even if the passenger swears the thing doesn’t work, we still have to check. This takes time and can slow down security or stop it all together.

Pictured above from the left:

  • TSA officers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport discovered this ‘grenade bug’ in a carry-on bag on Feb. 26. After it was cleared by our explosives specialists, an exterminator was called to dispose of the pest.
  • Indianapolis International Airport had a brief scare on Feb. 28 when officers discovered a replica grenade during X-ray screening.
  • Checked baggage screening was stopped for approximately 15 minutes after TSA officers at Wilmington International Airport in North Carolina discovered what turned out to be a novelty grenade on March 1. Don’t worry, we will not ask you to take a number.
  • TSA officers at Newark Liberty International Airport found an airsoft grenade in a carry-on bag on March 3.

Here’s a simple rule of thumb for your next flight – weapons are never allowed in carry-on bags.

Like ANY kind of weapons. Some weapons are allowed in checked baggage, so use our What Can I Bring? page to find out what is allowed.

Pictured above from the left:

  • On Feb. 28 at San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport in California, a passenger on their way to Sherwood Forest was unaware that bows and arrows must be packed in checked bags.
  • An inert mortar round was discovered during checked baggage screening on March 1 at San Francisco International Airport.

No matter how edgy you are, knives, sharp objects and tools with blades are not allowed in carry-on bags! Sharp passengers know that knives must be packed in checked bags.

Top row pictured above from the left:

  • Three throwing knives were discovered at Nashville International Airport on Feb. 25.
  • TSA officers at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Ohio discovered a seat belt cutter during X-ray screening. Remember, any tool that contains a blade must be packed in a checked bag.
  • Oakland International Airport officers discovered a palm dagger on Feb. 25.

Middle row pictured above from the left:

  • A kukri was located during X-ray screening by Denver International Airport officers on Feb. 26.
  • On Feb. 28, a butterfly knife was discovered by officers at Piedmont Triad International Airport in North Carolina.
  • A doomsday prep must-have – an 8-inch double-edged knife – was discovered at San Francisco International Airport on Feb. 28.

Bottom row pictured above from the left:

  • During X-ray screening, officers at El Paso International Airport discovered a palm dagger on March 1.
  • TSA officers at Fairbanks International Airport discovered a small pocket knife, four rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, pepper spray and this throwing knife in a carry-on bag on March 2.
  • This isn’t a shooting star. But officers at Buffalo Niagara International Airport still wished passengers wouldn’t pack throwing stars in their carry-on.

Our mission at TSA is to ensure you get to your destination safely by keeping dangerous items off your plane. The most common explanation we hear from travelers 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.

If you think this blog features all the prohibited items we found between Feb. 25 and March 3, you’re mistaken. Every day our officers stop way more prohibited items than what is featured in this blog. Like way more.

Remember to 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, ask us at AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. 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