TSA Found 1800 guns last year along with grenades, knives, skulls, and nunchucks
Celebrating its 12th year on the job, the Transportation Security Agency, America's airport watchdogs, screened more than 600 million passengers. While the vast majority of these came back clean, an incredible array of weaponry was found during these searches.
From information on the TSA's offical blog (yes, they have one), 2013 was a bumper year. They conducted 638 million airport screens in 2013, an increase of more than a million from the previous year.
(An average of almost six unchecked guns were found per day by TSA last year)
They recovered 1813 guns (80% of which were loaded) in carry-on bags at checkpoints. Now these weren't in checked luggage, which is fine, these were physically in the possession of someone trying to get onto a plane at the checkpoint. You know, the one with the big sign that says 'No Weapons' before you walk into it.
This was a 16% increase from last year's 1556 guns.
(This inert suicide vest replica, carried by a EOD instructor who didnt mention it, probably was a pucker factor for those who found it)
The TSA was founded in 2001 in response to the mass hijacking events of September 11th in which five civilian airliners were taken over by 19 terrorists in an effort to attack targets in Washington DC and New York City. The agency, according to their website has over 55,000 employees and a budget of $7.39 billion.
Besides your normal guns, pallets of knives, and other items, there was also an abundance of less lethal weaponry. The agency recovered 562 stun guns in carry-on bags, as well as a human skull-- hidden inside a flowerpot. Never leave home without one.
Inert claymore mines, replica suicide bomber vests, EOD training kits, and 136 novelty grenades were recovered from both checked bags and carry-on luggage last year. Besides these inactive devices, two very real battery charged initiators, a 12-gauge flare gun (with flares), a live flash-bang grenade, and a bottle of camping stove fuel were found in separate carry-on bags. In checked luggage, 24-pounds of black powder were found at Chicago Midway airport, as were numbers of while a live blasting cap and fuse lighter showed up at a Kansas airport.
(At one airport this flashbang 'stun' grenade, very much live and ready to go, was found in a carry on bag. Although not intended to be lethal, they can be at very close range)
In a 2012 Gallup poll, the majority of those asked had a positive view of the agency. Some 54% of Americans say the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is doing an excellent or good job with airport security screening, while 41 percent say its procedures are extremely or very effective at preventing terrorism.
Still, A GSA report last summer to Congress pointed out that reports of TSA employee misconduct have risen 26% over the past three years with allegations ranging from theft to sleeping on the job to not following protocols.
Never travel without your canesword or canegun
Current TSA regulations on flying with prohibited items are extensive. Many items that are prohibited from carry-on bags, which flyers would have access to inside the cabin during the flight, can be carried in checked baggage, stored in the plane's hold.
This includes items as varied as cattleprods, spear guns, nunchuks, baseball bats and meat cleavers. Firearms and ammunition can be carried in checked baggage, provided the applicable rules are followed.
Just be sure to check before flying.
Oh yeah, and leave your flowerpot skulls at home. People just do not understand.