Carrying a firearm through a TSA checkpoint seems absolutely ludicrous, yet it is far more common of an occurrence than most people know. While avoiding the trafficking of drugs through an airport is understood, many travelers continue to stun TSA agents with some of the most bizarre and dangerous carry-on luggage.
You’ll be more grateful than ever for TSA once you see what kind of contraband they are seizing from carry-on luggage. Here’s a rundown of some of the craziest airport security stories you won’t believe actually happened.
1. Ninja throwing stars
Despite the strong similarities between fidget spinners and throwing stars, fidget spinners are in fact toys and throwing stars are weapons. When TSA discovered throwing stars in carry-on bags in both Baltimore, Maryland, and Lexington, Kentucky, airports, the weapons were obviously confiscated. Any seasoned travelers (and TSA) will advise those who wish to travel with their ninja throwing stars to simply check their luggage instead of carrying it onboard.
Next: Not your average paint roller
2. A paint roller to kill
Quite the bedazzled paint roller cruised the Chicago O’Hare’s security checkpoint back in 2017, and its purpose was anything but a fashion statement. In fact, it’s a full-blown weapon. TSA’s Instagram had it right in describing it as some sort of creepy, Mad Max-type weapon. Needless to say, this work of art did not serve its ultimate purpose (not painting) this time around.
Next: Santa and his elves are up to no good.
3. Christmas came early this year
Santa and his elves must have been devastated after learning that Los Angeles International Airport’s TSA agents ruined Christmas for someone. Wrapping bricks of heroin and traveling through LAX during the holiday season may have seemed like a festive idea, but TSA felt otherwise. Even though agents have made it very clear that their purpose is keeping travelers and the friendly skies safe instead of discovering drugs, anomalies like this make it necessary to look a little deeper into what Santa is sending.
Next: The unbelievable amount of guns carried through TSA will shock you.
4. TSA discovered 3,957 firearms in 2017
Is there anything more frustrating than forgetting that you left your Glock in your backpack, or even worse, in its holster on your hip? For nearly 4,000 travelers in 2017, that was exactly their sentiment. Of the firearms confiscated, 84 percent were loaded and 34.8 percent actually had a bullet in the chamber. To boot, one of the busiest airports in the nation, Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, set the record for the most firearms discovered in a single month. That month was August 2017, when TSA discovered 31 guns. Once again, traveling with a gun is not illegal, as long as it is inside checked luggage.
Next: Farmer or murderer?
5. Sickle or ‘ice sickle’?
Perhaps the owner of this sickle was legitimately on the way to a seasonal harvest festival or found it while rummaging through a second-hand store, but either way, this John Wayne Airport traveler should have known to store the sickle in a piece of checked luggage instead of bringing it onto the plane. To no surprise, TSA agents confiscated it, leaving this budding farmer with only his bare hands.
Next: A different approach to traveling with a firearm
6. A rifle-shaped umbrella
Is there any better way to alarm a TSA agent than traveling with a rifle-shaped umbrella? Let’s get real for a second. It’s travelers like this who make airport security lines a living hell. For starters, there is absolutely no way for an agent to automatically know this nostalgic piece of weather protection is not a weapon without stopping the entire flow of one security line in order to further inspect the umbrella.
Next: Whatever happened to classic brass knuckles?
7. A face tenderizer
A new take on the old classic brass knuckles is this “face tenderizer.” Although this weapon is not the carry-on choice of most travelers, one individual at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York felt differently. TSA agents were both intrigued and suspicious of this tenderizing set of knuckles and luckily for the other passengers leaving Buffalo, it was seized.