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jan 07

The TSA Does Get Things Right Sometimes

The TSA found an alarming number of weapons in travelers' luggage over the course of just a week.

(Courtesy bfishadow/Flickr)

We give the TSA a lot of guff for invasive searches and tactics that humiliate passengers. And rightfully so. But that makes it even more exciting when the agency gets things right. Take a blog posted on their official site (which is a fascinating insight into the agency and what they deal with). From December 28, 2012 to January 3, 2013, there were 26 handguns discovered at U.S. airports—17 were loaded. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Agents also uncovered a (inert) bazooka round from WWII in a traveler's checked baggage at O'Hare in Chicago, a gas-operated automatic bb machine gun in Newark, and a belt-buckle knife in San Francisco (check out the photo on the blog). And that's just for that one week.

The TSA does point out that many of these items were not packed with ill intent—though that belt buckle is seriously terrifying. As a reminder, they point out that even novelty weapons (like the five grenades that were found at four different airports) must be placed in checked baggage and you must alert the airline. This reminds me of a family trip to Disney World back in the early 80s, when my parents bought my brother an authentic-looking toy gun as a souvenir (he was a big Daniel Boone fan, if I recall correctly). He, being a child, of course put it in his backpack full of toys for the plane ride home. Which led to a security alert and my father running through the airport to get a box to pack the toy gun in so it could be checked. I was very young at the time, but still remember the stress of not wanting to miss the flight. A very weird way to end a first trip to Disney.

Have you ever had anything confiscated by the TSA? Let us know!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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