The agency has taken to social media to showcase the dangerous, hilarious, and often weird, things confiscated from travelers.
Between the long lines and removing everything from your bag, the TSA isn't exactly the most popular group at the airport. But the agency is making an effort to show the public the ways airport security pays off and saves lives.
Luckily for us, they've decided to share the odd and unusual finds in an entertaining way. The official TSA Instagram account has over 200,000 followers and documents the surprising finds, while the TSA Blog isn't shy about showing us the other side of national security.
Weapons are some of the most frequently confiscated items at airports. 2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags in 2014, 1,835 (83%) of which were loaded. According to the TSA's "Year In Review" for 2014, that's a 22% increase in firearm discoveries over the 1,813 discovered in 2013. Some of these guns belong to passengers with concealed carry permits who forgot to leave their weapon at home before heading to the airport:
A 94-year-old man attempted to enter the checkpoint at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) with a loaded .38 caliber revolver clipped to his belt.
Thousands of knives are discovered in carry-on bags every year, some of which are deliberately concealed. Other choice items include an intert Claymore land mine (yes, a land mine), homemade explosives, novelty weapons, and cane swords.
Scroll through to see the wild items that caught the TSA's eye.
Gun-Shaped Toilet Roll Holder
View this post on Instagram
We don’t mean to catch you with your pants around your ankles with what we are about to say so please just roll with it. You’ll be sure to have a crappy day if you attempt to bring this through TSA security! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This gun shaped toilet paper holder was discovered at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) last week. This may fit your Angel Soft or Cottenelle just fine…but there’s no way you’ll be able to Charmin our TSA officers into letting this in your carry-on bag. Replica weapons of any kind are just not allowed in your carry-on bag. It could potentially cause some major delays during screening. But if duty calls and you just have to travel with it, best to check it in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Do you have the MyTSA app yet? Passengers with the app get 24/7 access to the most frequently requested airport security information on any mobile device. Save time and money with our helpful tips for preparing for security, including a searchable database of items that can and can’t go in checked or carry-on bags. So just take our word for it, and check it out. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #tipsfortravlers #traveltips101 #protips #happytraveler #instatravels #TSA #traveldestination #flyers
This gun shaped toilet paper holder was discovered at Newark Liberty International Airport. That guy probably had a pretty crappy day...
1. Medieval Flail
This replica weapon was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Chicago Midway Intl. Airport in September of 2013. Replica weapons are actually allowed in checked bags so your Viking Halloween costume lives to see another day.
Spearguns, even those wrapped in packing tape, are not allowed in the cabin of a plane. This one was discovered in a carry-on bag at Newark Liberty International Airport in March 2014.
3. 6-Blade Throwing Knife
Found in a carry-on bag in May 2014 at Las Vegas Intl. Airport. Even ninjas have to go through airport security.
4. Live Mk 2 Hand Grenade
Found in a carry-on bag in May 2014 at Los Angeles Intl. Airport. According to the TSA, "The checkpoint was closed while an Explosive Ordnance Team transported the grenade to an offsite location to disrupt it. The individual was arrested and is facing felony charges in Los Angeles County."
5. Bullet and Gun Knife
Found in a carry-on bag at the Yuma Intl. Airport in July 2014. Knives, even knives shaped like guns, are allowed in checked bags, but not carry-ons.
7. Ammunition Smuggling
In July of 2009, officers discovered 200 rounds of .25 caliber ammunition in four hollowed-out bibles. This is one of those pictures that needs no comment.
8. Cannon Barrel
This antique cannon barrel was discovered in a passenger's checked baggage at the Kahului Airport in October 2014. According to TSA officials, plenty of cannon balls have been found in bags over the years, but this is the first cannon barrel they've ever seen.
9. Anti-Tank Weapon
This (thankfully) expended 84-mm anti-tank weapon (AT4) was found in 2012 at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport. Heavy artillery weapons (live or expended) are not allowed on airplanes in any capacity.
10. Concealed Weapons
This disassembled firearm and ammunition was discovered in three stuffed animals in May of 2012 at the TF Green Airport. The .40 caliber frame was discovered in one animal, the firing pin and two .40 caliber rounds in another, and the slide in a third.