The Transportation and Security Administration had quite the year in 2013, screening almost 700,000,000 people. During those scans, TSA agents confiscated plenty of guns, other dangerous weapons and some, well, flat-out startling items.
In it’s yearly overview, the agency said officers across the nation confiscated over 1,800 guns, 81% of them loaded. That’s a 16% increase from 2012. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
“The worst airports in the country for gun confiscations: Atlanta, Dallas Fort-Worth, George Bush in Houston and Sky Harbor.” (Via KPNX)
The guns were hidden all over the place: strapped to a person, stashed in a carry-on bag, in a toolbox, even inside a box of detergent. In one case, the agency found a shotgun hidden in a golf bag. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
Guns aside, U.S. travellers attempted to fly with some other pretty intense weapons like grenades, daggers, swords hidden in canes, even a stun gun that looked like lipstick. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
A WJZ-TV reporter spoke to one TSA agent about what they find and what excuses people make.
REPORTER: “From the tongs, to knives, meat cleavers, throwing stars, brass knuckles, you name it.”
TSA AGENT: “A lot of people say they forgot. A lot of people say that they didn’t realize these items were prohibited.” (Via WJZ-TV)
But seriously, forgetting you had your ninja stars on you? Thinking a solid wood and metal mace would be allowed on? Come on. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
And then there’s this: A human skull discovered in a clay pot that was checked luggage in Fort Lauderdale. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
Those were just a handful of the real weapons and other odd items found among those traveling.
But the TSA did come across their fair share of inert or inactive items like this suicide vest and over 100 fake grenades. (Via Transportation Security Administration)
So, while it may be inconvenient to go through TSA checks at an airport, a writer for Forbes says, "All of this is a reminder that when we stand on those lines and take off our shoes [sic] there is a reason."
On a more serious note, the yearly review also said 2013 was the first year an officer was killed in the line of duty. Gerardo Hernandez was killed by a gunman at LAX on Nov. 1.