WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – It’s not just guns that TSA agents confiscate on a daily basis. They find seemingly ordinary items that could easily be used as a weapon.
Sharp knives, brass knuckles, and scissors are dangerous and deadly weapons that were just one security screening away from making it onto a plane.
The 22News I-Team discovered power tools aren’t that out of the ordinary, and neither are other weapons.
In April, 22News reported on a man from Connecticut who was arrested for allegedly bringing a loaded handgun through TSA. Also, on May 16th, TSA announced a Florida man tried to bring a loaded handgun and bullets through TSA in his fanny pack.
So far this year, TSA confiscated four firearms in the screening checkpoint at Bradley International Airport.
The 22News I-Team learned that nationally TSA officers intercepted a record number of firearms in 2018. 4,239 firearms were confiscated. That is a 7-percent increase from the year before. 86-percent of those guns were loaded.
Nine guns were confiscated at Bradley in 2018, compared to 21 in 2018 at Logan International Airport in Boston. But neither of these airports make the top 10 list. That distinction goes to Atlanta where TSA agents discovered 298 firearms in 2018.
The I-Team visited Bradley International Airport to see what else passengers have tried bringing onto planes.
“So here’s something an example of something that goes in neither your checked or your carry-on bag,” TSA Spokesperson, Lisa Farbstein said. “This is just a no no and in this case it’s chlorine and it’s because it’s a chemical.”
Farbstein gave the I-Team an up-close look at the dozens of items TSA agents have confiscated. The items on display were discovered over a two week period. The thought of razor-sharp items being smuggled onto planes may be alarming, but Farbstein said a majority of passengers simply don’t know what is banned. Pocket knives are a definite no no, but many people forget to take them out of their bag before traveling.
“We’ve seen pocket knives, keychain knives, credit card knives, fishing knives, folding knives, Just every kind of knife you can imagine,” Farbstein said.
You can download a free app on your smartphone where you can type in and search questionable items. The hope is that travelers will find out what’s permitted in their carry-on before getting to the airport. To find the app, search MyTSA in the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Farbstein said TSA donates all of the items that are confiscated, minus the illegal items, to the state the airport is located in. The state then sells the items for profit. Connecticut however, doesn’t participate, so the items from Bradley are sent to New Hampshire.