|While most people gripe about long lines at the airport during the holidays when they go through security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration is doing its job.
As of Christmas Day, the TSA had found a grand total of 2,164 firearms at its airport checkpoints all across the United States, with as many as 1,700 of them loaded. That number has increased threefold since 2005 and is twice as many guns as detected in 2012.
Additionally, since 2013 the seizure of firearms in airports jumped 22%, according to the TSA’s blog.
The TSA stated that firearms are allowed on flights, but only in checked bags — not carry-ons, and they must be unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline.
“TSA takes the discovery of prohibited items seriously and urges all passengers to check the contents of their bags before leaving home to ensure they are not bringing any prohibited items to the airport — including firearms, firearm parts and ammunition,” the agency stated on its blog.
And it’s a problem nationwide, according to the TSA’s report — not just in “red states.”
Although Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Texas ranked highest for firearm detections, with 118 in 2014, other areas of the country still saw weapons and dangerous objects on a regular basis.
San Diego’s Lindbergh Field saw 11 firearms in 2014. Los Angeles and San Francisco’s airports both had 17 detected firearms each.
It’s not just guns that travelers are bringing with them. Also in late December, the TSA reported that it saw 700 stun guns, many of which were disguised as mobile phones.
Tactical weapons, such as knives and tomahawk axes, also make an appearance on the TSA’s blog regularly, and 2014 was no different for unique items.
Also found this year were five explosive detection training kits, one inert missile warhead, two inactive landmines, 21 sword canes, seven artillery or mortar shells and three spear guns. There were also 118 grenades, most of which were apparently unarmed.
Weapons disguised as everyday items also show up frequently. In addition to stun guns that look like phones, the TSA found eight knives hidden in lipstick tubes.
The TSA also found four animal repellents, which are also classified as a weapon, and, perhaps most puzzling, a knife hidden inside an enchilada.
Those who would like to see the more interesting items the TSA confiscates on a daily basis can check the agency’s blog, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.