WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The TSA is expected to set a record for the number of guns confiscated across United States airports this year, according to CBS News.
However, federal officials say uncovering other prohibited items like knives, cleavers, and nunchucks may be a more challenging task.
“I’ll ask a passenger direct to the face, ‘Do you have anything prohibitive in the bag?’ ‘No.’ We open up the bag, they’ll have a knife, they’ll have a fake gun, they’ll have a nunchuck in there,” Scott Johnson, the federal security director at Dulles International Airport in Virginia, told CBS News. “And I just have to laugh at them, because it’s, do you think you can bring this on?”
Items that are considered dangerous aren’t always so clear-cut for some passengers. Among the less obvious banned items are purse handles resembling brass knuckles and fake hand grenades. Dulles Airport says it fills a 55-gallon drum each day with prohibited items.
TSA posts many of the banned items on its Instagram account, which has more than 338,000 followers. The administration says its an attempt to shed awareness on what is prohibited on flights.
Through August, officials say they have confiscated more than 1,900 firearms nationwide.
“We actually caught a .357 Magnum out here at the checkpoint. Yesterday we caught 63 rounds of ammunition in a bag,” Johnson said.
Despite the successful number of guns confiscated, officials are still concerned over items that are not being caught. Details of an Inspector General Report revealed that officers at TSA checkpoints failed 67 out of 70 tests while potential weapons repeatedly went through checkpoints.
“What I think their biggest failure is not looking at the whole picture of airport security, because if anything is going to be a real danger to us, it’s not going to come through the checkpoint, it’s going to come around the checkpoint,” Douglas Kidd of the National Association of Airline Passengers told CBS News.
Carrying firearms or concealing a weapon in luggage can lead to criminal charges and fines.