JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Brass knuckles, a ninja throwing star, a hatchet hammer, pocket knives and a grenade were just a few of the 2,800 pounds of items security officers at Jacksonville International Airport collected from passengers in the last year.
“A grenade can not go with you on the airplane,” TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz said, also pointing out a gun-shaped pocketknife someone tried to take on board. “People know they can't bring a gun and a knife on the plane. This person thought they were being clever because they had a knife inside of their gun. It wasn't clever. We are going to find it.”
And if they do, you're likely to lose it, unless you're willing to take the time to return it to your car, agents said.
Among the confiscated items displayed Wednesday in a media event at JAX was a belt lined with bullets that sported a Superman buckle.
Passengers also tried to carry on alcohol, a replica gun and a stun gun, all saying they didn't know the items weren't allowed.
“I don't understand why people try that with all the news about it,” passenger Joe Valley said. “Walking through the airport and dealing with security is probably the most aggravating thing to your travel, so why make it any worse? Try to keep it simple.”
Passengers should also be aware of a new step to the screening process, agents said.
Airline passengers will have to remove all electronics bigger than a cellphone from their carry-on bags and place them in a security bin to be scanned.
Agents said a growing concern is the number of guns being stopped at the checkpoint. TSA found 39 guns in security last year. The year before, agents stopped 33 guns, and in 2015 they stopped 25 guns.
So far this year, they've found seven guns at the checkpoint.
TSA screens more than 7,000 passengers a day at JAX, and knowing what is and is not allowed could help speed up the process for everyone, agents said.
“If you've traveled a bunch, you know what's allowed and not allowed,” Koshetz said. “If you haven't, you're probably just not paying attention.”
Passengers who aren't sure if a particular item will be allowed through security should go to TSA.gov and click “What Can I Bring?” in the upper right corner for a searchable list of prohibited items.