The Transportation Security Administration found a record number of guns in carry-on baggage in 2016, and a staggering 83 percent of them were loaded.
According to the TSA, which released its annual review on Thursday, 3,391 guns were found in checked bags in 2016. That's a 28 percent increase from 2015, and the ninth record-breaking year in a row. The TSA also screened 43 million more passengers than it did in 2015, but that was only a 6 percent increase. So the increase in screenings does not fully account for the increase in guns found in carry-on luggages.
Related: The weirdest weapons TSA has confiscated
The weirdest weapons TSA has confiscated
The weirdest weapons TSA has confiscated
TSA #TBT January 2007 --- This Los Angeles (LAX) traveler didn’t think his wardrobe through before coming to the airport. In addition to actual firearms, replica firearms (such as this belt buckle) are prohibited, as they can cause alarm in the airport/airplane environment.
This inert grenade novelty item was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on bag at Seattle (SEA). While it is kind of funny, it’s prohibited altogether from both carry-on and checked baggage. So what’s the big deal if it’s inert? First off, we don’t know it’s inert until explosives professionals take a closer look, and that takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation. Also, imagine the person sitting next to you on the plane pulling this out of their carry-on. No big deal, right? For these reasons, anything resembling a bomb or grenade is prohibited from both carry-on and checked bags. #TSAGoodCatch
A Dallas Love Field (DAL) traveler had these throwing knives in their carry-on bag. All knives are prohibited from carry-on bags, but may be packed in checked baggage. #TSATravelTips
#TSAGoodCatch - Replica firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags. Knives are prohibited in carry-on bags. Knife guns? #Nope This was discovered in carry-on bag at Providence (PVD).
#TSAGoodCatch - This ornate jawbone tomahawk was discovered in a carry-on bag at Salt Lake City (SLC). Jawbone tomahawks (and all other tomahawks) must be packed in checked baggage.
#TSATravelTips - In addition to being a cute cat keychain, this is a punching weapon. Just as with brass knuckles, they’re prohibited from being packed or carried through the checkpoint. This one was discovered this week at the Norfolk International Airport (ORF). You can pack them in your checked baggage.
#TSAGoodCatch - This folding throwing star was discovered in a carry-on bag at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH). These are prohibited from carry-on bags and should be packed in checked baggage. #Krull
#TSAGoodCatch - This comb dagger was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Lihue Airport (LIH) in Hawaii. Knives are always prohibited in carry-on bags no matter the size. Concealed knives can lead to fines and arrest.
#TSAGoodCatch - This folding knuckle knife was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). Both knives and brass knuckles are prohibited from being transported in carry-on bags
#TSAGoodCatch - This #bejeweled lipstick stun gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). All stun guns are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags or carried on your person.
#TSAGoodCatch - This inert anti-tank landmine was discovered in a checked bag at Austin (AUS). If an item looks like a real bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays because our explosives detection professionals must respond to resolve the alarm. Even if they are novelty items, you are prohibited from bringing them on board the aircraft.
#TBT - May 2014 - This mallet was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property at the Burlington International Airport (BTV). Items such as sledgehammers and mallets are considered bludgeons and are prohibited from being packed in carry-on bags. Checked baggage is fine.
#TSAGoodCatch - This ice pick concealed inside of a cane was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on property at Newark (EWR). Concealed weapons can lead to fines and arrest.
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The TSA also showed off some of the other prohibited items it found in passengers' carry-ons. There was gun powder, some of which was contained in powder horns from travelers who apparently thought they would be flying in a time machine back to the Revolutionary War. There were also realistic looking toy grenades or grenade replicas, swords hidden in canes, various throwing stars (including one hidden in a cell phone case), axes, and knives hidden in pens, keys, and lipstick tubes. Speaking of lipstick tubes, at least one person tried to bring a lipstick stun gun on board.
The TSA enjoys showing off the prohibited items people try to sneak through (or simply don't realize are against the rules, despite the ample warning signs and explanations posted throughout the airport). Last December, a positively giddy host appeared in minute-long YouTube video to show off 2016's "Top 10" weird things passengers tried to bring on planes, which included a "Hello Kitty" themed gun, a fake suicide vest, a bottle of brandy with dead seahorses in it (the bottle was too large for a carry-on, the seahorses were endangered and also dead, so no, that was not allowed through) and a movie prop of a rotting corpse (which was allowed through after a thorough screening).