TSA says: Please leave grenades home

2012-03-14 21:45

New York - Most airline passengers pack a toothbrush and fresh underwear in their luggage, while others carry land mines, grenade launchers, swords and mortar shells.

Not only does the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscate four handguns a day among the contraband it takes from airline customers, its agents once seized a stun gun concealed as lipstick and found a dagger hidden inside a hairbrush, according to weekly updates on The TSA blog.

"If I'm going with the weirdest, it would have to be the guy who had all the snakes in his pants," recalled Bob Burns, 41, who writes online for the agency as Blogger Bob.

Some of the deadly weapons are a real threat to airline safety, he said, but in other cases it's simply a matter of cluelessness.

"The first incident occurred at the Miami International Airport (MIA) and involved a gentleman with seven small snakes in his pants ...," Burns wrote in August 2011.

"The passenger was arrested on the federal charge of 'harbouring reptiles in an unnatural habitat.' I made that up... the individual was actually charged with violating the Lacey Act," the blog said, referring to the law that combats trafficking in illegal wildlife, fish and plants.

In a post last month about a western New York airport, he wrote, "Believe it or not, the chainsaw found at Elmira (ELM) was not the problem here. You can travel with your chainsaw as checked luggage, however, gassing it up is the problem. You know... Gas? Highly flammable liquid."

When a 350 000-volt stun gun disguised as a tube of lipstick was found in a carry-on bag Burns wrote, "This particular lipstick is known to leave your lips looking stunning."

Burns used to train security screeners at the Cincinnati airport as part of the newly created TSA, designed to strengthen security of US transportation systems in the wake of the September 11 2001, attacks.

When TSA superiors decided the agency needed a blog, he got the job. Burns also uses the post to refute some of the bad press the TSA gets.

Responding to claims of a cancer cluster among TSA employees at Boston Logan International Airport related to body scanners, he blogged that there is no link.

"In fact, there were no body scanners at BOS when the complaints were filed," he wrote.

The items gathered from passengers are shipped to their homes, used as evidence or sold for revenue for the state, said TSA spokesperson Greg Soule.

No figures are available for the number of items seized or people arrested, he said, but the TSA's 60 000 employees are busy most days.

Burns recently signed off on this post: "Paging Captain Ahab: Another spear gun was discovered in a carry-on bag at Newark (EWR). The passenger assumed spear guns were good to go. Nope."

Read more on:    tsa  |  us  |  security  |  aviation
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.