The insane things people still try to bring on airplanes

John and Chris have done a lot of reporting on the TSA this year, as the organization has had its fair share of privacy invasions, cultural faux paus, and instances of general incompetence.

But, in spite of their widely-publicized errors, the TSA has quietly put together something hilarious, sad and surprisingly informative all at the same time. That’s right: the TSA is developing a social media presence.

The organization has been blogging since 2008, but just recently launched an Instagram account featuring selected confiscated items (also shown on the blog) which serve as examples of what you should know better than to bring on an airplane.



You can also check out their Twitter feed here. But they are not on Facebook…yet.

The TSA’s social media team also puts out helpful posts that address frequently asked questions, or frequently occurring violations, along with a weekly breakdown of the number and type of guns confiscated, and how many of said guns were loaded/had a bullet in the chamber. (If you’ve ever wondered about the rules governing flying with car parts, you can find out more here).

Some posts bridge the gap between informative and absurd. For instance, this advisory has appeared in multiple posts:

We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited – real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.


And everyone should read the TSA’s post summarizing the most notable confiscations of 2012. Here’s the link.

My guess is that this inert claymore mine makes the 2013 list:

SJC Incident 06-13-13 Photo 2

Whoever brought this should have checked their “MyTSA” app

It’s hard to tell if people are forgetting to take their guns out of their bags during the packing process, or if they think that the big “No Firearms” sign simply doesn’t apply to them. Maybe some people really are so insecure as to need to bring their gun into one of the safest situations one can put themselves in: an airplane.

In any case, for all of the TSA’s faults, it’s good to know that they do, on occasion, do their job and keep things like this out of the air:

STUN GUNS Presentation1.bmp

A pair of stun guns, one disguised as a pack of cigarettes.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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