TSA agents give advice to make air travel easier

A passenger traveled from Atlanta to Japan with a gun in his bag. / Photo: DHS / (MGN)
A passenger traveled from Atlanta to Japan with a gun in his bag. / Photo: DHS / (MGN)
Published: Apr. 30, 2019 at 4:30 PM CDT
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The Transportation Security Administration collected more than 4,000 firearms at its checkpoints last year.

TSA officers at Eppley Airfield gave 6 News a look at some of the items they have confiscated in recent years.

More than 2.5 million passengers passed through Omaha's airport last year, a nearly 10 percent jump from 2017.

Agents working security at the airport have confiscated everything from sunscreen and hairspray to more dangerous items like firearms.

"This was a real grenade. It was just hollowed out. When it comes through the x-ray, it causes a lot of havoc because we don't know it's hollowed out," Supervisory Transportation Security Officer Melissa Shea said while showing the object to 6 News.

Even the replicas are a no-go, as are toy guns, lighters and knives.

On top of causing a big disruption, trying to fly with a firearm can come with a stiff penalty.

"Especially during busy times, it can slow down quite a bit. We have to completely shut down a lane. We're limited to four lanes down here anyway," Supervisory Transportation Security Officer Chad Levi said.

The TSA said there's an easy way around it. Passengers have to declare the firearm at check-in. It needs to be locked in a box and can only go through checked baggage.

The firearm also has to be unloaded and ammunition needs to be in a secured box as well.

"I believe they just forget what they're carrying, what they have, what can and can't come through security," Shea said.

Showing up at security with a firearm can also invoke a $13,000 fine.

Eppley confiscated 18 guns last year, and four so far this year.