TSA tightens security, reveals surrendered items

TSA tightens security, reveals surrendered items

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Passengers at Memphis International Airport tend to follow the rules, but every now and then TSA agents find people trying to sneak illegal items onto airplanes.

Memphis International Airport TSA agents brought a sampling of the dozens of prohibited items passengers surrendered in during a one month time frame. The items include everything from nunchucks and replica guns to medical devices.

Click here to see the surrendered items.

"Normally TSA agents are totally surprised," TSA supervisor Larry Woods said.

Women's purses with clasps that look like brass knuckles are stylish and popular, as are lighters shaped like guns. Both, however, are prohibited.

"I've seen things from gas cans to machetes to lawn equipment," TSA regional spokesperson Mark Howell said.

Probably the most dangerous and frequently confiscated items people bring to the airport are firearms. Lately, TSA agents have seen an increase in the number of guns that are making their way to airports. Last year alone, more than 2,600 guns were surrendered at airports nationally. In Memphis, that number was 22.

"We don't want to infringe on your right to take a gun with you when you travel," Howell said. "We just obviously don't want it accessible at the airport."

But how many items are TSA agents not catching? An Inspector General report found TSA checkpoints failed 67 of 70 tests. Since then, TSA agents have taken steps to tighten security.

"Since the testing, the administrators directed a retraining of the workforce, and we're also adding additional training," Howell said.

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