Tools, knives and a frying pan: TSA shows items stopped at airport security

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Transportation Security Administration based at Gerald R. Ford International Airport showed some of the hundreds of items confiscated from travelers in the last few months.

Mark Howell, a regional spokesperson for the TSA said that in 2018, they stopped five firearms at the Grand Rapids airport. So far in 2019, they’ve stopped three.

“You can take a firearm with you when you travel…but, for obvious reasons, we don’t want it in a carry-on bag,” Howell said. “We don’t want it accessible during the flight, so if you pack it the correct way….we don’t have any issue with you taking a firearm.”

Howell says the proper way to pack a firearm is described on the TSA website.

Howell says that the TSA does not confiscate items, but gives passengers options of getting rid of the items before going through security. You can put the item in a checked bag, take it back to your car or give it to someone who brought you to the airport. Some airports are also providing mailers so you can send your item back to your home.  But, once you surrender the item to TSA, there is no getting it back. Items that are surrendered are sold by the Michigan state surplus office.

Items shown Wednesday at the Gerald R. Ford Airport included several bottles of liquids, knives, tools, a frying pan and a stress ball that looked like a hand grenade.

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