TSA stops man with arms cache from boarding flight

From the “What was he thinking?” file comes news that will curdle your cocktail. TSA officers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport stopped a man trying to board a flight during the early-morning hours of Tuesday, Oct. 20 with what amounted to a small arsenal. Spread among his carry-ons were two pistols, three ammunition magazines, and eight knives.

A TSA officer running an X-ray machine detected some suspicious things in the man’s three carry-on bags – a backpack, a duffle bag, and a sleeping bag. He told his supervisor and law enforcement. They searched the bags and uncovered the weapons. They were spread out among the three carry-ons. Local police arrested the would-be passenger and charged him with violations of state law.

Things like this happen a lot more than you might think, and they happen all over the system. Consider, TSA says that during the last week of September alone:

  • A man at Orlando International attempted to bring a bag contain a .25-caliber pistol, a .40-caliber semiautomatic, and a .357-caliber revolver aboard a flight. Also in the bag were loose ammunition and a loaded magazine. Police arrested the guy and later released him on $2,500 bond.
  • A would-be passenger at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport tried to board with a trio of throwing knives. That’s a no, no. Police cited him on state charges.
  • At Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport TSA found inert grenades in checked baggage.

As of late September, TSA said it had discovered a rather unsettling 800 firearms in carry-on bags.

How do things like this happen? If this Cheapflights reporter’s experience is any gauge some of it is plain old forgetfulness. I’ve been stopped a couple of times for forgetting to take my Swiss Army knife out of my backpack before I headed to the airport. I use the pack on car trips and plane trips.  Best bet: Completely unpack your bags and repack them between each trip. It takes extra time but saves some potentially severe angst at the security checkpoint.

Have you ever forgotten to remove a prohibited item from your carry-on before security? Tell us what happened.

Story by Jerry Chandler

(Image: Seth Anderson)