GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.,– In TSA’s recent blog post: TSA Blog Year in Review: 2013, TSA blogger Bob Burns reviewed some of the dangerous or unusual items officers confiscated in 2013 as well as some of the creative ways passengers tried to hide them.
A total of 1,813 firearms were discovered, 1,477 (81%) of which were loaded.
Billy Wallace, Assistant Federal Security Director of Screening at Gerald R. Ford International Airport says they only had one loaded gun last year at their checkpoints but he says they discovered 57 other potentially deadly or dangerous items.
So what happens to all the items that get turned over to the TSA? “On average we have 70 to 80 pounds per month, so it goes to the State of Michigan and the state takes it and auctions it off,” said Wallace.
Wallace says officers understand sometimes items may have sentimental value and some people may just forget they have something on them, that’s why they say they offer options before having people just turn things over.
“Our officers aren’t personally trying to cause anybody any stress or grief. They’re doing their job to the best of their ability, the way they’re trained, utilizing standards that have been put in place,” he said.
Wallace says most of the time people understand that.
“When we speak to them and explain to them the reason why, the bottom line is we are trying to ensure that everyone that gets on the plane, the individual and or family make it to their destination safe without anything bad happening to them .”
Of course many of these items can still be checked, for a full list of what you can and cannot take through security: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information