MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Transportation Security Administration officers come across some pretty strange things at airport checkpoints.

“Well we recently found a cannonball, it was pretty heavy,” said Officer Justin Henderstein.

That was at Miami International Airport and it’s just a mere fraction of what people have tried to carry on to an airplane.

“This was actually part of a child’s costume and it was given to our officer,” explained TSA Officer Samantha Wimbley, pointing to a fake grenade.

That’s not allowed to fly either. But it’s more common than you think for people to try to bring items through security that don’t seem like they’d be able to go.

“You need to remember that nothing sharp or anything that can serve as a bludgeon should not be in your carry on bag,” said TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz. “You don’t want the person sitting next to you to have these items in their possession.”

She tells us 110,000 people are screened each day at airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

In Miami alone, people left behind more than 10,000 pounds of items that they could not have in their carry-on bags.

“We realize that in most cases this is an accidental placement in someone’s suitcase, but we also know terrorists are also very interested in bringing down an aircraft and we know that any day someone could be testing us,” Koshetz said, “So we’re going to find it and we’re going to stop it.”

TSA is seeing a startling rise in guns.

In 2008, 926 were found in carry-on bags nationwide. Every year it’s increased, soaring 4239 last year.

By mid-October of this year Fort Lauderdale led the state with 80 guns found in carry-on bags, Miami had 33.

“What is the reason most people say that they tried to carry their gun through security?” asked CBS4’s Ted Scouten.

“Most people say they simply forgot,” Koshetz said, “We don’t want to hear that, we want you to keep your gun at home.”

In many cases, those guns could have flown in checked bags by following proper procedures. Knives, tools, and other items that are not allowed in carry-on luggage are also allowed in checked baggage.

For some passengers, the thought that someone may have a knife or weapon on them is un-nerving.

“What would you think if someone brought one of those and was sitting next to you,” Scouten asked passenger Herb Bond.

“Well, they wouldn’t be sitting next to me for long once I found out. I’m going to go into survival mode because I’m going to figure nothing good is going to come out of this,” he said.

The key before traveling is to look through your bag to make sure you don’t have items that you can’t bring on board. If you have any questions, you can ask TSA at @askTSA on Facebook as well as Twitter.

Ted Scouten

Comments