Denver Airport travelers tried to bring guns, fuel and a sword through TSA

Heather Willard
Left: an inert grenade found by TSA. Right: A TSA officer shows the cane sword.Photo byTSA

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Jan. 12, 2022

(Denver, Colo.) An inert grenade, a sword cane and a couple of hatchets are just a few of the most eye-catching finds by TSA officers at Denver International Airport in 2022.

TSA officers discovered thousands of prohibited items through routine x-ray screening of carry-on luggage. The officers also seized a record-setting 155 firearms from Denver passengers as of Dec. 27, up from the previous record of 141 set in 2021.

Lorie Dankers, a TSA spokesperson, shared a variety of items discovered by the Denver officers, including a large number and variety of knives. Although there was a brief effort in 2013 to allow small knives and sharps on airplanes, no knives are allowed in carry-on luggage (except for plastic or rounded butter knives).

Additionally, a number of the knives seized were switchblades, which are illegal to own in Colorado.

Travelers also appeared to bring many fuel items through security in their carry-on luggage. Butane bottles, camp stove fuel, lighter fluid and nitrous oxide “poppers” — small, pressurized canisters typically used to charge whipped cream dispensers — were all found through x-ray screening. While camp stoves are allowed if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned, TSA does not allow flammable gasses, liquids or gels in checked or carry-on luggage.

When a TSA officer discovers a prohibited item, the traveler can put that item in checked luggage, turn it over to a non-traveling individual, or return it to their vehicle. However, the traveler can also abandon the item for TSA disposal. When officers find illegal items locally, they notify airport law enforcement for resolution.

TSA officers encounter prohibited items daily at security checkpoints. Every prohibited item found slows down the security screening process for all travelers. In late December, TSA announced its annual Top 10 list of items discovered during screening at airports nationwide.

Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the TSA mobile app, myTSA, to learn what items are prohibited or allowed. Travelers can also Tweet or Message “@AskTSA” if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag. Just snap a picture or send a question and get real-time assistance daily from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. MST.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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