TSA remains vigilant through innocent contraband, watching for r - WDRB 41 Louisville News

TSA remains vigilant through innocent contraband, watching for real threats

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In just the past two months, things that have been collected by The Transportation Security Administration at the Louisville airport range from snow globes, a frying pan and plenty of Louisville Sluggers to part of a chainsaw, hammers, screwdrivers, knives and even grenades.

“If you're sitting on an x-ray and you see one of these items coming through you take a second glance your hair stands up on your neck,” TSA Supervisor Richard Ellis says.

Even if they turn out to be just replica grenades, the security protocol is just the same. The security line is shut down, and a bomb technician has to investigate.

TSA Spokesman Mark Howell says there's a more alarming trend. “We're seeing about a 25 percent increase in firearms being brought to the checkpoint .“

From January to August, 1,400 guns were brought to airport checkpoints across America. 11 guns were seized in Louisville.

About 90% of the firearms being brought to the checkpoint are loaded.

The TSA says the vast majority of the time, travelers are just making careless mistakes or they're trying to avoid baggage fees. Mistakes still monopolize precious time for passengers and staff, taking away from their number one mission of keeping you safe.

“I think the big thing here is I think they should feel relieved.” Howell said. “We're finding these things at the checkpoint."

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