TSA Confiscates Record Number of Guns in 2012

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A record number of guns were discovered in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints across the country last year -- 1,543 firearms confiscated by TSA agents.

Out of those, more than 80 percent were loaded, TSA agents said.

Kansas City International airport isn't seeing a high number of guns being brought through airport security, but you might be surprised at some of the unusual items found in people's carry on bags: stun guns, grenades, swords, even loaded guns.

Do you know what the passenger standing next to you in the security line has in their bag?

TSA says they do and they aren't letting those prohibited items get through.

"This was a hairbrush that looked like a hairbrush in the bag but on the xray they could see that it had this inside of it," said Angela Brooks, the Assistant Federal Security Director for Operations at Kansas City International.

TSA opened their cache of confiscated or voluntarily surrendered items for us on Wednesday, showing items found in carry-on luggage at security checkpoints at KCI.

"There are things that the bad people want to do, the terrorists, so we have to have the rules so that those things cant happen on the airplane," said Brooks.

The good news for Kansas City passengers, TSA says they only picked up 12 guns and eight stun guns at the airport.

"You wouldn't want that loaded gun on the aircraft in the wrong hands," Brooks said.
Other items include butterfly knifes, brass knuckles and belt buckles made to look like a gun or grenade.

Officials believe most people aren't trying to just slide one through.

"What we always hear from the passenger is, Oh I forgot or my wife packed my bag and she forgot that was in there and things like that. I don't think they intentionally do it, its just, they forget," Brooks said.

Still, it doesn't make firearms on airplanes any less dangerous.

"Having been a federal air martial in the past, I find it amazing that someone can have a gun, a loaded weapon in a bag and not know its in there. I mean people should always be aware of where those are," she said.

The security agents say they are aware and everyday they're doing their job to protect you.

"I think we do a good job out here. That's our mission and we fulfill it," Brooks said.

TSA says they fine anyone who brings a gun to a security checkpoint, knowingly or unintentionally. The penalty can be up to $10,000.00

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