TSA Finds Guns, Razor Blades, Eels on South Florida Passengers

​Congress will be taking a closer look at the Transportation Security Administration this afternoon in a joint hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Oversight Committee Chairman Darryl Issa said in a statement that the hearing is designed to address "a recurring pattern of mismanagement and waste at the Transportation Security Administration...  Americans are right to demand answers from TSA about the return on investment of their tax dollars."

Yeah, the body scanners are kind of creepy, and yeah, that blogger from Miami Beach showed how you could allegedly get around them without really trying, but the TSA finds weird, dangerous stuff on passengers all the time --  a steady parade of stun guns, brass knuckles, batons, and knives all over the country, plus, in South Florida, a gun about once every eight days.

There have been ten guns found on passengers leaving from the international airports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach this year, according to TSA data. In the same time span, there were about 267 guns found in carry-on nationwide.

The South Florida haul includes a .22 last Thursday, a loaded .25-caliber gun at Palm Beach International the day before, and a .357 handgun March 18:

For the rest of the goofy carry-on debacles, let's just start at the beginning of the year.

January: A four-inch steak knife was found in a Miami passenger's shoe.

February: A diver found a cannonball near an old shipwreck and put it in his checked luggage. The cannonball was found to be "explosively viable" and resulted in three flight delays while bomb techs got rid of the thing.

One Palm Beach International passenger also tried to pass a carry-on bag containing a stun gun, dagger, box cutter, razorblades, a shotgun shell, several bullets, and two firecrackers. Maybe he just forgot they were in that one side pocket he never checked.

In addition, a Miami passenger was asked if he had any liquids in his bag -- and he responded with, "I have liquor, and I have a bomb."

March: A Miami passenger headed to Venezuela got caught trying to check bags containing 163 tropical fish, 12 small turtles, 22 "invertebrates," and dozens of coral specimens. "We're not in the business of looking for marine life," the blog said, "but you can probably imagine how odd this looked on our monitor." Probably almost as weird as that guy the TSA caught last year with seven snakes and three turtles hidden in his pants.

So, yes, aside from the whole "trampling the Constitution" thing, the TSA has been busy. And here's a list of all those guns, their caliber, and where they were found:

  • 1/6: .380, MIA (loaded)
  • 1/16: .357, FLL (loaded)
  • 2/11: .38, FLL (loaded)
  • 2/11: .40, FLL (loaded; round chambered)
  • 2/16: .380, FLL (loaded)
  • 2/18: .38, FLL (loaded)
  • 3/12: .380, FLL
  • 3/18: .357, MIA
  • 3/21: .25, PBI (loaded)
  • 3/22: .22, MIA

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