Chainsaw, Grenade Among Cache of Weapons Intercepted by TSA at New Orleans Airport

A chainsaw and hand grenade were among the items recently seized by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport in Louisiana, the agency said.

Other possessions taken were a baseball bat, numerous knives (including some shaped like handguns) and brass knuckles, according to a photo shared to Twitter by @TSA_Gulf on Sunday.

Just a tiny sample of knives, martial arts tools and other threats our ⁦@TSA⁩ officers intercepted recently ⁦

— TSA_Gulf (@TSA_Gulf) August 1, 2021

"Except for the grenade and the gasoline, these items could have been placed in a checked bag," @TSA_Gulf tweeted. "It was the passengers' decision to leave them behind."

At the New Orleans airport, the TSA also said on Sunday, 70 guns, mostly loaded, have been seized by agents at security checkpoints so far in 2021, more than in 2019 and 2020.

Every one of those stars on the calendar represents a gun a ⁦@flyneworleans⁩ passenger brought to the checkpoint. In addition to the 70 guns so far this year, the magazines and ammunition on the table were also stopped by ⁦@TSA⁩ dedicated-to-your-security officers.

— TSA_Gulf (@TSA_Gulf) August 1, 2021

"Guns must be declared, put in a locked, hard-sided case in checked baggage. Know the law at the destination as well," @TSA_Gulf said.

Newsweek reached out to the TSA for additional comments and information but did not hear back before publication.

Online, the TSA lists prohibited items and the penalties for having them, as well as items that are acceptable.

Bringing a hand grenade to an airport can result in a fine of between $8,340 and $13,910 and a criminal referral. The same goes for blasting caps, dynamite, gunpowder (more than 10 ounces), plastic explosives and all other high explosives. If the grenade seized is an inert replica, the fine is between $690 and $3,460, plus a criminal referral. All of these items are prohibited by the TSA from going through security checkpoints and cannot be brought on an aircraft.

The penalty for bringing knives through security checkpoints is a fine of between $360 and $2,090, including knives with blades that open automatically, knives with blades that open via gravity and double-edged knives or daggers. This includes switchblades and butterfly knives.

If a loaded gun, or a gun with accessible ammunition, is brought to a security checkpoint, the penalty is a $3,000 to $10,000 fine and a criminal referral. If it is a repeat offense, the fine is raised to between $10,000 and $13,910, along with a criminal referral.

Unloaded firearms can mean a $1,500 to $2,475 fine and a criminal referral. A penalty of $1,390 to $2,780 and criminal referral will result if a loaded gun is brought within checked baggage.

Returning prohibited items seized by the TSA to their owner at security checkpoints is restricted by federal law and operational considerations, according to the agency.

Although air travel dropped by 60 percent last year, checkpoint gun seizures by the TSA rose to an all-time high nationally, doubling from 2019, Newsweek reported.

Newsweek also reached out to the New Orleans airport for comment but did not hear back before publication.

TSA Checkpoint
At the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, numerous weapons were seized recently, including a hand grenade and chainsaw, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Above, passengers enter a TSA security checkpoint at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on October 19, 2020. Scott Olson/Getty Images