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Guns, knives, grenades are a normal month of abandoned items at GSP

TSA reminds holiday travelers of prohibited items

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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The table full of grenades, knives, guns, wrenches, brass knuckles and liquids over 3.4 ounces are a sampling of abandoned property at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport during the past 30 days.
 

Jim Fair

The table full of grenades, knives, guns, wrenches, brass knuckles and liquids over 3.4 ounces are a sampling of abandoned property at Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport during the past 30 days.

 



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A power drill was one of the items turned over to the TSA.
 

Jim Fair

A power drill was one of the items turned over to the TSA.

 



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Eddie Mars, a TSA supervisor at GSP holds two military-type grenades that have been hollowed out.
 

Jim Fair

Eddie Mars, a TSA supervisor at GSP holds two military-type grenades that have been hollowed out.

 



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Liquids packaged in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and collected in a plastic bag is acceptable.
 

Jim Fair

Liquids packaged in containers of 3.4 ounces or less and collected in a plastic bag is acceptable.

 



Passengers at GSP could have easily surmised a gun and knife show was being held Wednesday at the baggage claim area.

Instead the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had a display table of grenades, guns, knives, a power drill, tools and liquids that were among the 100 pounds of abandoned property during the past 30 days at Greenville-Spartanburg International.

Eddie Mars, a TSA supervisor at the airport, said the show and tell was to get in front of the high volume holiday travel season that traditionally begins the week before Thanksgiving.

“We don’t want to inconvenience anyone, we’re just interested that passengers have a safe flight,” Mars said.

Mark Howell, TSA spokesperson said, more often than not, passengers unintentionally bring restricted items to the security screening. “We’ve become a rushing society,” Howell said. “They are so busy getting to the airport, parking their cars and going through screening they often forget they are carrying items that are restricted.”

Passengers may surrender the items to TSA, take the items back to their vehicle or turn it over to an acquaintance. Once prohibited items are surrendered at GSP they are become lost and found. “We give every option before passengers have to abandon property,” Howell said.

Alabama State Surplus picks up the items left behind and liquids are treated as hazard materials and disposed of locally.

When items like grenades are detected, typically through X-ray, GSP police are contacted and take control. “We will stop screening (at that checkpoint) or we may have to stop screening altogether,” Mars said.

Mars said, in his 12 years with TSA, little surprises him. “We’ve pulled a little of everything out of the bags,” Mars said. “We even had a dead squirrel.” He showed a belt buckle that that turned into a knife and a credit card that folded into a knife-like weapon.

Liquids are restricted to 3.4-ounces and tools and instruments are limited to less than 7 inches.

Mars said his is vigilant observing passengers’ behavior. “Passengers may be nervous because of flying but there are signs we’ve learned through training to observe,” Mars said.

For more information visit TSA.gov.

 

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