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TSA Touts Golden Grenade As Evidence They Actually Don’t Suck

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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Airport security would like everyone to know that they can save America from the same kind of dummy grenades that various companies will ship to you in 24 hours.

Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) posted a photo of an “inert golden grenade” on Instagram Monday seized from carry-on luggage at the Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) security checkpoint.

The post says that while the grenade is inert, TSA screeners couldn’t have known at the time. And whether it was inert or not, checking the item “takes time and slows down the line. It can even lead to a complete shutdown and evacuation,” the post said.

Michael McCarthy, spokesperson for the TSA said screeners found the grenade on May 31 at the Newark airport. The passenger surrendered the spray-painted grenade to security guards and was able to continue his travel.

“Screeners often find fake grenades in carry-on luggage,” McCarthy said. “It doesn’t happen every day, but about every week you’ll see one.” Whether replica or inert, dummy grenades are not allowed in carry-on or checked luggage.

The TSA is working to restore their record and improve their image over the past year. In May, TSA seized 74 weapons in a single week — 65 of which were loaded. “The vast majority of guns are loaded when we detect them,” McCarthy said .Replica firearms are never allowed in carry-on luggage, and TSA guidelines say that firearms are allowed in checked baggage only if packed in hard sided, locked cases, and declared in advance.

Last week, a single TSA screener at the Boise Airport discovered and confiscated two handguns from two separate passengers within one hour.

Lawmakers and travelers have criticized TSA over the past year for excessively long security lines and suspicions of ineffectiveness. When internal investigators went undercover last year to test airport security by trying to sneak firearms and bomb ingredients through TSA checkpoints. Out of 70 attempts, TSA screeners failed to identify the weapons 67 times.

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