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Check out some of the items recently confiscated by the TSA at Harrisburg International Airport

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HARRISBURG — Hey, it happens. Vacation plans get hectic, you’re rushing around trying to get everything packed, and in all the clamor you forget to take out the hammer you keep in your suitcase.

Could happen to anyone, right?

Transportation Security Administration agents say it happens more often than you’d think.

Friday at Harrisburg International Airport, TSA representatives had a small sampling of recently confiscated items on display in front of a security checkpoint.

Among the items displayed were a wide variety of knives, saw blades, a metal file, a small axe, and at least two hammers.

Spokesperson Mike England said the TSA occasionally puts together the displays to remind travelers to be sure to check their bags before heading to the airport.

“We’re seeing a lot of these items that are holding people up, slowing the lines down,” he said. “And there are items that are potentially dangerous, like knives and guns.

“Most of the time, it’s just a case of somebody forgetting that the item’s in their bag. They’re not intentionally trying to bring something through security — they just forgot.”


England said the TSA has several other tips to help passengers get through the lines faster.

  • Remember the 3-1-1 rule still applies to carry-on bags. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams, and pastes must be 3.4 ounces or less per container and must fit in a 1-quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag. One bag is permitted per passenger, and the bag must be taken out of the passenger’s suitcase and place into a screening bin.
  • Larger liquids, like medications, baby formula/food, and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces and do not need to be stored in a zip-top bag, but they must be declared for inspection at the checkpoint. If in doubt, the TSA says, put the liquid in checked luggage.
  • Be prepared. Every time a TSA agent has to open a carry-on bag due to prohibited items, it slows down the line for everyone.
  • If you have any questions, call the TSA at (855) 787-2227. TSA Cares is a helpline that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. Call 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.