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Honolulu makes TSA list of dangerous, unusual items found in 2012

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: Jan 10 2013 09:37:00 PM HST

A handgun is what someone tried to pass through security at Honolulu International Airport.

HONOLULU -

A passenger attempted to pass a gun hidden inside a hollowed-out book through security at Honolulu International Airport last March, according to a Transportation Security Administration report released Thursday.

The gun was one of 1,543 firearms confiscated at airports across the country last year, along with a bunch of other dangerous and unusual items. Many of them are posted on the TSA's website.

The TSA said that about 1,746,800 passengers passed through checkpoints at airports across the country last year.

The gun found in Honolulu had no cylinder, but TSA reported that 78.7 percent of all firearms confiscated in 2012 were loaded.

"By publicizing these items on our blog, we're not necessarily saying look at all the bad guys that came to came to the airport. Because most times, the people we find with a gun, simply forgot that it was in their bag," said Nico Melendez, a TSA spokesman.

Noelle Wilhite, a visitor from Chicago, said she has a hard time believing someone would forget about a firearm. "It's a little scary, but hopefully it doesn't end up in the wrong hands and they continue to do a good job."

Other items found in 2012 that TSA posted on their website includes a live 40 millimeter grenade, an inert detonator found in a passenger's pocket, a spear gun, swords, a stun cane, a chainsaw and shells.

"When there are lines, it's because of these silly items that people shouldn't be bringing to the airport, that people know better about. But we have to take our time to find these items to keep them off of the airplanes," according to Melendez.

Melendez said TSA conducts internal tests daily to make sure officers are able to find the latest threats and that the explosives are the main threat now, which is why advanced imagery technology and pat downs are a necessity.

But many air travelers know, both can slow down lines.

"It's worth the wait if they're doing the job right. So I don't mind the wait if that's the what it means," said Michael Reed, a visitor from Chicago.

Melendez added that, "It's a very important job and something that we're really working to get better at everyday."

A knife in a hollowed-out book at Kahului Airport in June did not make the list of dangerous and unusual items found.

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