The TSA is on Instagram, and now I’m scared to travel.

Jul 9 • Front Page, Instagram, Social Media • 8863 Views

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About a year ago, the Transportation Security Administration (better known as TSA) joined Instagram.  They also have a blog and a Twitter account – @TSA! The Instagram account is fascinating … and slightly alarming.




#TSAcatch A taser disguised as a tube of lipstick was discovered in a traveler’s carry-on baggage at the #StLouis International Airport. #TSA #STL See more prohibited items at


#TSACatch: These utility knife blades were discovered concealed between a #ScoobyDoo greeting card. All knives no matter how small are prohibited from carry-on bags.


#TSACatch This cane sword was discovered last week at the #Ontario (#ONT) International Airport in California. Cane swords are discovered on an almost weekly basis at #TSA checkpoints across the nation. See more prohibited items on the TSA blog at




#TSAOnTheJob: This is Maggie getting ready for a ride in her work truck. She works regularly as an explosives detection canine with her handler Lorene Smith at the #Washington #Dulles International Airport.


#TSAonthejob: This is Cooper and his handler Bob Banach from #Washington – #Dulles (IAD) as they participated in a training session with the #FBI in #Virginia last week. In this picture, Cooper is imprinting on a new odor that will help him better detect explosives and keep our transportation systems safe.


#TSAOnTheJob – The #LittleRock #TSA Canine Explosives Detection Team was formally requested by the #Arkansas & #Missouri Railroad Chief to join the Railroad Police Department during the National Railway Historical Society (#NRHS) Convention in Springdale, Arkansas. Canine Wwalz is seen here looking over an @Amtrak #train. Hundreds of canines work daily to keep our transportation systems safe.




#TSATravelTip: #Ecig’s and #vaping devices ARE permitted in your carry-on and checked bags. Unless they look like a grenade…This #TSACatch is a grenade-shaped vaping device that was discovered in a carry-on bag at the #SaltLakeCity International Airport. If an item looks like a grenade, it is prohibited. When these items are discovered, they can cause significant delays while explosives detection professionals resolve the alarm. While E-Cigs and vaping devices are permitted in your checked and carry-on bags, using them at an airport or on an aircraft depends upon the airport, airline, and local laws.


#TSATravelTip: Corkscrews/Bottle openers (like the one pictured) ARE permitted in carry-on bags. However, If your opener has a knife blade, pack it with your checked baggage. All knives are prohibited from being packed in your carry-on. Visit for more information on permitted and prohibited items.


#TSATravelTip: Summer and fireworks seem to go hand in hand. These fireworks were a #TSAcatch from the Milwaukee Airport. Please remember that #fireworks are never permitted in carry-on or checked baggage.


Sometimes they find illegal things that they weren’t even looking for.


#TSACatch: During a routine #TSA bag search at #Philadelphia International Airport, these narcotics were discovered in a hollowed out book. While #TSA is not looking for narcotics, we report them to the proper authorities when they are discovered.


Over 150 firearms were found in carry-on bags in June this year. That is TERRIFYING!


#TSACatch: These are just a few of the 150+ loaded firearms discovered in carry-on (not checked) bags in June. While they are prohibited as a carry-on, did you know you can pack an unloaded firearm and ammunition in checked baggage as long as it’s properly packed and declared? Among other guidelines, the firearm must be placed in a hard-sided locked case. Read more about traveling with firearms and ammunition at


According to Wired, the TSA Press Secretary Ross Feinstein said, ““We’re just using a new mechanism to reach an audience with Instagram. We’re not trying to make a statement that people are trying to do anything nefarious with these items. We’re just trying to alert people that these are still prohibited items.”



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