Airport security find an increase in unusual weapons - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Airport security find an increase in unusual weapons

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FARGO, N.D. -- Each week more than 8,000 passengers check their bags to fly out of Hector International Airport. In the last month alone TSA agents at the confiscated more than 50 weapons in carry-ons. But, it's not firearms TSA agents are concerned about, they've only confiscated five since 2010.

Alisha Piesik has her bags packed and is ready to board. Her and her family's first time traveling was just a few months ago, so making sure that the flight goes smoothly and safely is a top priority.

"I'm surprised they're finding an unconventional knife," said Piesik. 

And, it's happening more at Hector International Airport. 

At the security check point passengers are usually kicking themselves when they realize they've forgotten medication or a pair of shoes. For some that kick comes when they've realized they're still carrying a personal weapon. TSA told Valley News Live they typically find knives, but now, they're finding a spike in cat eyes and credit card knives.

"It's called 'cat eyes', and it is in the shape of a cat," said TSA Public Affairs Manager Lorie Dankers. But, it can be used as an item to poke somebody."

Here's the problem: these new types of weapons don't look threatening. Some are flat pieces of plastic that look just like your credit card.

"Anytime a passenger brings a prohibited item to the check point, our officers need to stop the screening process and they need to clear whatever that is in the bag," said Dankers. 

At that point passengers are given the choice to return the weapon to their car, mail it to themselves or hand it over. TSA can even levy a hefty civil penalty up to $7,500 for carrying a blade. 

"It is scary, because I don't understand why you would need that on a plane," said Piesik. 

With this new heightened awareness of these discrete weapons, the TSA is making sure families like the Piesik's are safely traveling the friendly skies.

TSA agents even told us they've seen drills and drill bits. Anything that's sharp and over six inches long can be considered a weapon. 

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