GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Last week, a man was arrested after being caught with a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage while going through security at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township.
That incident was an accident, as are most gun incidents at airports. But those incidents have more than doubled across the nation in the last few years, which the Transportation Security Administration contributes to increasing complacency among travelers. So what else is the TSA finding at checkpoints?
The TSA is upping its efforts to get out ahead of your trip to wherever. It's seeing more guns in the airports -- and that's a big concern -- but that's not all officials are seeing plenty of as they check fliers' bags.
"Anytime you deal with the holiday, we have the non-experienced traveler," said Gerald R. Ford International Airport Acting Federal Security Director Max Harnish.
Most travelers end up on the other side of a security checkpoint with everything they started out with, but many others will lose some of their valuable possessions.
The .40 caliber handgun that the man left in his carry-on luggage last week obviously wasn't allowed. He faced a misdemeanor charge for leaving that in his bag. Other items are more commonly left for TSA agents to sniff out.
"Some of your bigger bludgeon items," said TSA spokesperson James Fotenos. "Sometimes these things show up just because passengers did not know they were prohibited, but something that can be used as a weapon is something that you shouldn't bring to an airport."
Among the cache of items captured during the last several days were hammers, pipes, wrenches and numerous knives.
TSA agents confiscate so many of these items at the Ford Airport that they don't even keep track. They fill several barrels full of prohibited items each year.
Aside from losing the item, bringing it to the airport can create a serious slowdown at the checkpoint, causing delays for you and other travelers.
And if caught with something illegal like a handgun, it can mean the difference between a trip to the Bahamas and a trip to the Kent County Jail.
"Just a couple minutes at your house before you leave, looking through your bag before you go to security can save yourself a lot of time and the time of those fellow travelers," said Fotenos.
The confiscated items become property of the State, which often auctions off the items by the pound.
Fred Glespie was found not guilty in the death of three children who died in an apartment fire.
Police are looking for the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred at a gas station in Plainwell Thursday night.
The rink will be open that day from 3-9 p.m.