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TSA says airline passengers forgetting what they can't bring on board

PHOENIX -- The Transportation Security Administration says people don't seem to be getting the message not to try to bring a gun or other suspicious-looking items through airport security checkpoints.

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said that guns are a pretty common site at airports. "In calendar year 2013, the TSA found over 1,800 guns at our nation's airports," said Melendez. "That's almost five guns per day at airports around the country. Sixty-six of those guns were found here at Sky Harbor."

The airport is currently on a pace to have 48 guns found here this year, but Melendez cautions that may be a low figure. "It's early in the year," he said.

And it's not just guns that are being found. Melendez showed a toy grenade, as well as a perfume bottle in the shape of a grenade. Another item that looked like a grenade was actually a carrying case that has small screwdrivers inside.

"In just the past week, we've found a bowling pin, we found knives, a circular saw, golf clubs, baseball bats. Pretty much everything in the book that's not allowed is what we've found," said Melendez.

"Illegal items like brass knuckles and guns and loaded guns are going to cause an inconvenience for you. They could cause you to miss your flight, and could cause you to be fined up to $11,000 by the TSA," Melendez said.

Many times passengers either forget what they have with them that they can't bring on the plane, or don't realize that the item is not allowed.

To find out which items are prohibited, go to

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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