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TSA confiscates gunpowder at Honolulu Airport

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 03:15 p.m. HST, May 14, 2013

Routine screening of checked baggage at Honolulu Airport last week turned up two one-pound cans of black powder which were confiscated.

Transportation Security Administration said the two cans of rifle powder were discovered May 8 in a bag bound for a United Airlines flight to Chicago.

Law enforcement officers took possession of the containers for final disposition as the hazardous material is not permitted aboard flights. The discovery was made after the bag was checked in and not at a TSA passenger check point.

The passenger was not arrested or detained.

Last week, the FBI also held a passenger at Hilo Airport for questioning when he tried to check in luggage containing what appeared to be a modified pressure cooker. The item was found May 8 during a security screening. The man was not arrested and no explosives were found.

The find occurred after two bombs made from pressure cookers killed three people and injured more than 260 at the Boston Marathon on April 15.

The gunpowder was mentioned among the confiscated items in a TSA report for the week ending May 10. The same report said of 50 firearms confiscated nationwide in that period, 45 were loaded. 

Five knives so far have been confiscated this past year by the TSA at island airports.

» On April 26, a female passenger headed for Idaho on an American Airlines flight hid a knife with a 4-inch blade inside a hair brush at Maui Airport. The passenger was cleared to fly by law enforcement officers, but the knife was confiscated by TSA.

» On April 11 at Lihue Airport, an 83-year-old United Airlines passenger hid his 3 1⁄2-inch pocketknife in an empty toothbrush container because he was afraid it would be confiscated. The passenger was allowed to continue of his trip, but he lost the pocket knife.

»  On Jan. 20, a man tried to smuggle three knives in a thermos on a Hawaiian Airlines flight at Honolulu Airport. At the initial checkpoint, the passenger was permitted to leave the area with the knives to put them into his checked baggage. Instead, the man attempted to sneak them through in the thermos. The knives were confiscated and the passenger was allowed to book a later flight to Hilo.

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SueH wrote:
After idiots like these are found intentionally and willfully violating federal laws by smuggling contraband items through security check points, why are they not put on TSA's "No Fly List" and NEVER allowed to fly on the airlines again???? If the only consequence is losing their $2.00 pocketknife, then allowed to continue on their flight to Hilo, what's the risk to them?
on May 14,2013 | 11:56AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
Similar to you getting a speeding ticket and never allowed to drive on the road again. Do this to enough people and the roads will be cleared of all cars, but the economy and Govt. go bankrupt. Your choice. Pity.
on May 14,2013 | 01:27PM
bender wrote:
You get a speeding ticket you pay a fine, these folks aren't penalized at all. There should be some deterrance so TSA can focus on the real threats, and not have to watch out for the stupidity and arrogance of some passengers.
on May 15,2013 | 05:50AM
gari wrote:
yes at lease put them on the list for review ...esp contraband in thermos ????
on May 14,2013 | 03:31PM
sailfish1 wrote:
The man with the gunpowder should have been arrested. Gunpowder is "highly flammable" and "explosive" and was a danger to the plane.
on May 14,2013 | 11:48PM
DeltaDag wrote:
Before the USA lost the war against terrorism, people once traveled by air and transported smokeless powder in checked baggage. (This was smokeless powder, not black powder which has a very different classification.) In unopened factory containers, smokeless "gunpowder' is quite safe, perhaps safer to travel with in checked baggage than some lithium batteries.
on May 15,2013 | 02:26AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
You do realize that computer and phone batteries have a higher probability of spontaneous combustion in comparison to this material and its packaging?
on May 15,2013 | 07:02AM
loquaciousone wrote:
What? No pressure cookers?
on May 15,2013 | 08:47AM
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