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Behind-the-scenes look at McCarran Airport security

Posted at 11:26 PM, Dec 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 06:42:29-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The TSA took 13 Action News behind the scenes to show some of the many prohibited items that have been taken by security at McCarran International Airport.

McCarran Airport is known as the gateway from the world to Las Vegas.

In 2017, the airport moved over 48 million travelers, meaning TSA agents are kept on their toes scanning bags at nearly all hours of the day.

“TSA is constantly reviewing our security protocols and procedures to make sure were staying ahead of what we call the evolving threat,” says Transportation Security Administration Spokesperson Lori Dankers.

13 Action News spoke with passengers at baggage claim Sunday know the strict rules on what can make it to the gate.

“You literally have to use a ziplock bag and just whatever fits in there is all you can take,” said one passenger.

But agents have come across nearly any and everything that doesn't belong in carry on and checked bags.

“It's hard to believe that someone actually brought their saw and that would be acceptable.”

That's just one of hundreds of items prohibited.

Of course the standard tools, knives and even guns have been taken by TSA agents at McCarran.

Some wacky items have been taken too. TSA showed credit card knives, a rolling pin and even a Batman throwing star.

Once taken, these items end up here in a backroom tucked away behind the terminals.

So how do agents scan and find these potential weapons before making their way onto a plane?

“When officers see this on the screen it creates a bag check they will re-run the bag or have to see into the bag to see the item to remove it.”

At the point a prohibited item is identified, TSA gives passengers various options.

One option is to use a mail service to get that item shipped to their destination.

The item could also be left with a family member that’s not flying who is still at the airport.

Of course that isn't always the option for folks visiting Las Vegas, leaving many to simply forfeit the item to TSA.

Checking out potential prohibited items can definitely tie up the line when scanning carry on bags.

TSA says a quick moving line also falls on passengers doing their part to check what they have first.

“Our officers are available and ready to screen the passengers but those passengers are a partner in security to make sure those things move quickly,” says Dankers.

TSA has their own searchable online database of items you can or can’t bring on a plane: TSA: What Can I Bring?