Pocket Knives and Airports - TSA Knife Rules
There are few things more handy or functional to carry on your person than a pocket knife. Whether you need to slice open a package, cut a fishing line or peel an apple, a pocket knife is a stellar tool. But what happens when you're heading to the airport with your pocket knife?
Security Regulations for Pocket Knives
After 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) drastically increased the number of prohibited carry-on items at airports, including the pocketknife. However, starting April 25, 2013, some small knives are once again allowed onboard.
What types of knives are allowed onboard starting April 25, 2013?
Even though the TSA is no longer prohibiting some knives on planes beginning April 25, 2013, there are still specific restrictions on what’s allowed. Passengers are only able to carry on a knife that meets four requirements:
- The blade must be smaller than 2.36 inches.
- The blade must have a width thinner than ½ inch.
- The knife cannot have a locking mechanism or fixed blade.
- The knife cannot have a molded grip.
You can see from the TSA example of allowed knives and the TSA example of prohibited knives that most knives are still not be allowed onboard. Always check your knife against the regulations as explained by the TSA.The good news is that even though you can't carry all types of knives on an airplane, you are allowed to check them in your luggage. Of course, if you're in the habit of putting your pocket knife in your pocket, there's a good chance you'll forget and end up walking through security.
What happens if my pocket knife doesn’t meet the requirements at security?
Don't worry, you won't be arrested or charged with breaking any law. TSA classifies banned items in two different sections, prohibited and unlawful. Prohibited items, such as pocket knives, are items that are completely legal outside of the airport. If you accidentally go through security with your pocket knife, you'll likely be given four options:
- Take the item back and check it in your luggage
- Give the item to someone who is seeing you off, if they are still at the airport.
- Take the item to your car
- Mail the item; TSA often has mailing supplies at security.
If I just leave my knife at security, what will happen to it?
According to TSA, this would only occur if the items were donated to a non-profit, which then sold them. TSA regulations deem all items left at security property of the federal government. Items are either destroyed or distributed to various non-profit or relief agencies.
What if I don't have a pocket knife?
Well, then you clearly don't have much inclination to taste or handiness. Luckily, Knife Depot carries a huge inventory of pocket knives, all backed with a 60-day money-back guarantee. And if you're not convinced you need a pocket knife, read this article about 6 things a pocket knife is handy for.
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