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Airports Seize 15,982 Knives Over Holiday Weekend

December 04, 2002  | 

Almost 16,000 pocket knives, 98 boxcutters, six guns, and a brick were seized at airports during the recent Thanksgiving weekend.

During the first holiday season since an all-federal work force took over screening at airports, things went surprisingly smoothly.

"Passengers moved efficiently through the airports, and customer service standards were upheld," says Michael Wascom, spokesman for the Air Transport Association.

At the 38 busiest U.S. airports over the Thanksgiving holiday, 1,072 clubs or bats, 3,242 banned tools, and 2,384 flammable items were confiscated.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the government has tightened restrictions on what can be taken on board a plane. Prohibited items are turned over to local police, where they're either kept as evidence or thrown away, according to Robert Johnson, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration.

"We would expect that, with the Christmas holiday, a lot of these people will be back and we hope they'll learn their lesson, Johnson said.

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