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TSA Reminds Passengers: No 'Batarang' Superhero Weapons On Flights

Batman's gun from <em>Batman v Superman</em> is displayed with a batarang and other weapons.
Frederic J. Brown
AFP/Getty Images
Batman's gun from Batman v Superman is displayed with a batarang and other weapons.

The Transportation Security Administration is reminding Batman enthusiasts to check their superhero weapons when they fly.

According to the TSA, people keep trying to carry "batarangs" — the sharp, metal, bat-shaped weapons that Batman throws at his enemies — onto planes, only to have them confiscated at airport security checkpoints.

Agents have confiscated batarangs at multiple airports, including in San Francisco, where these showed up in a carry-on bag.

TSA agents at the Salt Lake City International Airport shared an image on Instagram of multiple batarangs that came through a security checkpoint there, and reminded passengers that the bat weapons should be "placed in your checked baggage along with your grapple gun, bat-saw, collapsible bat-sword, and other utility belt items."

This isn't the first time the TSA has struggled with superhero-related weapons in airports.

A spokesman wrote on TSA's travel tips blog:

"Every year during Comic-Con International, our officers have issues with the various items that people purchase and then either carry-on or place in their checked bags. These come in the form of figurines, costume items (including replica and real weapons) and other mementos that generally alarm our checkpoint and checked baggage screening systems and result in a bag check."

In June, Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars movies, was stopped at the airport in Denver when agents thought his light saber-shaped walking cane looked suspiciously like an actual weapon.

After the incident, the TSA told The Associated Press: "Because of the unusual weight of the passenger's cane, a security officer alerted a supervisor." Mayhew, who is more than 7-feet tall, eventually made it through the checkpoint with his cane.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Corrected: January 10, 2019 at 9:00 PM PST
A previous version of this story incorrectly called the TSA the Transportation Safety Administration. It is the Transportation Security Administration.
Rebecca Hersher
Rebecca Hersher (she/her) is a reporter on NPR's Science Desk, where she reports on outbreaks, natural disasters, and environmental and health research. Since coming to NPR in 2011, she has covered the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, embedded with the Afghan army after the American combat mission ended, and reported on floods and hurricanes in the U.S. She's also reported on research about puppies. Before her work on the Science Desk, she was a producer for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered in Los Angeles.