TSA to Allow Small Pocket Knives and Some Sporting Goods Carry-Ons Starting April 25

Update 4/22/13: National news sources have indicated that the TSA has delayed implementing these proposed changes to carry-on policies. No other details at this time. So you can leave those lacrosse sticks and 2.36 inch pocket knives in your checked bags for the time being.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced yesterday that certain items currently prohibited as carry-ons will become allowed on board beginning April 25, 2013.

TSA has decided that allowing the following items as carry-ons will free up more time to find really bad stuff like explosives:

  • Small Pocket Knives (with non-locking blades smaller than 2.36 inches and less than 1/2 inch in width)
  • Small Novelty Bats and Toy Bats: Bats 24 inches or shorter in length or 24 ounces or less; or bats longer than 24 inches and less than 24 ounces.
  • Ski Poles, Hockey Sticks, Lacrosse Sticks, Billiard Cues, Golf Clubs (up to 2 golf clubs).

It will be interesting to see if TSA will actually free up time with these new rules given they'll have to whip out the scales and measuring tape to determine if a plastic bat is over 24 ounces or if a pocket blade knife is shorter than 2.36 inches. I'm looking at a ruler right now and am having a hard time discerning exactly what .36 inches is. Ah ha, I've figured it out now from the following handy TSA chart...2.36 inches equals 6 centimeters!

They really drill into the details in the following chart. Might be a great time to start selling non-locking pocket knives with half inch wide, 6 cm blades and non-molded grips to take advantage of these new rules!

But of course we should be reminded of knives that are NOT allowed in the following pictorial. And also, razor blades, box cutters, scissors, swords, meat cleavers, ice picks and the like still can only be packed in your checked luggage after being properly wrapped. Better yet, unless you're a butcher, leave that meat cleaver at home!

So now let's get into the fun stuff...novelty baseball bats. Check out the TSA guidance on toy bats you can carry on to the plane. I may test the system some day and attempt to bring aboard a 25 oz plastic whiffle ball bat and see what happens.

And last but not least, the TSA chart showing sports equipment that will soon be able to grace our presence in an overhead storage bin. Oh joy.

Currently prohibited carry-on sporting goods not on the chart above include spear guns, baseball bats, bows and arrows and cricket bats. I've never seen a cricket carry a bat but I'd imagine if one did that bat would be pretty small. :)

I'm not quite getting why TSA won't allow my kid to bring a 25 oz plastic baseball bat on the plane while there's a guy in Row 27 with 2 golf clubs and a hockey stick but hey, who am I to challenge the rules. As long as they let me bring my iPad on the plane, I'm good to go.

For more information on these new rules, visit the TSA website at www.tsa.gov or the TSA Blog (yes, even the TSA has a blog now!) at blog.tsa.gov.