Brass knuckles, flashlight stun gun, gun-shaped coffee mug: Odd items confiscated at TSA checkpoints

The Christmas rush is here and if you are flying out of town, the last you thing you want is to get held up in the security line at the airport.

The Transportation Security Administration at Reagan National Airport showed FOX 5 its stash of items recently confiscated at checkpoints, including a huge bin of knives and tools.

"So you've got the folding blade knife, you've got the ceramic knife," said TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein. "You got the steak knife - this one has clearly recently been used."

Screeners also found brass knuckles, a stun gun made to look like a flashlight and a sickle that seemed to belong at a Renaissance Festival.

It's not just real weapons that are banned from carry-ons, but fakes ones as well. A gun-shaped coffee mug and a belt covered in replica bullets were among the items confiscated.

"That's not the kind a fashion statement you want to make at an airport," Farbstein said.

A fake explosive, like a grenade-shaped trailer hitch, could cause an evacuation of the entire checkpoint.

"We are going to call the explosive team to come check it out," said Farbstein. "We might have to get a bomb squad."

For anything questionable, it is easier than ever to check with TSA ahead of time. You can tweet a photo to @AskTSA. Some recent photos include a box of candy canes (allowed in a carry-on) and a bottle of eggnog (not allowed).

"Somebody did take a snapshot of an alligator head and sent that to @AskTSA to ask if they were allowed to bring that through the checkpoint," said Farbstein. "And, indeed, they were permitted to do so. That is certainly not on a prohibited items list."

You can also take your questions to and click on "What can I bring?" at the top of the page.

A final reminder that you have a lot more leeway with what you pack in checked luggage. Knives or a gun-shaped coffee mug or bullet belt can go with you on your flight - just not through the TSA checkpoint.