Most people are aware of the 3-1-1 rule that prohibits passengers from bringing any liquid, gel, or aerosol in a container that exceeds 3.4oz/100ml. But there are many more items that you aren’t allowed to bring in your carry-on.

To help you better navigate the TSA security screening process, here is a full list of items that the TSA prohibits from packing in your carry-on bag, arranged by category and alphabetically for easy reference.

Explosives/Flammable Materials

  • Bang snaps
  • Blasting Caps
  • CO2 cartridges
  • Chlorine for pools and spas
  • Dynamite
  • Fertilizer
  • Fire Extinguishers and Other Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Firecrackers
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable Liquid, Gel, or Aerosol Paint
  • Flammable Paints
  • Flares
  • Fuels (including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel)
  • Gas Torches
  • Gasoline
  • Gel-Type Candles
  • Hand Grenades
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Party Poppers
  • Plastic Explosives
  • Propane
  • Rainbow Flame Crystals
  • Realistic Replicas of Explosives
  • Recreational Oxygen
  • Spillable Batteries
  • Spray Paint
  • Spray Starch
  • Strike-anywhere Matches
  • Tear Gas
  • Torch Lighters
  • Turpentine and Paint Thinner
  • Vehicle Airbags

Guns and Firearms

  • Ammunition
  • BB guns
  • Compressed air guns
  • Firearms
  • Flare Guns
  • Flares
  • Gun Lighters
  • Gun Powder
  • Guns and Firearms parts
  • Pellet Guns
  • Realistic Replicas of Firearms
  • Starter Pistols

Sharp Objects

  • Box cutters
  • Ice Axes/Ice Picks
  • Kirpans
  • Knives (plastic or round bladed butter knives are allowed)
  • Meat Cleavers
  • Razor Blades
  • Sabers
  • Safety Razor with Blades attached
  • Scissors (if blade is longer than 4 inches)
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Swords
  • Utility Knives

Sporting Goods

  • Baseball Bats
  • Bowling pins
  • Bows and Arrows
  • Canoe/Kayak Paddles
  • Cricket Bats
  • Darts
  • Golf Clubs
  • Hiking poles
  • Hockey Sticks
  • Lacrosse Sticks
  • Pool Cues
  • Shoe/snow spikes
  • Ski Poles
  • Spear Guns


  • Axes and Hatchets
  • Cattle Prods
  • Circular Thread Cutters
  • Crowbars
  • Drills and Drill Bits (including cordless portable power drills)
  • Hammers
  • Mallets
  • Nail guns
  • Saws (including cordless portable power saws)
  • Screwdriver (longer than 7 inches)
  • Spear Guns

Martial Arts/Self Defense Items

  • Bear Bangers
  • Bear Spray
  • Billy Clubs
  • Black Jacks
  • Brass Knuckles
  • Kubatons
  • Night Sticks
  • Nunchucks
  • Self Defense Sprays (e.g. pepper sray)
  • Stun Guns/Shocking Devices
  • Tactical Pens
  • Throwing Stars

Miscellaneous Items

  • Battery-Powered Wheelchairs and Mobility Devices
  • Cast Iron Cookware
  • Chlorine for Pools and Spas
  • Corkscrews (with blade)
  • English Christmas Crackers
  • Heating Pad (Gel)
  • Magic 8 Ball
  • Medical-Clinical Thermometer (Mercury)
  • Slingshots
  • Snow Cleats
  • Tent Spikes
  • Walking Sticks

Consequences of Carrying Prohibited Items

If you try to bring any of the above items in your carry on, it is almost certain that you will get caught.

What happens after you’re caught will depend on the item you tried to bring, which may result in you having to surrender the item, a fine, or even arrest.

The more the item you attempt to bring on a plane impacts the safety of passengers, staff, and cabin crew, the more severe the consequences are likely to be.

For example, if you attempt to bring a firearm on a plane, you can receive a civil penalty that carries a maximum penalty of $14,950.

Attempting to bring a firearm with accessible ammunition can result in a $3,000 to $10,700 fine and a criminal referral.

Alternatives and Solutions for Transporting Prohibited Items

If you want to transport items that are restricted by the TSA to your destination, not all is lost.

  1. Check the Item in Your Luggage: Just because an item isn’t allowed in your carry-on, it doesn’t mean that it is forbidden in your checked bag. Such items include razors, firearms, and sporting equipment.
  2. Ship the Item: Shipping your item can be a viable solution. While shipping companies may have their own restrictions, you’ll find that there are far less strict than airports.
  3. Rent or Purchase the Item: Renting or purchasing the item at your destination is another option. For inexpensive items that are readily available or commonly used, this can be a better option.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).