You can’t detect them, because they look normal:
One type is the exact size and shape of a credit card, except that two of the edges are lethally sharp. It’s made of G10 laminate, an ultra-hard material normally employed for circuit boards. You need a diamond file to get an edge on it.
Another configuration is a stabbing weapon which is indistinguishable from a pen. This one is made from melamine fiber, and can sit snugly inside a Bic casing. You would only find out it was not the real thing if you tried to write with it. It’s sharpened with a blade edge at the tip which Defense Review describes as “scary sharp.”
The FBI’s extensive Guide to Concealable Weapons has 89 pages of weapons intended to get through security. These are generally variations of a knifeblade concealed in a pen, comb or a cross—and most of them are pretty obvious on X-ray.
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