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Unpleasant experience at airport

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Gun Wielding Maniac, Jan 8, 2006.

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  1. Gun Wielding Maniac

    Gun Wielding Maniac Member

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    I've been sitting on this for a while. I told it to a few friends, who recommended that I post this here to see what you guys think.

    Over the Christmas holidays, I typically fly out to Arizona to stay with family. It isnt quite as traditional to have the christmas tree up in such warm climes, but I put up with it to get a break from the drab weather in KY for a few days. My stepfather is a member of a local gun club near Phoenix and we often go shooting together while I was there. I brought with me an FN High Power, which I was going to take up to Don Williams, near Prescott, to have customized while I was there. I'd also brought my XD-9 for bang-bang fun. The following incident happened while I was preparing to board the plane. It just goes to show what can happen in our ridiculously risk averse bureaucracy.

    I was checking two bags to go to Arizona. Inside one of the bags I had a locked combination case with two pistols. As is customary, I went to the terminal and while checking the bags told them I needed to declare a couple of firearms. The lady had me open up the box and show the guns were unloaded. While she was rooting around in there, she found my little bottle of mace. Now, I've carried this locked away in this box on several airplane flights before this with no problems. But today, this corpulent lady told me I wasnt allowed to have it. I asked if she could mail it back to my place and she shook her head, saying she'd have to dispose of it. I guess the look on my face told her how I felt about that, cause she asked me if there was a problem. I told her no, take it, cause I didnt have anyone who could take the mace back home with them. So, I got the firearms declared and carried them over to the X-ray machine. She told me I could go, since the pistols were declared, but I knew that sometimes the TSA guys like to open the lock boxs again, despite the declaration. If you arent there to give the combo, they'll break it right open.

    Sure enough, they called me over. They had a young lady look through my lock box. She called over her foreman and pointed to soemthing in the box. He picked up his radio and started calling people. I asked if there was a problem and she said "we've found a round. You can't have that." I pointed out to her that it was quite allright to have ammunition with the guns, provided they were not IN the guns. Further, I'd been quite sure that there were no loose rounds rolling around in the case. I asked to see what she'd found. She picked it up and showed me. It was a snap cap.

    A snap cap is a plastic or aluminum dummy round, lacking any powder, primer, or indeed, any separate pieces. This one was milled of solid aluminum and was clearly marked snap cap on the bottom. I told her this was a dummy round and she didnt know what I was talking about. When her foreman came back, I told him the same and he said "We'll let the professionals make that assertion." I blinked. Wasnt he the professional?

    Shortly thereafter, the Louisville Police Department came over to take a look. Yep, the TSA called the cops on me :B The cop, a middle aged man with a gut, looked at the snap cap for a few seconds, rolling it over in his hands and saying, "We're going to have to confiscate this. Its a prohibited item." I just stood flabbergasted for a few seconds. I told the cop it was a dummy round, a snap cap, totally lacking powder and he just looked at me blankly. They took the round and told me I could seal the box, after fumbling with my items inside.

    As you can imagine, I was quite turned off by this and even more so at the sight of the woman who had confiscated my Mace STILL holding and twirling it around on her finger as I walked by. Obviously, she had no intention of destroying it and likely, it ended up in her purse :b.

    The irony of the situation is this. I'd carried ammunition and the mace as well as a good knife in my lockbox before with no problems whatsoever. More irony, the idiotic TSA people and the cops BOTH failed to look in the the speedloader I had sitting right next to the pistols. Inside was a Browning High Power magazine loaded with 13 rounds of Speer 124 grain +P 9mm ammunition. Quite the thorough search, there.

    To add insult to injury, as I was waiting to board the plane, with only a few minutes left before it took off, my name was publically annouced over the intercomm, requesting me to come back to the security check point. I rushed back there, wondering what the hell they were going to steal from me now. Turns out they wanted to fill out a POLICE REPORT on the incident and needed my ID, phone number, contact info, etc. I barely made it back to my plane.

    I have to say that this incident has turned me off from flying. I caution those of you who fly with firearms to be discrete and dont carry anything that might give the people there an excuse to steal.
     
  2. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

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    Be thankful we don't live in a police state. :rolleyes:

    Its dren like this that has caused me to swear off flying.
     
  3. georgeduz

    georgeduz Member

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    they did steal your mase,they do that all the time,they help themselfs to whatever they like.they dont destroy anything it goes home with them at the end of the day.
     
  4. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Member

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    Sad But True

    Under the gun by the Feds to get Airport Security in place by a certain date, private contractors went scampering about across the country..hiring to make quota.

    As you experienced first hand, they hired some idiots.

    My wife had mace in her purse 10 years ago, which was snapped up..so thats old news.

    But you jumped through the required hoops to put your weapons in the "belly", as dictated by law, and it seems the chuckle heads made something out of nothing.

    That's why we drive as well.

    Take Care
     
  5. HankB

    HankB Member

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    It's the sort of thing that makes you want to pack some "special" ammo handloaded to produce 150,000 PSI. When they "confiscate" it and use it in their own pistol over the weekend, they'll end up combing shrapnel out of their hair.
     
  6. YankeeRebel

    YankeeRebel Member

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    Some say that TSA stands for Too Stupid for ARBY'S.
     
  7. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    George-

    Just to whom are you referring by "them?"

    TSA=Too Stupid for Arby's I gotta remember that one.

    TSA= Thousands Standing Around
     
  8. obm

    obm Member

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    kind of messed up that we are resorting to calling our fellow americans thiefs and idots just because they work for the TSA or the airlines.

    not very high road.

    everyone's lives were made a bit more difficult since 9/11. one of the sacrifices we make as citizens during a time of war is enhanced security measures. imperfect as these measures are, they are as good as it gets considering the scale at which they must be deployed.

    i believe everyone has a right to bitch about bad service, but making unfounded allegations of instutitionalized theft is just wrong.
     
  9. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    "We'll let the professionals make that assertion."

    LMFAO!

    [​IMG]

    It's things like this that have made me distrust all authority.

    jmm
     
  10. GRB

    GRB member

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    I can understand your frustration. I have traveled armed before in the line of duty. I have been given a hard time then, being told that I could not carry a pocket knife onto an aircraft while at the same time carrying a loaded 9MM pistol with 4 spare magazines. I was flying as an Air Marshal. Yes the people who work for TSA have, in my opinion, rather terrible training. It took two supervisors and a mention of impeding a federal officer before the TSA guys let me go to my flight. I had a good laugh or two over it later but was pretty upset that day. I was mad not so much because the guys were less than professional and obnoxiously stubborn and ignorant, I was mad because had I missed my flight and it was takemn down by a terrorist the fault would have all been because of some illinformed TSA employee. I have also been hassled with personal firearms. It may seem a little ridiculous when they take a snapcap or call the polce to check things out. Been there, done that in essence. Laugh about it now, next time carry a copy of TSA and airline regulations (for the specific airline you are flying) with you. Show it to the TSA people if they hassle you again. Before you condemn them though, are you absolutely that a snap cap is not a forbidden item? There could have been some technicality that made it a forbidden item, I know this maybe ridiculous if in fact true, but if those are the rules, then their actions were not so far fetched. I am ot defending TSA, had too many run ins myself, just wondering if for some reason a loose piece of even 'artificial' ammunition would be prohibited.

    Now on another issue from your experience - the mace. I do not care one bit to hear how many times you violated the law and FAA regulations by bringing mace onto an aircraft in the past, that does not justify you doing it again. You have absolutely no right to bring mace onto an aircraft, not even in checked luggage. Pepper Spray is another story as certain amounts in checked baggage are ok, but mace is absolutely forbidden on a commercial aircraft that carries passengers. The airline and or TSA has every right to confiscate it from you. To assume that the woman behind the counter was going to steal it is a bit far fetched. She gets brownie points for finding it and turning it in. Sometimes, when they discover a role player with a forbidden item, they get a nice sized chunk of cash as a reward (at some airports). She probably had to wait for a supervisor or TSA person to come to get it from her, therefor the twiddling with it as you walked by.

    While you maybe were right to be upset about the TSA and police response to a snapcap, I don't think you had any right to be upset about the mace. Of course, getting angry over the snapcap incident would be enough to have it carry over to the mace for anyone. I am not faulting you for being upset, just pointing out that they were well within their rights to seize the mace, and that had they not done so after it was discovered, then they would have been guilty of negligence had the mace leaked and caused any problems in the aircraft. The contents of just one can of mace, even a small one, would be enough to screw over the cockpit crew if it gets into the ventilation system. Think about that before trying to get one on a plane in the future.

    As for a statement like the following, from an apaprent troller:
    Please don't lend credence to people who make such irresponsible and blatantly false statements. I have been in federal service for 26 years now, I have never helped myself to anything I have liked that belonged to anyone else. I also have seen airline personnel properly dispose of confiscated items before. My guess, and this is just a guess, is that a person who would make such a statement is projecting his/her own self image and experience, of how he/she does things, onto others. That self image would most likely be, in my opinion, one of: disrespectful attitudes toward others, poor upbringing, low morals, thieving lifestyle, low self esteem and so forth. Of course, as I said, this is a guess and it could be wrong but that would be my guess. Regardless of the overall character of the person who wrote that, the truth is that such a statement is, in my estimation, just little more than methane gas emanating from the brain of the writer - what was it that Andy Warhol called them - "brain farts", yes that is the term.

    Below is just another example, in my opinion, of another brain fart:
    Dah, yeh thet wood be KoOl woodunt it! Hank you should be really proud of yourself for even mentioning it.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    maniac,

    since they took a police report, i'd definitely demand a copy of it. if it documents their stupidity, i'd follow up with a letter to the TSA and demand to know why they wrongfully confiscated your property which was clearly not prohibited.

    take care not to threaten or do anything overly beligerent, and cc: your state AG. (for no good reason)

    file a complaint with the louisville PD
     
  12. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    :barf:
    Nonsense.
    Know the difference between what teenage boys do with porn and these security measures? A teenage boy has a little someting to show for his efforts when he's done.
    These "security measures" do exactly nothing to stop a determined evildoer. It's feel good nonsense. Plain and simple. It's worse than ineffective. It actually endangers the public, by ensuring honest citizens are disarmed before boarding.

    I have heard many stories of cartridge keychains and such being confiscated, so I suspect this may be the case here. However, as I understand, the TSA also has regulations enabling them to seize any object they deem a threat, even though it is not prohibited.
     
  13. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Jorge Bush has a plan; unfortunately, it includes keeping Mineta, a representative of the Democratic (sic) party, feeding at the federal trough.

    I'm not sure a Republican would do any better, mind, but am very sure much of what's so outrageous about flying these days is directly attributable to Norman Mineta.
     
  14. GRB

    GRB member

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    So, since this thread specifically deals with the security measures that were taken involving confiscation of mace, are you in essence saying that people should abe allowed to arm themselves with mace while aboard a commercial passenger airliner? If that is what you are saying, please tell me about the effects of mace being let loose into the ventilation system of such an airliner while in flight at about 40,000 feet. Would that be a good tactical move, would it help to protect anyone from any threat on the aircraft - or would it be plain out and out a stupid thing to do? As I often fly armed, I really would love to hear a detailed reply to these questions with your data or references that support your answers. Thanks.
     
  15. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Member

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    IMO...

    ...what's so outrageous about flying, and the reasons for the unpleasant experiances can be placed directly at the feet of George Bush.

    Given the the crime wave oozing from the White House, I doubt ANYTHING the Republicans might do would be in the interest of the average American.

    Take Care
     
  16. obm

    obm Member

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    er, have your read your dale carnegie quote in your signature lately?

    ;)
     
  17. fjolnirsson

    fjolnirsson Member

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    Actually, it involves the confiscation of mace and snap caps. Not just mace.
    The confiscation of mace makes perfect sense to me, since an aircraft is a sealed environment, and any discharge of mace would affect any passengers on the plane. That's not what I'm refering to. Not allowing mace on an aircraft is a sensible safety precaution.
    However, perhaps you can tell me how the confiscation of knitting needles from old women, toenail clippers from everybody, and a medal of honor from a WW2 veteran makes us safer. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any safety precautions for boarding an aircraft. I'm saying the ones we have are ludicrous, and a disgraceful affront to the American people.
    That said, the American people put up with it, so I'm sure things will continue as they have.
     
  18. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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  19. meef

    meef Member

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    :rolleyes:

    Oh brother......
     
  20. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Most of you are completely wrong about mace/pepper spray in checked baggage. It is NOT a prohibited item at least in the latest document from TSA. This is dated 4-1-05

    Here I quote the following from TSA documents, and a link:

    http://www.tsa.gov/interweb/assetlibrary/Prohibited_English_4-1-2005_v2.pdf

    Correction, looked again and the list was updated 12-22-05. Mace/pepper spray are still OK.

    http://www.tsa.gov/public/interweb/assetlibrary/Permitted_Prohibited_NEW.pdf
     
  21. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Member

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    Charter A Plane

    And avoid the grief. Told to me by a guy who can afford it. I can't. Sadly, that's what it's come to.

    The average John and Joan are going to have to put up with the security hoops if they are going to fly...while those who can afford it(and I certainly don't begrudge them the fact) will be half way to their destination by the time Joe is opening his first bag of peanuts waiting to take off.

    I've strayed from the topic, however..the mace snagging has been going on at least 10 years.

    Take Care
     
  22. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    dont feel bad. i have five pounds of inert brass confiscated. when i told the tsa guy that it was inert, and showed him, after declaring it, he said he'd call the cops up if i didnt drop it. i told him he could throw it out, it wasnt a big deal. he then photo copied my drivers liscense. im sure im on a great list for that one. i made sure to tell him that he was probably the stupidest most ignorant person i had met, and that now that he stoped todays act of terrorism im sure he can go home with a sense of pride in his otherwise useless life. i was furious. the fact that their was NO curtosey. im fine with doing your job. i understand that, what i am not tolerent of is people in positions of authority who lack competence.

    best part is the took the brass in my checked bag, but left the two dissassembled magazines in my carry on.

    darwin would be proud.
     
  23. beaucoup ammo

    beaucoup ammo Member

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    Friendly Skies

    "Most of you are completely wrong about mace/pepper spray in checked baggage. It is NOT a prohibited item at least in the latest document from TSA. This is dated 4-1-05"

    Perhaps we'd all better check the volume of our mace spray. According to Post#1, the Security people aren't aware of the change..or not schooled in the amount allowed.

    Take Care
     
  24. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    I carry a printout of that stupid list with me everywhere. I run into the same crap all the time.

    It's always a good idea to have their rules printed out ahead of time when you carry any of these things. It's saved me many headaches.

    4oz is a crapload of the stuff too.

    The letter says 4 oz, not 4 fl oz. It also says that's the same as 118ml. So which is it?
    Weight or volume? 4 oz is 113 grams. Either way my largest Key Defender only has a charge of 10 grams, so it can't possibly approach the limit.

    4oz of pepper spray is PLENTY :)


    And this is not a "change". 4oz of mace/pepper spray has been OK since at least Jan of '02, that's the oldest copy of that list I've been able to find.

    The wording has not changed at all in at least 4 years.
     
  25. mete

    mete Member

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    They are brainless .I read last week of another child ,aged 4, who was stopped from flying because he happened to have the same name as someone on the do not fly list !! A 4 year old terrorist ???
     
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