Reprimanded by TSA in Airport
My wife and I were flying home from Houston this week, having attended my father's funeral (he was buried in a Veterans Cemetery with full military honors and I had the honor of sounding taps). My 9mm Kahr MK9 was locked in a hard case, ammunition boxed and all tucked away in my checked bag (along with my trumpet) and declared to the ticket agent. Another ticket agent observed as I demonstrated the pistol to be unloaded and wanted to know all about it. The belt pouch in which I carry both a spare magazine and a flashlight remained on my belt, as I might need the flashlight in the case of an inflight emergency.
When I got to the security checkpoint, Xray discovered a loose cartridge in the bottom of the pouch. I could see the TSA agent examining the pouch and call over a supervisor. I suspected what they had found and alerted my wife. She started fretting about me getting arrested and such. I told her to stop giving them ideas and please let me do the talking since it was me they'd want to talk to anyway. They called me over, showed me the cartridge and told me it was illegal. I told them I appreciated that it was illegal and explained that it must have inadvertantly slipped out of the spare magazine during legal concealed carry activities. The supervisor asked me to stand to the side while they investigated.
My wife and I were standing there alone and she was very upset, so I explained that they would probably check my identity, find out I have a clean criminal background, slap my wrist and let me board our flight. I asked her to proceed to the departure gate and I would meet her there in a short while. She complied; I'm glad because she was making me nervous. Everything went as I predicted. The supervisor came back about twenty minutes later, told me that I would receive a letter of reprimand from TSA and if I do it again I would be fined. I asked the amount of the fine and she didn't know. I guessed $1,000 and she responded that that was the low end of what I might expect. The agents were all professional and polite, and I remained good natured and cooperative throughout.
The threat of a $1000 fine is enough to insure that it will not happen again. The wife is going to have a cow next time we travel and I announce that I am going armed; just another bridge to cross when I come to it.
Not Quite An Encounter With the TSA
I am sorry to say that I had a encounter once that went suprisingly well. I had to go visit the IRS in a Federal Building in another state I lived in. Well, I had a winter jacket on that I had taken shooting a few days before. Well, I happen to miss the 9mm round that was in the pocket. Well, as I emptied my pockets with the folders of paperwork that had all IRS forms, the bullet appeared. Well, the guard at the door said "You cant have this in here". I said that I was sorry and must have missed it while plinking, and he replied "Well, I will have to plink this away from you". I thought that I was in trouble, well, he said I could go to the office I needed to. I did my buisness and on the way out, he gave it back to me! I was SHOCKED!! Post 9/11, and I didnt get into any trouble! Too bad that TSA couldnt do things the same way, I mean it wasnt like you had a hammer, and screw driver to activate the primer on a single bullet, when the could have checked that you had a gun in a checked bag. O Well. :blink: