Do Airport Security Checkpoints Sniff for Gunpowder?

This is a discussion on Do Airport Security Checkpoints Sniff for Gunpowder? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm travelling to Washington & Idaho this week for a while and my NY permit is not valid in Washington, so I'll have to leave ...

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Thread: Do Airport Security Checkpoints Sniff for Gunpowder?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Question Do Airport Security Checkpoints Sniff for Gunpowder?

    I'm travelling to Washington & Idaho this week for a while and my NY permit is not valid in Washington, so I'll have to leave my gun at home.

    A question poped up though and I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with clothing that you carried your gun in setting off any alarms at the airport?

    I will be wearing my jacket and fanny pack that I always carry my firearms in (empty, of course). My wife asked me if any remnant gunpower or material would set off any alarms.

    I thought it was a good question. Anyone have thoughts?

    Jonathan
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'm not aware of any airports in WA that have detectors. I had been warned when I flew out of Maryland, but even wearing clothes that had been shot with simunitions and just rinsed off in the hotel bathtub - I didn't get stopped.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    I've never seen a puffer in an airport, but if you are selected for a "special" TSA security check then the swab they do may pick it up.

    A common "Puffer":

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    Senior Member Array sisco's Avatar
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    I was 'randomly' selected to go through a puffer in Pittsburgh a couple of years ago.
    I'm a child of the 60's, but I got over it.

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    I've traveled in my carry clothes many times and never had any alarms set off.

    Even if you do set off some kind of alarm for "explosive substances" the worst they can do is check you and your luggage for weapons or explosives. When they find nothing you are on your way..

    There were traces of C-4 in my luggage from my brother (and EOD tech) once and it took me a little explaining but I still flew that day.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Array PaulJ's Avatar
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    they have one here in Jacksonville, and I never had an issue with it. But never went through it coming straight from the range either :). I have heard of people having issues after doing yard work and having fertilizer stuck to their clothing. Either way: if it detects something, all they will likely do is a secondary screening.
    I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)

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    Senior Member Array DMan's Avatar
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    They are known to randomly pick people swab their carry on (I have no idea what they do with checked luggage). This swab is used then placed on a sensor and it "snifs" it, checking for explosive. Although the first time they did this to me, I was using a bag I had my gun in when I took it to the range. After this I purchased some new bags dedicated to travel, and seperate bags for gun carry only. This way I wouldn't run into any potential probles latter on.
    "Gun Free Zones" is where only criminals carry guns.

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    I've had range and gun bags "swabbed" with nary a peep from the machine or a second look from TSA. Just my experiences tho.........YMMV

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array elkhunter's Avatar
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    Some do.
    I was "Sniffed" at Detroit Metro last spring.

    Wearing my shooting gloves. It didn't go off.
    It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)

    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.

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    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    I had a ski bag get swabbed a couple years ago and it came positive for explosives. I was shocked. The tech asked if we had a cat and I said yes, she said that can set off the same thing. Thought it was very strange.

    We had a blast on the ski trip :)
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

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    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    Shows how much I fly, I was reading the thread and I thought it was a joke, Never knew they had a sniffer, my wife is flying out to CA. next Sunday, better stay out of the range on Sat. lol!!!

    NCH
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!
    NCHornet

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    Pittsburgh is the only airport that I've ever encountered one in. If with all the powder (black and smokeless) I handle regurlarly didn't set it off I think your pretty safe.
    "Those who would give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety" -Benjamin Franklin-
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I carried a backpack I've carried guns and ammo in for years but took all firearm stuff out and put in other stuff like munchies and electronics,never got stopped
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Chooie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngda9 View Post
    I had a ski bag get swabbed a couple years ago and it came positive for explosives. I was shocked. The tech asked if we had a cat and I said yes, she said that can set off the same thing. Thought it was very strange.

    We had a blast on the ski trip :)
    It was probably urea that set off the detector.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    My luggage failed the security check in LAX a while back and I was returned by van to the security checkpoint. My suitcase was spread out an a chrome table. They took my ID and wrote in a large book, then asked me not a single question. The van returned me to my gate and off I went, but my luggage went on an different route. The only thing I can think of is that I was at a sports event that had some pyro at the beginning.
    I'm thinking if you go through a puffer, or have your shoes swabbed you'll get the big pat down. I'd avoid any clothes that might have shooting residue on them.

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