TSA claims teen’s purse design is a federal offense

January 11th, 2012
A purse or a threat?

A purse, to most of us. To the TSA, a replica weapon and federal offense.

A 17-year-old pregnant Florida teen found herself in hot water with the fashion police TSA last month over the design on her purse.

TSA agents stopped Vanessa Gibbs in Virginia when they noticed that her purse had an antique-style western revolver emblem on it. An agent told Gibbs that the purse was “a federal offense because (the emblem) is in the shape of a gun”. Gibbs was detained while the TSA determined that the purse-gun wasn’t real and posed no threat. Even so, Gibbs wasn’t permitted to take the purse with her, and the TSA investigation took long enough that she missed her flight.

An image of Gibb’s purse is posted so you can see what all of the fuss was about. The gun design is clearly just a few inches in size.

The TSA later stated that they stood by their agents’ actions in the incident, adding that replica weapons have been banned since 2002. TSA representative Greg Soule said “Security checkpoints may be impacted or closed because replica weapons like toy guns, novelty grenades, fake bombs and other items appear similar to the real thing when viewed through an X-ray machine. Checkpoint closures cause significant delays, which can be avoided if passengers don’t bring these items to the airport.”

Sure, that logic makes sense. But does a three-inch antique revolver design on a purse classify as a “replica weapon”? Does the TSA believe that there are miniature terrorists out there that might be able to wield these things?

I know that the next time I go to the airport, I’m going to seriously think twice about wearing my favorite T-shirt.

Categories: General Idiocy Tags: ,
Comments are closed.