TSA agents likely see a lot of eye-opening stuff in an x-ray machine, but a replica grenade launcher can't be a common one.
Lehigh Valley International Airport Transportation Security Administration officers reported their confiscation of a replica rocket-propelled grenade launcher and grenade earlier this week, says an official TSA press release.
Apparently the St. Augustine, Florida man attempted to bring the unassembled launcher and a grenade onto the plane in his checked luggage. He claimed ignorance to the TSA rule that prohibits realistic or replica weapons of a military nature from being checked or carried on airplanes.
When TSA officers discovered the weapon's barrel, trigger, sights, and a grenade in the man's bag, they intercepted him at his departure gate and detained for questioning. The device, though able to be assembled, was not a functioning launcher and was deemed a very realistic replica. It still subjected the man to a possible $13,000 in civil penalties.
The unidentified person was allowed to board the flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport, the TSA says, albeit without his replica weapon. A complete list of penalties can be found here.
While you're at TSA.gov, it wouldn't hurt to familiarize yourself with the current firearms and ammunition guidelines and rules. Hunters and shooters should always be prepared with knowledge and the correct steps to get through security smoothly and safely. Know what you can and can't bring, and you'll save yourself a lot of time and frustration.
There are always a number of guns confiscated at TSA security checkpoints throughout the country in any given week, but what happened at this Allentown, Pennsylvania airport is going to be a story those agents tell for a long time. A small caliber handgun is one thing, but this fake weapon posed the threat of significantly bigger fire power. At least you can count on their security equipment to do their job when shoulder-mounted grenade launchers come into play.
As a recap, parts of a military rocket replica can NOT be brought on a plane, neither in a checked bag or carry-on luggage. Even if it isn't a functioning weapon, you're still violating a rule if you make that decision.
Leave your fake grenade launcher components at home next time, huh?