A man from Jacksonville, Texas was briefly detained for carrying a missile launcher in his luggage at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, last Monday, July 30.
Transport Security Administration (TSA) officers found the—unloaded—military-grade weapon in a checked bag on Monday, July 29, and alerted the BWI Police.
The airport police tracked down the owner and detained him for questioning.
“Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms in checked baggage if they are properly packaged and declared,” the TSA said in a release, according to Capital Gazette. “Firearms must be unloaded, packed in a hard-sided case, locked, and packed separately from ammunition. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality.”
The unidentified man had been on active military duty stationed in Kuwait. He was on his way home to Jacksonville. He wanted to keep the rocket launcher—two stickers included—as a souvenir.
However, military weapons are not allowed in checked bags or hand luggage, but at the same time they are not illegal, TSA spokeswoman, Lisa Farbstein, told the outlet.
.@TSA officers at @BWI_Airport detected this missile launcher in a checked bag early this morning. Man said he was bringing it back from Kuwait as a souvenir. Perhaps he should have picked up a keychain instead! pic.twitter.com/AQ4VBPtViG
— TSAmedia_LisaF (@TSAmedia_LisaF) July 29, 2019
TSA said the weapon was “not live,” but it was confiscated and delivered to the state fire marshal for due destruction. The man was allowed to continue his journey.
A Twitter user by the name “They Called Him Leif” commented on the story, saying: “It’s actually an empty tube that has already expended its missile and is literally unable to be refired. Congrats: you found something literally unable to cause harm to anyone unless you bonk your head on it. But we didn’t need further evidence that TSA is terrible at its job.”
10 Ridiculous Things Passengers Thought the TSA Wouldn’t Notice
Believe it or not, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) keeps an Instagram account and blog of all the contraband it confiscates from passengers. Here are a few that the TSA has confiscated from carry-on bags.
1. The TSA was stumped by this one. Turns out its a weapon used by Draven, a character from League of Legends.
2. An airbag was discovered in a carry-on at the Sacramento International Airport, which is contraband because the airbag’s actuator (a type of motor) is on the TSA’s list of hazardous materials.
3. James Bond-style concealed weapons turn up more than you’d think. All three of these knives were discovered at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport in a single week.
4. A Batarang was found at San Antonio airport. I bet the passenger was sorry to lose this one.
5. I suppose the “stun” setting tipped the TSA off that this wasn’t an ordinary cell phone. Or maybe they were just suspicious of anybody using such an old school phone. This stun gun was found at Baltimore Washington International Airport.
6. If you’re going to try to smuggle a knife on a plane, it’s probably not a good idea to disguise it as a gun as this Baltimore Washington International Airport passenger did.
7. The FBI was called in to arrest the passenger who tried to get a homemade avalanche charge aboard a flight in Anchorage.
8. Although this souvenir monster was holding an inert grenade, it turns out grenades, live or inert, are prohibited from carry-on and checked bags. Thank you Colorado Eagle County Regional Airport passenger.
9. This one was just a fishing lure in the shape of a grenade, but once again, TSA had to call in the explosives detection professionals and law enforcement to determine that. Never a dull moment with holiday fishers at Anchorage International.
10. Fireworks were discovered in what the TSA deemed to be a ceramic Trojan horse. Ironically, they were confiscated at the Helena Regional Airport in Montana.
Epoch Times reporter Cindy Drukier contributed to this report.