If you’re one of those people who is irritated by airport security theater — that is, if you’re a person who ever flies — this story is going to make your blood boil. TSA prevented a 17 year old girl from getting on a plane because the western style purse she was carrying had a gun as part of the design.
Gibbs said she had no problem going through security at Jacksonville International Airport, but rather, when she headed home from Virginia.
“It’s my style, it’s camouflage, it has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs said.
But her preference for the pistol style didn’t sit well with TSA agents at the Norfolk airport.
Gibbs said she was headed back home to Jacksonville from a holiday trip when an agent flagged her purse as a security risk.
“She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun,'” Gibbs said. “I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'”
After agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, TSA told her to check the bag or turn it over.
By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at JIA.
TSA isn’t budging on the handbag, arguing the phony gun could be considered a “replica weapon.” The TSA says “replica weapons have prohibited since 2002.”
It’s a rule that Vanessa feels can’t be applied to a purse.
“Common sense,” she said. “It’s a purse, not a weapon.”
Is there not a single thinking person at TSA?