Teen Gets Busted by TSA for Gun Design on Purse

toy gunOkay, here's a riddle: When can a purse with a gun design on it get you in as much trouble as an actual gun? (I know, this is a really tricky one. You'll never get it!)

Ready? Here's the answer: When you're a teenager trying to board a flight in Norfolk, Virginia, and a TSA agent thinks taking your purse on the plane would be a federal offense.

See? I knew you'd never get it!

Yes, this absolutely absurd anecdote is 100 percent true.


Apparently the TSA has a rule banning "replica weapons" from carry-on bags. Fair enough. I can see why they wouldn't want an authentic-looking toy gun or knife on board. People tend to get a little skittish these days.

But a purse with a gun design on it? How does that even remotely fall into the category of "replica weapon"?

I don't get it. I've been trying to figure out how, if I were that teen's mom, I could possibly help her to make sense of such a ridiculous encounter. And sadly, the most appropriate and accurate words of wisdom I can come up with for this scenario are: Sometimes, honey, people are just idiots.

And I guess that's a lesson we all have to learn at some point or another, but it kind of sucks that this girl had to miss her flight because some moron thought her pocketbook was a "replica weapon." Eventually security figured out that the teen's purse wasn't actually a pistol in disguise and she was able to take a later flight. Well, I should hope so! Though to be completely honest, it wouldn't surprise me all that much if, instead, the poor kid got tossed in a jail cell for a night before this mess was resolved. A federal offense? If that's the truth, the rules clearly need to be revised. ASAP.

Hopefully this teen isn't so scarred and angry from her brush with injustice that she doesn't start carrying an actual gun.

What do you think of the TSA agent who wouldn't let the teen fly because of her purse?


Image via Joe Loong/Flickr

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