Texas TSA Bungles 84MM Weapon Discovery


Image of the 84mm weapon | Image by TSA Southwest / Twitter

The TSA mistakenly accused a passenger of attempting to bring an undeclared weapon onto a plane on Monday.

TSA SouthWest sent out a tweet with a picture of the weapon stating officers “discovered this 84 mm caliber weapon in checked luggage. It was undeclared, as required when traveling with firearms or weapons.” The agency reminded customers of the legal risk of not declaring a weapon checked onto a flight and directed them to a TSA website with information.

It is the TSA’s policy to contact the police whenever an undeclared weapon is found at the airport. The TSA contacted the San Antonio Police Department, which took over the case. No charges were announced.

However, on Tuesday, the TSA put out a statement acknowledging its mistake, stating that the weapon had been declared, but the TSA had not been informed of this.

TSA SouthWest tweeted an update stating that it had “confirmed that the passenger declared the item in question to the airline at the check-in counter but TSA was not informed. Out of an abundance of caution, TSA did not allow the item through baggage screening.”

The weapon, an 84MM Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle developed and produced by Saab Bofors Dynamics, was demilitarized, meaning it is unusable.

“Most TSA officers are not commissioned law enforcement officers,” according to the ACLU, meaning that they cannot arrest you. However, there are usually law enforcement officers at the airport who do have the ability to make arrests and to whom TSA can turn you over. TSA is also allowed to conduct further screening of luggage, even if there are no signs of anything suspicious.

Firearms are not allowed in the main cabins of planes and are therefore not allowed in any carry-on luggage. However, they are allowed in checked luggage but only if the firearm is unloaded, packed in a hard container, and locked, as well as declared through whatever airline the passenger is traveling on.

TSA told NBC that almost any items can go in checked baggage as long as they are declared and “they’re not explosives, explosive replicas or certain incendiary devices.”

For more information about what is allowed in your luggage when you fly, click here.

For more information, specifically regarding firearms and ammunition, click here.

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