TSA Screeners Play Fashion Police, Force Woman to Miss Flight Over Aesthetically Displeasing Purse


pistol purse

We already knew the TSA had a thing against grenade bling. Taking a cue from Britain's fear of Thumbelina terrorists, the TSA now reminds us that tiny pistol purses aren't cool either:

Vanessa Gibbs, 17, claims the Transportation Security Administration stopped her at the security gate because of the design of a gun on her handbag.

Even after they figured out the gun was a fake, TSA officials still wouldn't let her take the purse into the cabin. They also took so long that Gibbs missed her flight.

Vanessa and her mom said it's hard to believe anyone could mistake the design on the purse for a real gun because it's just a few inches in size and it's hollow, not to mention Vanessa has taken it on planes before.

TSA isn't budging on the handbag, arguing the phony gun could be considered a "replica weapon." The TSA says "replica weapons have [been] prohibited since 2002."

More Reason on the Transporation Security Theater Administration

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  1. TSA – too stupid to understand the difference between ‘replica’ and ‘depiction’.

    1. If feel like Frank Grimes every time I go through an airport. “if you lived in any other country in the world, you’d have starved to death long ago.”

      1. Or Grimey, as he liked to be called…

        1. This is a palace! I live in a one-room apartment above a bowling alley and below another bowling alley.

          1. +1 Homer.

      2. Natural selection. Where are you when we need you?

    2. It’s probably more like the screeners saw the gun on the bag and simply didn’t like it — you think those screeners have memorized the precise definition of every prohibited item? — then a couple of days later after the story breaks the spin doctors figure that the ban on “replica weapons” is the closest fit.

      The MSM ignores it because they don’t like guns in the first place, there’s a little fuming from relatively powerless blogs, and by the next round of American Idol the sheeple have forgotten about it if they ever knew.

      1. “the sheeple ”

        the attempt to use that in serious conversation disqualifies you from being considered intelligent forever

        1. Why? Is “sheeple” a bad word in your language?

    3. TSA – staffed by people whose last job was in an airport fast food joint.

  2. What can you really say to this. I mean seriously. There has to be some physical limit on how stupid people can be.

    1. Not when it comes to government.

      1. I doubt they would be any smarter in a private job.

        1. They wouldn’t have the power to do anything other than make me a burger in the private sector.

          1. Really, have you seen the quality of private security guards?

            In my area, many are the people the TSA wouldn’t hire.

            1. Oh, they might be qualified to run the shake machine… but definitely not the fryers.

        2. In the private sector stupid people are dispersed and have no means to coalesce into a group identity. Not only can they in the public sector, but that is the norm.

          1. This is a profound observation.

          2. People with common sense and intelligence are not attracted to jobs like that. Stupids are. As the stupids wriggle into a hiring capacity they are unlikely to hire someone who is smarter than themselves, thus perpetuating the stupidity and moving to the lowest common denominator.

            1. I resemble that remark!

    2. This is the Obama admin, Almighty. The stoopid didn’t stop after Bush left office.

  3. They don’t want “replica” weapons because even though they clearly are not real weapons, they kind of look like real weapons.

    TSA Screener is a “replica” job. It kind of looks like they are really doing something, but …

  4. This is a bunch of horseshit. I have a (replica) .22 long as the pendent on my necklace, and they gave it a good look, but then waved me through.

    Shit, at least it could be a real bullit. That purse is…just cloth or leather.

    1. My 7 year old got stopped in Reno because he had a die cast metal model aircraft that had a centerline fuel tank that was kind of bullet shaped…you know…all pointy and dangerous looking. It took 15 minutes and two TSA Stupervisors to give us a favorable ruling.

      1. Did they sniff and bite it? Proper testing is necessary.

        1. Oh no. Had they left any TSA saliva on it I would have let them keep it…you know once an animal marks an item…..

          1. We also accept “will it fit in my anus?” as a tool for our screeners.

  5. The pregnant 17 year old is lecturing the TSA common sense…I wonder where they find their employees?

  6. “Vanessa and her mom said it’s hard to believe anyone could mistake the design on the purse for a real gun…”

    Really? Has this woman never gone to, say, the DMV?
    These are *government* employees we’re talking about.

  7. “”Even after they figured out the gun was a fake””

    That must have taken much effort.

    If I have a picture of the devil on my shirt, maybe I could use it to threaten their afterlife if they don’t obey me.

  8. You can’t do reductio ad absurdum on these guys. They’re already there.

    1. We need to change the phrase to reductio ad TSA.

      1. I like Transportation Security Absurdum.

  9. I guess you can’t wear a Sabres, Buccaneers, or Raiders shirt or jersey on a flight either, since all of those have replica swords on them.

    1. true story: the Washington Bullets’ name was changed because of its violent connotation. The smart choice would have been to eliminate “Washington” since it was the murder capitol at the time, but they went with Wizards instead.

      1. I remember that nonsense. It made soooo much difference, didn’t it? The goddamn town is still a shooting gallery. You can hardly take a step in some neighborhoods without stepping on a pile of shell casings or a corpse.

      2. Loved the fact that they completely ignored the Klan connotation of Wizards.

        1. Did they? Or did the fact that DC’s population is overwhelmingly Democrat encourage them to bring in a left-handed (so to speak) reference to Democratic Party history?

  10. Procedures were followed. Nothing to see here. Get back to your pastures and fences.

    1. Am I free to gamble?

  11. You have to admit, that is one ugly purse! TSA is performing a public service here. Now, if they would just ban “skinny jeans”.

    1. Oh sure first they came for the ugly purses…

    2. Ban skinny jeans? The fuck is wrong with you? Now banning fat girls and hipster guys from wearing them is a different matter.

      1. My bad. I thought it was only sexually ambiguous, hipster boys who wore them.

        1. I believe the whole thing started with men wearing women’s jeans.

          1. You’re missing some scare quotes, there, Zeb.

          2. That would be Obama’s “mom jeans”.

  12. If I’m not mistaken, those purses were also once illegal in DC and Chicago.

  13. If I’m not mistaken, those purses were also once illegal in DC and Chicago.

  14. They should just allow you to fly nude.

    1. Hey, that was the solution at the end of The Puppetmasters.

    2. Didn’t work worth a damn for Icarus.

  15. Aren’t there hundreds of items you can take on a plane and turn into a replica of a weapon? Any writing utensil allows you to draw one and don’t get me started on oragami:). And what about penises? Clearly you could stab some one in the eye. If a large breasted woman starts swinging those things around mayhem could ensue. How about we just ban flying and get it over with.

  16. There are plenty of completely innocuous items that are not listed as prohibited but could be used as a weapon.

    Pistol motifs on purses are not among them.

    But anyone with a spare 30 seconds could spot some things around their own house that could be used directly or easily combined to create melee weapons, but which would be unlikely to be seen as such by TSA screeners (even the purse Nazi).

    Look for terrorists, not carry-ons.

  17. Goddamn Mother Fuckers!

  18. Aren’t there hundreds of items you can take on a plane and turn into a replica of a weapon?

    Yosemite Sam: “DRAW!”

    *Bugs produces pencil from thin air and begins to sketch six-shooter*

  19. Where are our resident statists? Shouldn’t they be here telling us how much safer they feel now?

  20. I feel somewhat safer knowing those worthless baboons are corralled at the airport (a place I never go) instead of roaming the streets.

    1. Granted, although it’s a damn shame that air travel is now denied to anybody who maintains a shred of dignity or self-respect.

      There are places in the world that I would have liked to see before I croak. But it ain’t gonna happen. I’m never flying again.

  21. I sort of hope that president Ron Paul will issue an executive order relocating the entire TSA to Anarctica. You know, to protect travel there or whatever.

  22. Has any one tried to take a copy of Guns & Ammo through a TSA screening? I wonder if they would freak out and say you were trying to smuggle a whole armory onto a plane.

  23. This is just another demonstration of the rampant incompetence within TSA. These imbeciles have nothing better to do than harass travelers over absurd and inconsistent “security policies” for their own amusement and to justify their miserable existence. They have had 62 of their screeners arrested this year for serious crimes, including 10 for child sex crimes and 4 for smuggling contraband through security.

    Instead of purging their workforce of criminals and misfits, they try to rationalize their ridiculous “rules” to the public by referring to some inane procedure they have adopted, as if that makes any sense.

    Their continued series of crimes, abuses and stupid enforcement simply reinforces that his agency is a debacle and needs to be radically overhauled, or preferably abolished, and responsibility for airport security returned to FAA in cooperation with the FBI.

    1. A TSA goon’s 10-year-old boy toy isn’t on the list of prohibited articles, so his co-workers don’t have a problem with it.

  24. The stoopid doesn’t just happen here:…..hreat.html

    It’s spreading! Contagion!

  25. Fashion is always on the go for everyone on whatever profession it may be.

  26. “The TSA says “replica weapons have [been] prohibited since 2002.””

    Replica BRAINS, however, are a job requirement.

  27. yes there maybe some negative side regarding this but let’s look at the bright side at least the have the sense to make it look pretty..

  28. Many smaller airports (e.g., Knoxville, TN) don’t have body-scanners at all, and you can get a connecting flight to an international airport, without having to ever go back through security. At the Nashville airport, if you hesitate when walking through the metal detector, they put you through the full-body scanner, but if you walk through quickly, they let you go. It’s pretty stupid on their part how they’ve left these loopholes, but I’m glad to avoid the nudity and groping.

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