Go Back   > > >
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Aug 10, 11, 8:31 am   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA
Posts: 646
Let me say something nice about TSA

I was entirely in the wrong. There was a loaded clip for an automatic in my carry-on.

Explanation: I don't travel for business any more. My old carry-on had become an overnight bag for visiting family. There is a shooting range at our famly mountain cabin. I pack gun and ammo in separate bags, so there is no question that I am packing heat should I be stopped in the People's Republic of Maryland.

I just forgot the clip. A business trip I couldn't avoid came up. Took my carry-on through the diamond lane at IAD. When they X-rayed it showed.

Nobody bullied me. Questioning was polite and professional both by TSA and the cop they called. I was questioned. Forms were filled out. I was on my way to my gate in 15 minutes. Sans the clip, of course.

Anytime there is authority there is the potential for abuse. As the many TSA-bashing posts here and in the press demonstrate. But the guys at IAD were cool and professional. They did their job and sent me on my way.

Good work!
scubadiver is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 8:39 am   #2
  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,702
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadiver View Post
I was entirely in the wrong. There was a loaded clip for an automatic in my carry-on.

Explanation: I don't travel for business any more. My old carry-on had become an overnight bag for visiting family. There is a shooting range at our famly mountain cabin. I pack gun and ammo in separate bags, so there is no question that I am packing heat should I be stopped in the People's Republic of Maryland.

I just forgot the clip. A business trip I couldn't avoid came up. Took my carry-on through the diamond lane at IAD. When they X-rayed it showed.

Nobody bullied me. Questioning was polite and professional both by TSA and the cop they called. I was questioned. Forms were filled out. I was on my way to my gate in 15 minutes. Sans the clip, of course.

Anytime there is authority there is the potential for abuse. As the many TSA-bashing posts here and in the press demonstrate. But the guys at IAD were cool and professional. They did their job and sent me on my way.

Good work!
Sorry this happened to you. I believe most who bring such things through the checkpoint simply forget.

Can I ask a question? Your identification was handed over to the police and TSA? Please don't take this as a threat, its really not. But you answer yes, your information was sent to regulatory, and they may or may not issue you a fine. Perhaps around $250, but maybe more. Hope that doesn't happen. Just a heads up to you.
SATTSO is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 8:41 am   #3
Suspended
  
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,728
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadiver View Post
When they X-rayed it showed.
...whereas if you'd had the clip on your body somewhere when you went through a backscatter Nude-O-Scope, you'd have a pretty good chance of making it through the checkpoint with a loaded clip.

Recent press has made it pretty clear that the majority of "good finds" on the TSA's part have been by using the same methods as pre-9/11 screenings.
Caradoc is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 8:43 am   #4
  
Join Date: Jul 2006
Programs: United
Posts: 2,710


Combat Medic is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 9:24 am   #5
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 12,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadiver View Post
I was entirely in the wrong. There was a loaded clip for an automatic in my carry-on.

Explanation: I don't travel for business any more. My old carry-on had become an overnight bag for visiting family. There is a shooting range at our famly mountain cabin. I pack gun and ammo in separate bags, so there is no question that I am packing heat should I be stopped in the People's Republic of Maryland.

I just forgot the clip. A business trip I couldn't avoid came up. Took my carry-on through the diamond lane at IAD. When they X-rayed it showed.

Nobody bullied me. Questioning was polite and professional both by TSA and the cop they called. I was questioned. Forms were filled out. I was on my way to my gate in 15 minutes. Sans the clip, of course.

Anytime there is authority there is the potential for abuse. As the many TSA-bashing posts here and in the press demonstrate. But the guys at IAD were cool and professional. They did their job and sent me on my way.

Good work!
Glad it worked out ok but why didn't they just take the ammo and allow you to keep the "magazine"?
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 9:29 am   #6
  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: IAD
Programs: *wood Gold
Posts: 1,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Glad it worked out ok but why didn't they just take the ammo and allow you to keep the "magazine"?
Because some TSA clerk probably wanted it for his rifle at home.

I've got to wonder what kinds of fits they would have if someone came through with some of the 30 round mags that are still stamped "law enforcement only"...

Too bad they took your ID. I can see providing to the police, but not to TSA. (Cooperation with those who have real authority is necessary, of course, hence providing it the police.)
clrankin is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 9:36 am   #7
  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 302
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
Glad it worked out ok but why didn't they just take the ammo and allow you to keep the "magazine"?
Empty magazines (or any gun parts) aren't allowed either. Don't ask me why, I have no clue.

In theory, one passenger could bring in a mag, another a slide and so forth.
cb1111 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 10:09 am   #8
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 12,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by cb1111 View Post
Empty magazines (or any gun parts) aren't allowed either. Don't ask me why, I have no clue.

In theory, one passenger could bring in a mag, another a slide and so forth.

All passengers are screened so that is impossible.

Now the fact that thousands of other people enter the secure area without screening does present a problem. Seems TSA should plug that hole, eh?
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 10:13 am   #9
  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SLC or DUB
Programs: The program formerly know as WorldPerks
Posts: 330
Flying home this spring, I got "caught" with a knife in my carryon at SLC. I actually just forgot it was in there and when they pulled it out, my first thought was I didn't want to toss it away because it's a spendy pocket knife. Much to my pleasant surprise, they have a safe they put it in and you can buy an envelope and stamps from a store on the sterile side and the TSA will mail it back to you after you put the address on the envelope.
lobster7 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 10:22 am   #10
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 29,418
Glad it worked out and also hope the regulatory people don't follow up. It pays to deal with tough situations in a polite manner.

If you had done, as some on FT might suggest, and refused to cooperate, TSA could have detained you for a law enforcement officer and the LEO could have performed an arrest and let this entire thing be handled through the criminal justice system. Instead, you did the right thing and hopefully it's all over.
Often1 is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 11:59 am   #11
  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 360
Quote:
Originally Posted by SATTSO View Post

Can I ask a question? Your identification was handed over to the police and TSA? Please don't take this as a threat, its really not. But you answer yes, your information was sent to regulatory, and they may or may not issue you a fine. Perhaps around $250, but maybe more. Hope that doesn't happen. Just a heads up to you.
Repeat after me; it is not a fine. Fines are adjudicated by a real judge. It is a "civil penalty proposed under Chapter 49 of the U. S. Code." And the TSA is about as effective in collecting these penalties as they are in catching terrorists. The procedure is that they will mail, by Certified mail, a Notice of Proposed Certificate Action which will state what they say you did wrong and what they want you to pay. You then have some choices. You can ignore the letter for more than 15 days, in which case the proposal becomes final and is an Order for Civil Penalty. Or, you can send them a check for the full amount and that will end the matter. What I have found is the best option is to request either an in person or telephonic
"informal conference" with the TSA Staff Attorney, who is probably a puppy lawyer, just not as loveable, and who, in line with the TSA motto of "We're not happy until you're not happy, unless you make it easy on us and then we'll both be happy" will accept just about any compromise in order to avoid having to do real lawyer work in getting ready for and appearing for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, who is usually a former government lawyer who was so incompetent that he was Peter Principled upstairs. Or you can put even more pressure on the poor TSA attorney by just immediately requesting a hearing. In that case the TSA attorney will usually fold like an origami albatross and accept anything in compromise.Any of these options (except mailing the check)keeps you, at least temporarily, from having to pay a cent. By the way, if you don't like the Order, you can appeal to the "TSA Decision Maker" which, of course, assumes they can find someone in the organization who can actually make a decision. And you can appeal that decision to the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals. If you assume the worst and that eventually a final order is issued saying "Yeah, you screwed up. Pay $x.xx." you can still tell the TSA to go pound sand. They have no collection authority whatsoever. The poor by this time frazzled and worn out TSA lawyer has to ask the TSA Deputy Chief Counsel for Civil Enforcement to please, pretty please, try to talk the Attorney General into finding a U S Attorney who might be interested in collecting the civil, I repeat, civil, penalty. The most common US Attorney response is going to be, "You want me to do what!?" They have much bigger fish to fry, like the terrorists that real law enforcement has caught in spite of the bumblings of the TSA. Or John Gotti. Or running for elected office. US Attorneys are political appointees who wouldn't relish having undesireables like the TSA as clients.
In short, a civil penalty is usually a toothless threat, used by blustering tin badge wearing bullies.
And, by the way, if you win a CP action, the TSA very well might have to pay all of your attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. They have to front all the costs for court reporters, ALJ travel expenses and staff attorney expenses in all cases.
4nsicdoc is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 12:08 pm   #12
In Memoriam
  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 361
OK,time to end the suspense:

Let me say something nice about TSA: It would be nice if there was no TSA.
MaximumSisu is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 12:32 pm   #13
FlyerTalk Evangelist
  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: DFW
Posts: 12,121
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4nsicdoc View Post
Repeat after me; it is not a fine. Fines are adjudicated by a real judge. It is a "civil penalty proposed under Chapter 49 of the U. S. Code." And the TSA is about as effective in collecting these penalties as they are in catching terrorists. The procedure is that they will mail, by Certified mail, a Notice of Proposed Certificate Action which will state what they say you did wrong and what they want you to pay. You then have some choices. You can ignore the letter for more than 15 days, in which case the proposal becomes final and is an Order for Civil Penalty. Or, you can send them a check for the full amount and that will end the matter. What I have found is the best option is to request either an in person or telephonic
"informal conference" with the TSA Staff Attorney, who is probably a puppy lawyer, just not as loveable, and who, in line with the TSA motto of "We're not happy until you're not happy, unless you make it easy on us and then we'll both be happy" will accept just about any compromise in order to avoid having to do real lawyer work in getting ready for and appearing for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, who is usually a former government lawyer who was so incompetent that he was Peter Principled upstairs. Or you can put even more pressure on the poor TSA attorney by just immediately requesting a hearing. In that case the TSA attorney will usually fold like an origami albatross and accept anything in compromise.Any of these options (except mailing the check)keeps you, at least temporarily, from having to pay a cent. By the way, if you don't like the Order, you can appeal to the "TSA Decision Maker" which, of course, assumes they can find someone in the organization who can actually make a decision. And you can appeal that decision to the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals. If you assume the worst and that eventually a final order is issued saying "Yeah, you screwed up. Pay $x.xx." you can still tell the TSA to go pound sand. They have no collection authority whatsoever. The poor by this time frazzled and worn out TSA lawyer has to ask the TSA Deputy Chief Counsel for Civil Enforcement to please, pretty please, try to talk the Attorney General into finding a U S Attorney who might be interested in collecting the civil, I repeat, civil, penalty. The most common US Attorney response is going to be, "You want me to do what!?" They have much bigger fish to fry, like the terrorists that real law enforcement has caught in spite of the bumblings of the TSA. Or John Gotti. Or running for elected office. US Attorneys are political appointees who wouldn't relish having undesireables like the TSA as clients.
In short, a civil penalty is usually a toothless threat, used by blustering tin badge wearing bullies.
And, by the way, if you win a CP action, the TSA very well might have to pay all of your attorney's fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act. They have to front all the costs for court reporters, ALJ travel expenses and staff attorney expenses in all cases.
If a person just refused to pay such a fine could TSA place the person on a Do Not Fly list?
Boggie Dog is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 12:35 pm   #14
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 42,426
My IAD TSA experiences in recent memory have been significantly better than in the past. I suppose that's saying something good. There's still a lot of room for improvement...
exerda is offline  
Old Aug 10, 11, 12:43 pm   #15
  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ATL Lost Luggage
Programs: Kettle with Kryptonium Medallion Tags
Posts: 3,519
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4nsicdoc View Post
What I have found is the best option is to request either an in person or telephonic "informal conference" with the TSA Staff Attorney, who is probably a puppy lawyer, just not as loveable, and who, in line with the TSA motto of "We're not happy until you're not happy, unless you make it easy on us and then we'll both be happy" will accept just about any compromise in order to avoid having to do real lawyer work in getting ready for and appearing for a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge, who is usually a former government lawyer who was so incompetent that he was Peter Principled upstairs.


I'm pretty sure that was the best run-on sentence I have ever read in my entire life. Thank you!
RatherBeOnATrain is offline  
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Closed Thread
Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top