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Marine veteran furious after TSA confiscates hollowed ammunition cartridge pendant

Marine veteran furious after TSA confiscates hollowed ammunition cartridge pendant

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Old Aug 12, 19, 12:53 pm
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Marine veteran furious after TSA confiscates hollowed ammunition cartridge pendant

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Aaron Bradley, 43, was walking through security in Reagan National Airport in Washington when he was told the engraved necklace, which had a love letter hidden inside, was not allowed.Mr Bradley, who has done tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, pleaded to keep the one-of-a-kind pendant but was told it resembled a 'simulator', according to the Star Tribune.

<snip>

Mr Bradley, from Eagan, Minnesota, says the necklace was not previously confiscated when he wore it through airport security in Minneapolis on a trip to see his military friends.

<snip>

He said: 'She [supervisor clerk] said, 'You can file a complaint,' and she handed me a card. She didn't care… The necklace was near and dear to my heart.'

<snip>

The TSA told the publication that they had made arrangements to return the item after it was placed in a 'prohibited bin'.
I won't even bother quoting the TSA drivel from Lisa Farbstein that followed...
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Old Aug 12, 19, 1:54 pm
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TSA protocol aside there is a mailing center in the DCA airport. He could have mailed such a personal item. Years ago a TSO wanted to confiscate a bottle of eye drops because on the scanner it looked like it could be a round of ammunition but I pushed back and a supervisor was called who told me to go to my plane.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:05 pm
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If he got it back, then TSA broke protocol.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 5:16 pm
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TSA is only consistent in being inconsistent.

Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
If he got it back, then TSA broke protocol.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 7:20 pm
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I would suggest TSA performed as expected, substandard. Happy this Marine is getting his keepsake back..
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Old Aug 13, 19, 7:25 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
If he got it back, then TSA broke protocol.
This type of occurrence is not without precedent. There have been times where individuals and local leadership have worked to return items to someone, after it was not allowed through the checkpoint area. It is not the norm, nor its it something that I anticipate seeing frequently - but there have been incidents similar to this before.

My $.02, an empty shell casing may need additional scrutiny to make certain it is indeed just an empty casing, but we have seen these many times before. Sometimes they are part of a necklace worn, sometimes they are part of a memento box. I am not certain what was happening here, but the TSA What Can I Bring App returns the following result:

Ammunition

"Empty Shell Casings are allowed in carry-on bags, as long as the projectile is no longer intact"
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Old Aug 13, 19, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
This type of occurrence is not without precedent. There have been times where individuals and local leadership have worked to return items to someone, after it was not allowed through the checkpoint area. It is not the norm, nor its it something that I anticipate seeing frequently - but there have been incidents similar to this before.
When/if TSA returns an item, it is doing so contrary to it SOP: "Unfortunately, there is no process to retrieve items confiscated/surrendered at the checkpoint." From @ASKTSA

Last edited by petaluma1; Aug 13, 19 at 8:50 am
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Old Aug 13, 19, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by gsoltso View Post
This type of occurrence is not without precedent. There have been times where individuals and local leadership have worked to return items to someone, after it was not allowed through the checkpoint area. It is not the norm, nor its it something that I anticipate seeing frequently - but there have been incidents similar to this before.

My $.02, an empty shell casing may need additional scrutiny to make certain it is indeed just an empty casing, but we have seen these many times before. Sometimes they are part of a necklace worn, sometimes they are part of a memento box. I am not certain what was happening here, but the TSA What Can I Bring App returns the following result:

Ammunition

"Empty Shell Casings are allowed in carry-on bags, as long as the projectile is no longer intact"
So the TSA employees at that airport failed in their duties to follow TSA SOP?
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Old Aug 13, 19, 12:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
So the TSA employees at that airport failed in their duties to follow TSA SOP?
​​​​​Hasn't it been cited repeatedly that the TSO has the "ultimate discretion to allow or disallow any item"?
SOP under this proviso are simply suggestions. And overreach like this circumstance simply get addressed by management after the fact. Or not.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 1:23 pm
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So three wrongs make a right, in the end.
1) TSA shouldn't have prohibited the item to begin with, since spent ammunition casings are explicitly allowed as carry-on baggage.
2) TSA cannot confiscate items, they are "voluntarily surrendered". So he should have been able to get it back and mail or check it (though possibly at the risk of missing the flight).
3. TSA normally doesn't return "voluntarily surrendered" items but did in this case, so the guy got his necklace back.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
So three wrongs make a right, in the end.
1) TSA shouldn't have prohibited the item to begin with, since spent ammunition casings are explicitly allowed as carry-on baggage.
2) TSA cannot confiscate items, they are "voluntarily surrendered". So he should have been able to get it back and mail or check it (though possibly at the risk of missing the flight).
3. TSA normally doesn't return "voluntarily surrendered" items but did in this case, so the guy got his necklace back.
Seems pretty clear that someone with half a brain figured out how wrong this confiscation was.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by rickg523 View Post
​​​​​Hasn't it been cited repeatedly that the TSO has the "ultimate discretion to allow or disallow any item"?
It has. There's no way that's the regulation though. It used to be "TSA has the ultimate discretion," which makes sense. They must have changed it to "the TSO" because so many "TSOs" don't learn or follow the rules and they don't want to fire the irredeemable ones or give remedial training to the redeemable ones, so they just tell the public that the decision of a "TSO" who doesn't know the rule prevails over the actual rule.

I don't even know what a simulator is supposed to be.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Carl Johnson View Post
I don't even know what a simulator is supposed to be.
A snap cap, I guess?
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Old Aug 14, 19, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by javabytes View Post
So three wrongs make a right, in the end.
1) TSA shouldn't have prohibited the item to begin with, since spent ammunition casings are explicitly allowed as carry-on baggage.
2) TSA cannot confiscate items, they are "voluntarily surrendered". So he should have been able to get it back and mail or check it (though possibly at the risk of missing the flight).
3. TSA normally doesn't return "voluntarily surrendered" items but did in this case, so the guy got his necklace back.
Please note the quote above taken from @ASKTSA:
"Unfortunately, there is no process to retrieve items confiscated/surrendered at the checkpoint."
It's nice to see more official confirmation that TSA does confiscate property.
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Old Aug 15, 19, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by petaluma1 View Post
Please note the quote above taken from @ASKTSA: It's nice to see more official confirmation that TSA does confiscate property.
That is a cover all term, TSA does not confiscate anything as a matter of policy, and (for the most part) practice. TSA is supposed to offer options to the individual when an item is being denied entry into the sterile area. (what actually happens, based upon reports, seems to be a matter of debate - YMMV)
In some cases specific items that fall into the WEI categories have a secondary protocol attached to them, like LEO notification or EOD calls - at that point, the other agency is in charge of the situation and the disposition of the prohibited items, so they may indeed be confiscated, but that would be done by another agency.
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