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Forensics Doc

Failure to communicate--yet again with TSA

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Rather than turn this into a rant, (which it might anyway but not by me), I’m just going to post a series of emails between me and TSA regarding whether it is permissible to carry bullets (not loaded ammo) in the carry-on.  The question I asked was “Is it permissible to carry bullets (not loaded ammo) in my carry-on?”  Sounds simple enough, right?  Apparently not. 

 

The question came as a follow-up to an incident I had with TSA in Savannah, Georgia (I posted it on this forum on 1/3/17 entitled “Run-In With TSA”).  I was told by TSA at the airport that the .204 Ruger cases I had in my carry-on had to be checked.  I knew full well that they didn’t, but what could I do?  If you’re interested you can read about it there.

 

Anyway, next month I will be again traveling through the Savannah airport and may well be carrying some Sierra 32-grain .204 Ruger bullets in my carry-on.  For some reason they seem hard to find here so I buy them whenever and wherever I can.

 

Round one:

My initial inquiry to TSA on 1/31/18 was:  “Can you tell me if bullets (not ammunition) are permissible in carry-on baggage?  I know the regulations on shell casings but can find no information on bullets.”

 

TSA’s response: “Thank you for contacting the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Contact Center.  Empty shell casings are permitted in your carry-on or checked bag as long as the projectile is no longer intact and the primer has been removed or has been discharged.  If ammunition still has the projectile attached and the powder has been drilled out, they are considered replicas and are not permitted in carry-on bags.”

 

Round two:

My response: “I did not ask about shell casings.  As I mentioned in my email, I know the regulations on those.  I am asking a second time for clarification on whether bullets (not ammunition) can be carried aboard.  Despite common nomenclature, bullets are not the same as ammunition.  A loaded round of ammunition is comprised of four components: the bullet (projectile), powder, primer (detonates the powder), and the case.  Two of these components, the powder and primer, are classified as hazardous material and may not be carried aboard.  The other two, the bullet (projectile) and case are simply inert pieces of metal and pose no threat.  So I will ask again: Can bullets (projectiles) be carried aboard?”

 

TSA’s response: “In response to your question, no, loaded ammunition is not allowed in carry-on baggage.  Ammunition may only be transported in checked baggage and TSA requires ammunition to be in original packaging or in specific packaging designed to carry ammunition (wood or metal box) when transported.  If ammunition is in a magazine, the open end of the magazine needs to be taped or in a magazine pouch, inside an approved box designed to transport ammunition in checked baggage.”

 

Round three:

My inquiry of later on 3/8/18 was:  “For the third time I am asking whether bullets (projectiles), not loaded ammunition can be carried aboard.  My inquiry of 2/18/18 made it quite clear that I need clarification on bullets (projectiles), one of the four components of a loaded round of ammunition, not on ammunition itself. Bullets are metallic projectiles only and are not explosive.  Given that empty cases can be carried aboard, I assume that bullets, which are similarly non-explosive and pose no threat, can be also.  I don’t know how to make my inquiry any clearer than this.”

 

TSA’s response: “Replica weapons may be mistaken for real weapons in the x-ray machine or by a fellow passenger and have the ability to cause the same level of concern.  In addition, screening checkpoints may be impacted or closed if a replica firearm appears as a real weapon when viewed through the x-ray machine.”

 

“Replica firearms and ammunition are permitted in checked baggage.  While not required, we recommend that you place realistic firearms in a hard-sided, locked case.  If a Transportation Security Officer discovers a replica firearm during checked baggage screening an believes it is real, the item will be treated as such until law enforcement advises otherwise.”

 

Am I missing something here?  Was my simple question not clear?  Or, as was said on Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

 

 

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You may have to stoop really low and use the term 'bullet head' to get your point across. 

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Clearly they lack reading comprehension skills....send them photos...lol

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Your emails are either being answered by a machine using canned responses or a call center in India that uses canned responses.  It is also possible your emails are being forwarded to one of the trolls on the Doodle Forum!

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The only time I flew with a firearm and ammo, I went down to the airport, the day before,

and discussed their regulations with them.

 

Saved a LOT of trouble the next day, when I was flying   :)

 

And, that was in New York State.

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14 hours ago, Forensics Doc said:

For the third time I am asking

 

14 hours ago, Forensics Doc said:

I don’t know how to make my inquiry any clearer than this.”

Damnit, I am not going to say what I was going to say because I just realized this is in the What I Hate forum.  Oh well.
 

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I was given a written warning and had a spare magazine confiscated for not declaring them on my Law Enforcement carry paperwork. I tried explaining it is our SOP and all Federal Agencies to carry a spare magazine. They told me that if its not on my paperwork, i cant carry it. So I had to forfeit it and file a loss form with my agency...This pissed off my SAIC, he called and DHS told me that I should have asked for a supervisor. I know this has little to do with your predicament but it shows the average tsa person knows very little about the rules. I ended up buying a new mag and keeping it in my luggage for next time.
I travel with a firearm quite a bit and have done so off duty to hunt. I don't think declaring a rifle and ammo is worth my time even though I have had to do it previously. So I check and declare most of my ammo and with exception of my sidearm I check all longarms. I have had a problem bringing a scope on a plane before and had to call a supervisor over that. I refused to declare and check a $3000 scope because the trunk monkeys would have surely found a way to "lose" it and they are not responsible for loss over $1000.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

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On 3/9/2018 at 12:44 AM, Ming the Merciless said:

Your emails are either being answered by a machine using canned responses or a call center in India that uses canned responses.  It is also possible your emails are being forwarded to one of the trolls on the Doodle Forum!

Funny stuff right there!

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On 3/8/2018 at 5:46 PM, Forensics Doc said:

 

Anyway, next month I will be again traveling through the Savannah airport and may well be carrying some Sierra 32-grain .204 Ruger bullets in my carry-on.  For some reason they seem hard to find here so I buy them whenever and wherever I can.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I travel a lot and have also put projectiles in my carry on bag. Both times I have done it they pulled my bag off the x-ray (I assume the lead made the machine light up like a Christmas Tree since x-ray works off density). Each time it happened I was lucky there was a TSA agent that reloaded ammo and clarified to the x-ray operator that they were not loaded ammo but an inert component. If I need to do it again I will just check my bag as most of the TSA agents don't understand ammo components and I may not get lucky again.

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Interestingly enough, At the Newark Airport,  I had tried to carry on 15 empty fired 308 blank cases that were used for my father memorial at West Point.  The TSA agent would not allow me to carry them on.  They were polite and had gone into the back to check but clearly they don't know their own regs.

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On 3/8/2018 at 7:59 PM, MemphisMechanic said:

Ship them.

 

It’s not worth the 100% chance you’ll get hassled over it in the airport.

 

FIFY. 

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5 hours ago, Tom S. said:

 

FIFY. 

 

In this case, you actually DID fix it. I left two zeros out which I meant to type when I posted that!

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Sorry, Rick. It's become a conversation. So...

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This Hate rant has turned into a discussion, which is beyond the bounds of the rules for the Hate Forum. Thus, it must be closed.Please review the Hate Forum Rules:http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8097[note: this is a generic response]

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