I travel for a living, in and out of airports every week. Rarely do I ever check a bag (unless its an extended trip). This week I was blessed with the opportunity to visit my parents in SoCal for their 49th wedding anniversary. Being SoCal, my fathers gun rights were slowly being eroded and he had an old 30 rnd AR mag that he offered to me to take back to AZ. So I put it in my roller bag and ran off to the airport.
I wasn’t overly concerned as in the past with the TSA, anything on the no fly list was just confiscated (knives) or they would offer to let you check your bag. Wow how the times have changed.
When my bag went thru the xray, the TSA agent called her supervisor. Supervisor called the sheriff. I told the TSA supervisor, if the mag was an issue, they could just toss it. They refused to respond and waited for the sheriff deputies.
At this point I was getting a little nervous. The lead Deputy informed me that he could arrest me as a misdemeanor for transporting a “gun part” thru the TSA. Especially during these times. He asked me where I got it. I told him everything. He responded, “So you were trying to do the right thing and you brought it to the airport?” He asked if I have a CCW (I do for AZ), he asked for my ID, contact info, and my place of work. Also asked for my fathers details.
So after detaining me for about 30 minutes, he released me with a warning. He gave me a file number. But he said legally this was over and he needed to confiscate the mag. I was happy to oblige. Now comes the unknown.
He informed me the TSA might fine or suspend me from the PRE program. Or possibly put me on a watch list. But since it was my first offense, it might also be a warning…
Once I was repacked and away from the TSA gates, I called the USCCA and asked them if they had any advice. Since it wasn’t a self defense scenario and I was not under arrest, they could not be of assistance.
So I thought I would reach out to the community. Have any of you had a similar encounter? Did the TSA escalate, fine, and suspend/cancel your PRE/Global Entry status? Any advice?