Flying Under the Radar

Flying Under the Radar By Jason Hanson –

Last year, the Transportation Security Administration screened over 708 million people.

That breaks down to about 1.9 million people per day.

TSA confiscated 2,653 firearms along with thousands of other items deemed dangerous. It’s pretty crazy the things people try to bring on an airplane — fireworks, bear spray, even live grenades.

In fact, check out this collage of some of the grenades confiscated by TSA last year:


Of course, TSA agents often take items that shouldn’t necessarily be confiscated, because they’re the ones calling the shots. When you’ve got a plane to catch, you’re not in the best position to negotiate with them.

Case in point: I received an email from a fellow who had his tactical pen confiscated by airport security — he couldn’t believe it.

It’s important to point out this fellow had his tactical pen out while going through security, and he placed it in the screening bin where TSA screeners could easily see it.

Big mistake.

I’m a frequent traveler and I always have my tactical pen with me. I’ve traveled all over the world with my pen and I’ve never had it taken from me.

But if you flash your pen to a TSA screener and say, “Look at my cool pen,” chances are they’ll take it from you. (Yes, I have heard of people who foolishly bragged about their pen to the screener.)

Most TSA agents will err on the side of caution, so if they do see your pen, they will take it. They figure it doesn’t hurt to be overly careful, and they don’t want to let anything slip by them.

Of course, there’s really no reason for them to ever see the pen. When I go through a TSA checkpoint, I always put my tactical pen in my laptop bag next to my regular writing pens.

I never brag about having a tactical pen. I simply put my bag on the screening belt as usual. Once I exit the screening area, I take the pen from my bag and put it back in my pants pocket.

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Chris Campbell

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