Armed U.S. Soldier Gets His Nail Clippers Confiscated By The TSA

An anonymous account from a U.S. Army soldier returning from Afghanistan:

So we’re in line, going through one at a time. One of our Soldiers had his Gerber multi-tool. TSA confiscated it. Kind of ridiculous, but it gets better. A few minutes later, a guy empties his pockets and has a pair of nail clippers. Nail clippers. TSA informs the Soldier that they’re going to confiscate his nail clippers.

The conversation went something like this:

TSA Guy: You can’t take those on the plane.

Soldier: What? I’ve had them since we left country.

TSA Guy: You’re not suppose to have them.

Soldier: Why?

TSA Guy: They can be used as a weapon.

Soldier: [touches butt stock of the rifle] But this actually is a weapon. And I’m allowed to take it on.

TSA Guy: Yeah but you can’t use it to take over the plane. You don’t have bullets.

Soldier: And I can take over the plane with nail clippers?

TSA Guy: [awkward silence]

Me: Dude, just give him your damn nail clippers so we can get the f**k out of here. I’ll buy you a new set.

Soldier: [hands nail clippers to TSA guy, makes it through security]

This might be a good time to remind everyone that approximately 233 people re-boarded that plane with assault rifles, pistols, and machine guns-but nothing that could have been used as a weapon.

(Source)

All in the name of national security…

13 COMMENTS

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Randal Ogozalek November 20, 2010 at 03:26 am

Not sure, but what about his bayonet? I’m sure with a plane full of soldiers, that they don’t need to worry about any terrorist acts.

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Fred November 20, 2010 at 04:38 am

If he was issued a bayo, it would have had to go in his checked duffel under the plane. At least that’s how it was in ’05 when I ran into nearly the exact problem.

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Ed November 20, 2010 at 02:06 pm

They still let you on with ink pens too. It would be much easier to stab someone with an ink pen than nail clippers.

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Admin (Mike) November 20, 2010 at 02:15 pm

Yea they do. I had my space pen with me (pressurized cartridge in that OMG!) when I flew back from Portland a couple months ago.

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The Dog November 20, 2010 at 03:09 pm

What scares me more than anything about the TSA is the people they have working for them. Its frightening that you can assemble such a huge volume of Nuremberg Numbskulls. If they had an ounce of self respect or intellectual integrity, they’d either quit or off themselves.

To put it simply…..”Decent folks wouldn’t work for the TSA. “

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Jesse November 21, 2010 at 11:04 am

Last year I went to Germany for Oktoberfest and the airport security there straight up racially profiled people. My friend said it made him feel safer. I commented that “I’m glad it makes you feel safer but truth be told that’s all airport security does, make you “feel” safer. You aren’t necessarily any safer.”

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Josh November 21, 2010 at 11:47 am

If I were to try and carry-on a pistol with no bullets I’d get locked up pretty fast… But these are our soldiers so I don’t mind them being able to carry their rifles. But where is the common sense when you can trust a soldier to carry his rifle but not nail clippers.

On a side note for how stupid TSA is… Last year my wife and I boarded a plane from NYC to Texas and a passenger was allowed to carry a 14″ metal knitting needle onto the plane. To me that knitting needle is a hell of a lot more dangerous than nail clippers.

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Josh November 21, 2010 at 08:59 pm

If I were to try and carry-on a pistol with no bullets I’d get locked up pretty fast… But these are our soldiers so I don’t mind them being able to carry their rifles.

To that though, it was a chartered plane, not a regular civilian flight with both civilian passengers and soldiers carrying their rifles. When I came back from Afghanistan in ’03 we took a chartered civilian aircraft. Of course, back then there were no scanners in Afghanistan before we left. We took C-130’s from Kandahar to Hamburg, Germany, and then boarded the chartered aircraft from the Air Force side of the base – again, no security checks to speak of. It was a direct flight from there to Pope AFB in North Carolina (adjacent to home – Ft. Bragg).

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moi November 22, 2010 at 12:46 am

I used to fly for the military, We had to take a plane from Oahu to NARF Alameda, drop it of for an overhaul. Then immediately beat feet to SFO to catch a commercial plane back the to Oahu the same day. It was defiantly a no no to take the assorted pyro technics in our LPA/SV2 on board so those were left a the NARF Facility. But the survival knives were no problem even though the were 6 inch blades.

Guess the uniform and gear meant something back then, like trust. We were running late, and they pretty much just waived us thru. Threw everything on the xray belt. I remember the gal watching the monitor look over at her supervisor with a kind concerned look, he just shook his head and waved his hand saying no problem. Times have changed.

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Yeti November 22, 2010 at 09:29 am

Look at the Prohibited Items list:
http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm

You can take 4in scissors or 7in screwdriver…

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Admin (Mike) November 26, 2010 at 01:53 pm

Ugh.. there is so much *face palm* on that list.

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Chris November 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

“Prohibited items – Martial Arts & Self Defense Items”

So if you are excel in a form of unarmed combat, does that mean you have to check yourself in and sit with luggage? It’s only a matter of time considering some states already have discriminating laws to those trained that way.

Heard a story of a local who had to defend himself against LE (self-defense against unidentified officers who thought he was the suspect they were looking for) who was advised by his lawyer to avoid revealing his extensive martial arts training as to why their, “expert techniques,” failed at subduing him.

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Charlie December 31, 2010 at 05:40 pm

He should have made a bomb joke then walk away with his nail clippers while the TSA agents were rolling on the floor laughing. TSA agents have a great sense of humor like that.

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