In perusing the TSA Blog’s “Week in Review” from this past week, it is reported that in addition to 44 firearms being discovered (second amendment on planes! The horror!), there was also an inert grenade found in someone’s luggage. Apparently grenades have been an issue for some time, as news of the discovery included the following statement:
Inert Ordnance and Grenades etc. – We continue to find inert hand grenades and other weaponry on a weekly basis. Please keep in mind that if an item looks like a realistic bomb, grenade, mine, etc., it is prohibited – real or not. When these items are found at a checkpoint or in checked baggage, they can cause significant delays in checkpoint screening. I know they are cool novelty items, but you cannot bring them on a plane. Read here and here on why inert items cause problems.
This sent me down quite the little rabbit hole, as the statement linked to a hilarious piece entitled “Can I Take my Hand Grenade on the Plane?” along with a follow up, “A Refresher Point on Checkpoint Etiquette.” I particularly like how they refer to the grenade issue simply as “etiquette”. What cards those TSA bloggers are!
Now on the surface it seems reasonable that grenades would not be allowed on planes. Certainly something that can explode by the simple removing of a pin could potentially warrant being banned from a airplanes. But as usual, even when the TSA’s policies start from a seemingly rational place, the logic begins to unravel. You see, the TSA isn’t just concerned about actual grenades, but about anything that might even look like a grenade, regardless of whether it is inert, or even a real grenade:
The lesson to be learned here is that even if it’s a gift (gag or otherwise), souvenir or inert, putting a grenade in your carry-on or checked bag is a no-no. I would also suggest not packing the new novelty grenade MP3 player in your carry-on or checked bags. Not only will you be delayed and possibly miss your flight, but you could also end up spending some quality time with law enforcement officers.
Don’t forget to keep that novelty grenade MP3 Player that all the kids are rockin’ at home when packing for your summer travels!
This is similar to their policy of disallowing all liquids over an arbitrary limit of 4 oz. on a plane, regardless of what it is because hey, it could be a bomb!
Only in a free market for security will we see rational security procedures in place; procedures determined by the needs and wants of individual customers.
TSA blogger “Lynn” closes it out with some more advice.:
As we like to say when giving packing advice, when in doubt, leave it out. And it can’t hurt to do a last minute double check of your bag to make sure there are no grenades, guns or other prohibited items in it.
And as we like to say…”End the TSA!”