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Guns don't kill people, bullets do

Apparently that is the philosophy of the TSA. As one pro golfer found out as he travelled out to Hawaii for the first event of the 2008 season.

Boo Weekley thought he might be staying home, too, although not by choice.

He left his tiny town in the Florida Panhandle at the crack of dawn Friday and didn't arrive in paradise until the early morning hours Sunday. That he made it as far as Kapalua was a minor miracle, considering an oversight that showed how little golf and how much time Weekley has been spending in his beloved outdoors.

Airport security found two bullets from his rifle in his carry-on bag.

"That was kind of like, right out of the gate started the whole week for me," Weekley said Monday. "They put the red flags on me. I had the cops there. I thought I was going to jail."

He used that bag during a hunting trip to Illinois and never saw them when he packed for Hawaii. But as Weekley soon discovered, those airport scanning machines don't miss much.

"I just begged and pleaded," he said. "I just sat there and shook my head like I was an idiot, you know? They confiscated the bullets and then broke down a bunch of stuff, got in everything and put a flag by me. They said they were going to red flag me."

Am I correct in believing bullets without a gun to fire them would seem to pose no threat?(Cue the sarcastic laughter) Just chalk it up to the TSA acting dumb again, then that seems to be their policy.

What's this red flag stuff? It could be Boo being colorful which he certainly is. He was quoted at last year's British Open in Scotland saying "It's different eating here than it is at the house. Ain't got no sweet tea, and ain't got no fried chicken." He also asked if anyone ever had ringworm.

No brains at TSA and no fried chicken in Scotland. What's a country boy to do?


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Comments (15)

"Am I correct in believing ... (Below threshold)

"Am I correct in believing bullets without a gun to fire them would seem to pose no threat?"

Um, maybe. A complete cartridge, plus a tube of the appropriate diameter, plus something to strike the primer and make the cartridge fire would make something pretty hazardous. Two bullets with no casing, powder or primer would be pretty harmless in itself. (Unless he's got a hell of a set of lungs and a blowpipe, or can whack them with great accuracy with a golf club.)

The story itself is inconclusive whether the bullets were cartridges or simply bullets by themselves. There's a slight difference, but I wouldn't expect either the reporter or possibly the TSA to be aware of it. :)

Poor Guy.1) Loaded... (Below threshold)

Poor Guy.

1) Loaded cartridges could be confiscated due to the possiblity that they are taken on to the airplane to be passed to another passenger with a firing device.
2) Loaded cartridges loose in carry-on baggage could pose a safety hazard. If the primer is struck with enough force by a stray object and detonates, injury to a bystander could occur. Odds are low, but possible.

It is because of the TSA that I ensure I never mix my hunting/gun gear with my travel gear.

You need to be responsible ... (Below threshold)

You need to be responsible with your firearms and ammunition. Carelessness, even two stray pieces of ammo, could lead to a problem not to joke about. Sure the TSA needs to red flag him initially. I'd be upset if they didn't. If they have to bust you for a can of hairspray, they damn well better bust you for bullets/cartridges.

There's plenty to complain about the TSA, but this example doesn't seem to be one. And you can get Fried Chicken in the UK.

Ammunition has long been ba... (Below threshold)

Ammunition has long been banned in carry-on baggage. The issue is to prevent the components from being smuggled aboard the aircraft in pieces spread among several people. Ammunition is one of those things that is difficult to change the shape and signature of and so are easier to detect.

This is not something to pick on the TSA about, Bill.

Give me a marble and a piec... (Below threshold)

Give me a marble and a piece of scotch tape, and I can discharge just about any center-fire round of ammunition.

I agree with SPQR, while it... (Below threshold)
big city:

I agree with SPQR, while it does seem like an honest mistake the TSA is right in confiscating the ammunition and placing Mr. Weekley on some sort of vague "red flag" list.

On a side note, Carlf scares me.

As a golf nut, I appreciate... (Below threshold)

As a golf nut, I appreciate the color Boo brings to the PGA Tour. While we get robotic play and interviews from Tiger ( not that there's anything wrong with that), Weekley's candor and humor bring a breath of fresh air. It's too bad this happened, but I bet it won't happen again!

Look, it was obviously an o... (Below threshold)

Look, it was obviously an oversight, but I have no problem with them pulling him off the flight and running a background check on him. If the "red flag" is permanent, though, it's ridiculous.

It's similar to the "zero tolerance" policies in schools which lead to kids who point a finger and say "Bang!" or draw a picture of a gun or bring a plastic butter knife to spread their peanut butter at lunch being expelled. We "can't" allow discretion, because those who are punished will cry "discrimination!"

In 2003, I went to the Bahamas. TSA examined the luggage - they confiscated a small nail care set I had just bought at the airport (!) because, apparently, it included a tiny pair of scissors. This was from checked luggage, not a carry-on. It seems they felt I might find a way to access the luggage compartment mid-flight, get the miniature scissors out of my bag, and . . . done what, exactly? Seriously, the biggest danger these things might have presented to anyone was of their laughing to death if threatened by them.

I know it was TSA who took them because they left a note in the bag - a form letter that items had been confiscated. My reading of the rules before going was that such things had to be in the checked luggage, and it was. Made no difference, and made no sense.

Its just as bad as them air... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Its just as bad as them airport security confiscating those teenie weenie little guns that come with those little action figures i mean YOU CANT FLY LIKE A EAGLE WHEN YOUR WORKING FOR TURKEYS

>Am I correct in believing ... (Below threshold)

>Am I correct in believing bullets without a gun to fire them would seem to pose no threat?

No. But don't let that stop you.

Bill there are plenty of is... (Below threshold)

Bill there are plenty of issues with the TSA to gripe about, however, I would call this something they should be commended for.

Just because you can not think of the harm 2 stray bullets can cause, does not mean that others will not find a way to use them is a dangerous way.

I'll assume that the bullet... (Below threshold)

I'll assume that the bullets in question were actually cartridges. If that is the case, the TSA did what they should. And if so, Weekely and the reporter are being loose with the defintion of bullet.

If they were only bullets, however, then the TSA is once again going overboard over BS, wasting time and money that could be spent in a more productive manner.

One of my favorite TSA geni... (Below threshold)

One of my favorite TSA genius stories, involved my trying to take some clean unfired brass in my carry on luggage. No propellant. No primers. No bullets, just clean, unfired, little tiny tubes of brass.
Nope! Can't carry it on the plane! (Guess I could have met up with another guy with a pocket full of primers and another guy with some gunpowder...no, wait! Those things are explosive! Then if we'd met another guy with bullets and another guy with a press...we could have made some bullets!
I suppose I could have poured a bunch of them in a sock and beaned somebody with them, but that's about as dangerous as they were. (Try telling that to the TSA!)

we could have made some ... (Below threshold)

we could have made some bullets!
Sorry! "bullets" (i.e. cartridges)

Yep, Proof, that is a bette... (Below threshold)

Yep, Proof, that is a better example of dumb TSA. Or the time they made me dispose of a cigar cutter shaped like a revolver cartridge.

But Bill is just wrong about this one.






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