AI member Tyler relays a tale of wanton death and destruction that was only narrowly averted by the vigilance of our friends who work for the Transportation Safety Administration. We’re not sure what Tyler was thinking – trying to carry such a dangerous item on board a commercial aircraft – but here’s his story . . .
I had the friendly people at TSA notify me when I tried to get on a flight to Alaska (where I work around bears) this morning that a disassembled bolt for a Ruger m77 is not, in fact, a nicely machined paper weight but is actually a full-fledged firearm that I could use for some evil purpose…if I had managed to somehow convince 30 accomplices to meet me on the other side of the security checkpoint with the other rifle bits they’d stowed in their carry on bags.
I’m probably just super naive and used to the open carry that I enjoy while I am living in Alaska but come on, half of a bolt assembly for a rifle? The tiny regional airport I was at was actually staffed by some really cool people and the cop I talked to was more interested in bear hunting stories than anything else. He claimed that he personally put it into my checked luggage instead of confiscating it like a good robot would. Thank God I was flying out of a small podunk airport and not SEA-TAC (where I am typing this). I can just imagine the circus that would have erupted at the TSA checkpoint here.
If you were wondering about the logistics, I usually leave my rifle up there and just bring the bolt back and forth with me. That way it can’t be used by anybody else like my little brother. This is the first time I have ever been hassled about the bolt and I got a real funny look when I asked them to define when a spring, screw, bolt or piece of pipe becomes a firearm.
Props to the cop Tyler swapped bear hunting stories with. He really did go out of his way to slip the blue bolt into his checked bag so Tyler didn’t lose it. Just a thought: Tyler may want to consider a secure bolt storage facility in Alaska for future trips to the lower forty-eight.