British Airport Security Confiscates Necklace From Ex-Cop…Because Guns

From the land formerly known as Great Britain comes today’s example of zero tolerance stupidity commonly known as modern airport security theater. Claire Sharp, a former special branch officer, was flying out of London Stansted Airport when the Brit equivalent of a TSA agent noticed the one-inch-long charm she was wearing around her neck. The gun pendant had been given to her by her late husband.

The mum-of-three, who is now a company director for her own dog food company, says she has travelled through other airports in the UK, abroad and even Stansted in the past, and not had the gold pendant removed.

She said: ‘I was being searched by a female security officer and she saw my necklace and said ‘this might be a problem’.

The mindless drone called in a more senior mindless drone to examine the clearly dangerous object Ms. Sharp was trying to smuggle aboard an airliner.

‘I explained it was just a charm, that it had been bought for me by my late husband and that it had been through airport security on loads of occasions – including Stansted – without issue.

‘He then took it off to ask his supervisor and came back saying it would need to be confiscated as it was an imitation firearm.

‘He said it could either be posted to me at a charge or kept at the airport until I returned to the UK. I opted for the latter. However, when we returned, I was charged £8 to get it back.

Thank heavens the Civil Aviation Authority had their top people working that day, otherwise Ms. Sharp might have actually managed to get that dangerous little trinket on board.

‘The lack of common sense displayed at Stansted was astounding. To be charged £8 for the privilege of their idiocy just added insult to injury. My fingers underneath my jumper pointed at someone looks more like a real gun than my necklace.

‘I told the security officer that the necklace had huge sentimental value and why but they didn’t care.

When asked about the incident, a nameless airport security flack was every bit as apologetic and contrite as you’d expect a bureaucratic functionary to be.

A spokesman said: ‘Apologies for the inconvenience caused. However, under CAA regulations any novelty items, replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons will be deemed unsuitable for carriage and reasonably would be confiscated at our security.

‘We understand that security is not one of the most pleasant parts of your journey, however for the safety of everyone, this is our top priority and all regulations must to be adhered to.’

What’s sad is that it’s not like airport security is any better or more intelligently handled on this side of the Atlantic. Chalk it up to a toxic combination of garden variety government organizational fatuousness and the ongoing effort to stigmatize, de-legitimize and other-ize firearms and the people who own them. Good times.



  1. avatar Uh-huh says:


    1. avatar Flinch says:

      I had a hand pat down in New Orleans and the drone missed my Surefire defender flashlight in the side pocket of my carharts. As the dude poked and prodded me I remembered the light and almost said something but decided to play dumb if he found it. He didn’t.

      1. avatar Colt Magnum says:

        I’ve never had a problem bringing a flashlight on a plane. I carry a Surefire (not sure which model) also. I place it in the basket with my keys, phone, coins, etc. No issues.

        1. avatar Flinch says:

          Yea, but I opted out of getting irradiated in the box. So I was just hand searched instead. No metal detector, no millimeter wave scan. Just a guy with gloves. I was to have absolutely nothing in my pockets. How do you miss a flashlight?

        2. avatar BigDaveinVT says:

          Maybe he just thought you were happy to see him.

      2. avatar Retrocon says:

        Maybe they thought it was your naughty bits, and thought it inappropriate to comment on it’s rigidity or OAL.

  2. avatar Pat H says:

    I flew 4 months after 9/11. They confiscated my tiny fingernail clippers. (It had a swing-out nail file.)

    1. avatar NoOneOfConsequence says:

      Sadly I can top it… a few months after 9/11, TSA had to call in their management to determine if a one-hole hole punch was allowable on the plane. You know.. the kind that barely allows 1 sheet of paper to be punched at a time…..

      1. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

        Got that one beat. I was passing through security in Tampa. My toothpaste bottle was nearly empty but it was a 6oz bottle, Colgate Gel. The agent confiscated it. When I objected that he could clearly see that there was less than 3 oz in the bottle, he stuck the bottle in his shirt pocket. I passed on. It wasn’t worth my time.

      2. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Years ago I was doing jury duty. At the security theatre they held the screwdrivers I had in my bag from repairing computers over the weekend.

        When I collected the screwdrivers I casually asked the security people if they ever considered the lethal possibilities of a pen. They probably hadn’t seen The Godfather part 2.

        1. avatar OldDataDude says:

          Way before 911 (80s) I was going through security in Miami. I always kept a minimal set of tools in a check box (remember checks?), and the security screener questioned my screwdriver. Nice little flat blade, chrome plated with a yellow handle. I told him I had been flying with that tool kit, that I use for my job, for years and nobody ever questioned it. Still have that screwdriver. Used it today.

          The one that surprised me was the black leather case for a data analyzer I used to carry. I always thought it looked like a case for an Uzi, but it never caused a single question. Maybe they thought it was a “bag phone”.

    2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      The have broken off the nail file off mine several times. I guess it is too much of a knife.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Remember when TSA banned nail-files? I read 2 stories.

        First. A Secret Service Agent approached the TSA screening station. He put his gun-papers on the counter, his gun on the counter and ran his bag thru the scanner. The eagle-eyed TSA spotted the nail-file and confiscated it. The Agent picked-up his gun-papers and gun and went on to board the plane.

        That wasn’t the funny story.

        Second, a female airline pilot – in uniform – approached the TSA screening station. She displayed her pilot’s credentials. They scanned her luggage and spotted her nail-file. The TSA screener confiscated the nail-file; to which the pilot objected, challenging the TSA agent to explain why. The TSA agent responded: “We don’t want anyone to get control of the aircraft.”

        1. avatar ironicatbest says:

          That’s hilarious, pure genius

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          I snorted.

        3. avatar Rattlerjake says:

          My drink just came out of my nose……..BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        I had a waiter’s standard bottle opener, which has a tiny little blade, 3/4 of an inch, no more, for cutting the metal (or plastic) caps on wine bottles. When the “woman” at O’Hare said it was a knife and prohibited (although the corkscrew was not a problem), I just snapped the pot metal sucker clean off while giving her a dirty look for her stupidity.

        1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

          Actually the 9/11 maniacs used box knives, which had blades about that length. Not allowing those blades is arguably the most reasonable thing they do.

    3. avatar Cliff H says:

      I had security confiscate my P38 can opener (a memento from my Army days) claiming the sharp point that actual cut the can lid could be used as a weapon! That part is maybe 3/8ths inch long.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        I have a P-38 on my keychain. It’s flown several times. The last trip, in February, they eyed my magnesium and flint fire starter. He commented that he guessed it was no different than a bic lighter.

        1. avatar tmm says:

          I remember when lighters were verboten. Had to go old school with matches.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          Nowadays matches could be sniffed by the ‘air-puffer’ machine as ‘explosives’…

    4. avatar tmm says:

      Looking at what’s happening in FL and WA these days, I’m starting to wonder what’s going to be confiscated outside of the airport.

    5. avatar JS says:

      I had an safety envelope opener where only the envelope could fit into the device but they confiscated it as dangerous.

  3. avatar AZD says:

    Fully semi-auto .9mm. Nice.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    Situational power. You see it when low-level government workers or contractors get to throw their weight around. In the past, it was most commonly observed at your local motor vehicles office. Now it’s on display at airports worldwide.

    Alas, those workers are still the same losers when their shift ends. I’ve scraped more important stuff off the bottom of my shoes.

  5. avatar Gazzer says:

    Must be one of those .9mm we keep hearing about.

    1. avatar Treedodger says:

      That’s awesome. At first I thought it could possibly be one of those dangerous poptart type weapons, but on closer inspection it is clearly a .9mm.

  6. avatar surlycmd says:

    Anyone who mistakes that pendant for a real firearm should be sterilized to prevent another generation of idiots.

  7. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    “…any novelty items, replicas and imitation firearms capable of being mistaken for real weapons…”

    Thank goodness she didn’t have any shells for it.

    (Also, what are the laws regarding short-barreled shotguns in GB?

    1. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      The minimum barrel length for pump action or semi-auto shotguns in the UK is 24″. Lever action, bolt action, single shot, or double barrels can be shorter.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:


        At least if you run out of ammo you can just spear ’em.

  8. avatar Pic says:

    The NRA used to give away key rings with a silver .45 Colt bullet on them. It was solid pot metal with a hole right thru the base for the key ring. I carried it for quite a few years, to the point that most the plating had worn off. It was obviously not real.

    Sometime around 2004 Mr TSA doofus decided it was verboten and I had to toss it in the trash or miss my flight. Never mind that it had passed security multiple times before.

  9. avatar Ollie says:

    The sooner the Jihadist Wave consumes the UK and Europe, the better.
    Within a decade, or two, at most. Can’t wait.

    Our Congress needs to pass legislation preventing the US from sending any more military aid to that region, it will eventually be used against us. We need to get out of NATO, too.

    1. avatar Jormungand says:

      I agree! Sadly, on our side of the pond. We have a bunch of libtards aka Democrats that love muslim jihadists. So don’t count on that happening. Seriously, when are we going to indict Obama for his funding and arming of ISIS/ISIL?

    2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      When the British etc. get into a severe bind, they will put ads in the papers asking for American citizens to send guns and ammo for them to protect themselves like they did in WW2.

  10. avatar Kyle says:

    The only thing I have zero tolerance for is “Zero tolerance”” policies.

  11. avatar ironicatbest says:

    It’s gone to far past lunacy

  12. avatar Mark N. says:

    Never mistake for malice what can adequately be explained by pure stupidity. (Said someone, not me.) The key phrase in the ban is “capable of being mistaken for a real weapon.” What kind of an idiot does it take–at several increasing levels of responsibility–that a one inch long charm on a necklace is simply impossible to mistake for a real weapon.

  13. avatar DaveL says:

    Did I imagine it, or did the regulation specify:

    capable of being mistaken for real weapons

    What kind of brain-dead badge goblin could possibly mistake that charm for a real weapon?

    1. avatar rt66paul says:

      A smurf?

    2. avatar Astigmatism says:

      The same one that uses a hair dryer in the shower.

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    They’ve basically won since we’ll never go back to common sense again

  15. avatar Gordon in MO says:

    Quote: The sooner the Jihadist Wave consumes the UK and Europe, the better.
    Within a decade, or two, at most. Can’t wait. : end quote.

    Remember, both France and England developed atomic weapons decades ago. What do you think the jihadists will do with nuclear weapons when they take over? Which two countries will be first?

    The “sooner the better”? I think not.

  16. avatar RCC says:

    I have multiple stories about airport “security”.

    They took the small piece of insulation tape I had in backpack so I didn’t tie up the pilot but left the two scalpels and surgical tape in my first aid kit. I had also just checked in 10 firearms, 1000’s of rounds ammo and 6 knives between friend and I. But the tape was dangerous.

  17. avatar neiowa says:

    Is it even the “Mediocre Britain” today? Doubtful

    1. avatar pieslapper says:

      They should change it to Mediocre At Best Britain, or We Were Great Once A Long Time Ago.

  18. avatar Randy says:

    ‘Tis a good thing the woman wasn’t wearing a blouse imprinted with antique firearms patterns!

  19. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    No telling how many lives were saved during this incident.

  20. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    We are increasingly being ruled by stupid people.

    1. avatar Ed says:

      Chris T. read “The Marching Morons” by Cyril Kornbluth. A verrrrry scary preview of the effect on civilization caused by the decrease in intelligence.

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        Thanks ill check it out.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Yes, but it’s stupid people that elects them.

  21. avatar J says:

    I made a petition on that has made them upset. I posted a pro-2nd Amendment petition on their site. Please go to link and endorse it if you fell like it after you read it. They want to take it down as they state at the top of it, but that would infringe on our 1st Amendment rights. Copy the link and send to friends also if you feel like it.

    Are there any other online petitions we could start to help us out with pro-2nd Amendment.

  22. avatar J says:

    The petition web site has a lot of pro-2nd Amendment petitions that need people to view and sign if possible. Please help save our 2nd Amendment rights. Look at these and decide which to sign. There are too many to link here.

    A lot of anti-2nd Amendment petitions are post there also.

  23. avatar Tiny Hands says:

    Just doing their jobs, folks. They obviously figured it was a .9mm Ruger.

  24. avatar Jim Rutter says:

    Once upon a time I arrived in Juneau by other transportation. I boarded a return flight to Anchorage wearing my Ruger Super Blackhawk. No problems. We arrived in Anchorage, no problems. Once we were treated like mature Americans.

  25. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

    Absolute nonsense…

  26. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    Yes this was stupid. But what does her former position as a paid government thug have to do with anything? How many stupid laws did she enforce?

  27. avatar JS says:

    The British have decided to race the Canadians to the bottom (or is it the top of the idiot pile)

  28. avatar GunTotinDem says:

    Lets see who’s next MP’s, seals,infantry? They’d probably $h!t a brick if the ADA in full uniform had a flight out

    ( for those not in the service Cossed pistols, pistol/trident, crossed rifles, and missles are part of the insignia)

  29. avatar Retrocon says:

    “Flight attendant? Take me to the pilot, this is a necklace jacking.”

  30. avatar Retrocon says:

    When necklace charms are outlawed, only outlaws will have necklace charms.

    NICCS – national instant charm check system

    We need more charm control.

  31. avatar Matt in MT says:

    Yikes! The Romans crucified tens of thousands (6,000 in a single day after Spartucus’ rebellion) with crosses.
    A cross pendant could certainly be “capable of being mistaken for real weapons” and “be deemed unsuitable for carriage and reasonably would be confiscated at our security”.
    I’m surprised there haven’t been any airline crucifixion attempts. I am appalled at this lapse in security.

  32. avatar Roger J says:

    The US teachers union has gone global.

  33. avatar Juice says:

    When I was a teenager I had a keychain that my dad had made out of a .38 shell with a rivet through the primer hole, then topped with a bullet. After my 3rd or 4th flight with it, a TSA agent in Houston told me it was “unacceptable” and had me remove it from my keys and turn it over. She promptly disposed of it in a nearby wastebasket on the secure side of the checkpoint. In my experience, some agents seem to understand what they’re there to accomplish and why. For others it’s just a job, that apparently any idiot can get.

  34. avatar Robert says:

    I was behind a family going through screening at BWI Airport. The young teenage boy had a switch blade. …….. A switch blade POCKET COMB, that is. ……. It was confiscated!

    ………. They searched me, too, because my metal buckle set the scanner off.
    I embarrassed THEM though. ……. I simply dropped my pants right in front of them!

  35. avatar Cliffspot says:

    I have a 6 inch adjustable crescent wrench, a 5 inch flashlight, numerous pens, all in my backpack and they take me on the side to chemical test my meatball sub that was also in my backpack. In Las Vegas last December on my way to Tampa.

  36. avatar GaAbstractor says:

    I few years ago (post 9/11) I was flying out of Jacksonville, FL for a fishing trip in Canada. Not wanting to risk loosing my fishing tackle I put it in my carry-on. I got flagged at security for the fish hooks and so removed the bag of tackle and put it in my checked bag. Then I went back through security with a 4 inch folding knife that I had forgotten was still in my carry on and was waved through!

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