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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.

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  1. Let me be the first to say thank Dog for the TSA. Without their constant vigilance, Tyler might have…well, no, I suppose not. But he could have…hmm, nope. Well, I guess nothing would have happened. But, still. If it saves one child…

  2. What can we expect from a bunch of TSA thumbsuckers who make a living strip-searching children and embarrassing old women in wheelchairs?

    For future flights, why not just remove and carry the firing pin? Removal isn’t too difficult to do with most bolt guns, and the pin isn’t obviously a gun part.

    • Yeah, but it’s an ASSAULT PIN! He could stick someone with it! And put out their eye! Can’t be too careful.

      Oh and by the way, “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.” That is SOOOO judgemental and mean-spirited! Little brothers have rights, too! And hey, your little brother probably wouldn’t break it too much.

  3. Interesting that they are gunsmart enough to recognize a bolt, but not to know that the reciever constitutes the restricted part of a long gun.

    • “…the reciever constitutes the restricted part of a long gun.”

      If you’re referring to “restricted from air travel in carryons,” most policies read “firearms or firearm components,” so basically anything that can be recognized by a layman as part of a firearm is probably going to send up a red flag. Empty magazines are also against the rules. Ask me how I know.

  4. Similar thing happened to me with a scope mount. It was in my carry-on in a package labeled “scope mount” and therefore determined to be firearm accessory, thereby not allowed. Fortunately, there was mail station in the airport for that exact purpose (mailing “contraband”) so I didn’t loose it.

    Funny thing was, the 2nd mount that I had with me was not in a labeled package so it went right through.

    • That’s yet another example of TSA finding only and exactly the things they’ve been trained to look for. These are the “bad things,” and if it’s not on this list it’s fine. Lots of “bad things” look like other things if you take them out of their native packaging.

      • They do have a point. One friend may bring a scope, another an action. A third might bring a stock. A forth friend may be a gunsmith and bring his mill with him in his carry on and fit it all together in the bathroom.

        • . . . . while in the first class toilet, another member of the gang readies his Dillon RL 550B reloader . . . .

          I think we have a great movie plot here, rabbi. I like Liam Neeson to play the brave pilot, and Steven Seagal to play the OFWG back in tourist class with the mad ninja skills. Think Casey Ryback in a wool-blend suit. And just think of the product placement opportunities!

          We’ll write the script and RF’ll pitch it to the studios.

        • First Class? Don’t need the reloader- we’ll have metal knives and forks- and for the cause, I’d be glad to “put a fork in it”!

  5. Yeah ok it is stupid. the police officer involved I give props too. To be honest Tyler is being smart by not leaving a fully functional weapon around. The Officer was cool in that yeah ok stupid rule, but instead of being an ass I will simply getting in your checked bag and everyone is happy.

  6. When I deployed to Iraq the first time in February of 2003 I was in charge of the advance party. There were only 12 of us, so we flew on the Chanel Flight from BWI to Kuwait International. My M4 and M9 were in Pelican Cases that went in the belly. Though a military contracted flight, the Chanel Flight flies from a regular gate at BWI so we had to go through the TSA Check Point. I had three unloaded M9 magazines in my carry on assault pack, along with a double sealed envelope clearly marked “SECRET//REL FVEY”.

    I had to give up the magazines, as you never know, I may have beat someone with them. When the TSA Goon (actually “Goonette”) wanted to open the envelope we had issues. I think she was just pissed off that some dude in a military uniform dared question her authority. I informed her that I would use force if she attempted to open the envelope. That prompted her supervisor, another Goonette to threaten to have me arrested if I didn’t allow them to open the envelope. I told them to go for it. The Baltimore cop (a sergeant) heard the story, told them they were morons and if they opened the envelope he would arrest them. Then to add insult to injury, he made them give me my magazines back.

    I feel safer every time I see a TSA uniform at the gate.

  7. You could turn this to your advantage.

    Put the bolt into luggage you’re going to check. Declare the bolt as a firearm. Lock your luggage, which no one is then allowed to open.

    More and more people have been using the TSA’s rules about guns in baggage to their advantage. Want to prevent them from going through your checked luggage and stealing shiny things they find therein? Toss in an empty flare gun, declare the gun, force them to document and lock your luggage. Only you get the key, it can’t be opened by the apes in the middle of the system.

    If your bag goes missing, you tell the airline that it contained a declared firearm. The baggage apes then have to step up a real search for your bag, lest they have to fill out a wad of paperwork if they can’t find it.

  8. hahaha, anybody see the new South Park TSA (Toilet Seat Administration) Episode? If not, I totally suggest watching it… anybody who has ever had to go through the circus act that is now “Airport Security” will enjoy it

  9. Couldn’t you just remove the bolt like you have been and place it in a lock box that only you have the key to? Then you don’t have to lug it around through airports and such.

    Or better yet, take the Ruger Lock that should have come with your firearm and install it on the rifle with the bolt open – you keep the keys. Yes? No?

    Oh never mind, just go ahead and have custom handcrafted etching on the bolt – you may want to try the words used in the title of this article. Oh, and etch this websites phone # on there too so the TSA can call to discuss this dangerous item of destruction.

  10. Researchers have determined ‘humans’ to be less than a 2% genetic variance from the root-stock indigenous primates, and all variants within the aforementioned group identifiable as ’human’ to be descended from a single ancestor.
    While opinions undoubtedly vary as to the meaning and significance of this knowledge for those in possession of it, for some, it provides a suitable basis from which certain determinations may thereafter be made.
    For instance, in regard to say, the purpose and intent of members of the variant group in using distinctions about themselves and/or other members of the variant group ( such as skin color, continent, mountain region, island chain, or nation of origin & etc. )–and erroneously associating said distinctions to ‘race’.
    That said, I rise in defense of those otherwise defenseless members of the Great Ape Race, ( an identifier of the primary ‘race’ from which humans are a mere variant ) and respectfully request any who might be so inclined, to please, keep your racist remarks to yourself and avoid any like or similar references to TSA personnel as Thumb Sucking Apes.
    Thank you for your consideration in this most pressing matter.

    “Evil is an absence of Conscience, Hell a place devoid of all Reason.”

  11. F**K OFF TSA! A bolt is not even defined as a firearm by our fascist friends over at the BATFE. A bolt is not a firearm. The lower reciever, in other words the thingy onto which a bolt is seated and into which a magazine is fed is the firearm even absent the bolt and magazine. A bolt never becomes a firearm at any point it is merely inserted into a firearm to facilitate operation. Similarly a lower reciever doesn’t stop being a firearm when the bolt is removed it will always be a firearm.

    Stupidity should be a felony crime in this country.


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