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(courtesy The Truth About Guns)
It happened to me! Foolish human that I am, I decided to use my range bag for a carry-on for a trip to the UK. Before departing The Land Of the Free and the Home of the Brave for The Land of Hope and Glory, I searched the bag with a fine-toothed comb. OK, nit-pickers, I used my hands. Anyway, I missed a single, solitary .22 cartridge – worth $42.70 at today’s prices – wedged deep into a side seam. The TSA missed it as well (they were busy frisking someone in a wheelchair). But not the UK scanners. My ten-year-old and I were given the third degree. Thankfully, eventually, the MP5-wielding police let us go without a cavity search or sanction, save a stern talking to. We could have been arrested. Check this tale from Pakistan [via] . . .

Islamabad: A United States citizen was arrested at Islamabad airport on Friday for attempting to board a plane carrying ammunition, Pakistan officials said, in the second such case since May.

The man, who was identified by police and airport security as a US security trainer, was passing through security checks at Benazir Bhutto International Airport when he was caught with 15 rounds for a 9mm handgun.

Muhammad Fayaz, a police officer deputed at the airport, said: “The Airport Security Force (ASF) has handed over to us a US national after recovering a magazine and 15 bullets from him.

“The bullets and magazine were discovered through a scanning machine.”
An airport security official told a news agency that the man was set to travel by Etihad flight EY-232 from Islamabad to Abu Dhabi and onward to the United States.

“He is residing in the US embassy as a security trainer,” the official said.

A spokesman for the US embassy was not immediately able to provide confirmation of the arrest.

The incident came two months after US FBI agent Joel Cox was arrested at Karachi airport and detained for a few days for carrying the same type and amount of ammunition.

The case against him was later dropped after the Pakistani government said he was authorised to carry the rounds.

The agent’s lawyer also submitted a copy of a letter from the US embassy showing that he was on a mission and was allowed to carry the ammunition.

So even CIA operatives and undercover Fibbies get into trouble when they try to carry ammo through airports. You have been warned. Oh, and while we’re in Pakistan, remember the US citizen (i.e. CIA assassin) arrested for offing a couple of Pakistan nationals?

US-Pakistan ties have improved markedly since almost collapsing in 2011 amid a series of crises, including the US raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden — which Islamabad branded a violation of sovereignty.

The fatal shooting of two men by CIA contractor Raymond Davis in the eastern city of Lahore in January 2011 also sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two “war on terror” allies.

A Pakistani court eventually freed Davis following the payment of USD 2 million in blood money to the families of the dead men.

Unless you’ve got top level CIA clearance and a couple of million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money in your back pocket, check your luggage for rounds before flying and don’t shoot anyone in Pakistan, if you can avoid it. That is all.

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  1. ‘…including the US raid in Pakistan that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden — which Islamabad branded a violation of sovereignty… The fatal shooting of two men by CIA contractor… also sparked a diplomatic crisis between the two “war on terror” allies.’

    So they were hiding Bin Laden and got all pissy when we went behind their backs, but we’re supposed to believe they’re our allies?

  2. I keep the bags I use for traveling away from any firearms-related stuff just for that reason. Smaller caliber rounds (even 9mm) have a habit of hiding in corners.

    • Yep, that includes checking your bags and car before traveling through Washington D.C, Massachusetts, New York City and Chicago.


      MILLER: D.C. arrests vet for unregistered ammunition (part 1) (Washington Times)

      You don’t want to end up like “former Army Specialist Adam Meckler [who] was arrested at the VFW in the District because he happened to have a few long-forgotten rounds of ordinary ammunition in his bag.”


      Be sure too you don’t have any round balls of lead…

      MILLER: Exclusive — Shock verdict — Mark Witaschek guilty of possessing muzzleloader bullets in D.C. (Washington Times)

      “In a surprising twist at the end of a long trial, a District of Columbia judge found Mark Witaschek guilty of “attempted possession of unlawful ammunition” for antique replica muzzleloader bullets.”


      And if your in Massachusetts, look but DON’T TOUCH any spent cartridges you happen to see on the ground.

      Don’t pick up after others, or, the danger of spent shell casings (Massachusetts Bar Association)

      “The Appeals Court has held that it is a crime in Massachusetts to possess spent shell casings that are incapable of being fired or of discharging a bullet. So nature lovers, bird watchers, souvenir hunters, scrap metal collectors and curious people of all ages who pick up empty shotgun shell casings, or discharged firearm cartridges, are now subject to criminal prosecutions.”


      However, if you’re a journalist for an Establishment news outlet and want to exercise your 1st Amendment rights to prove a point about the irrelevance of the 2nd Amendment, then have at it…you have a de facto journalist carve-out.

      MILLER: David Gregory gets off scot free (Washington Times)

      “The attorney general for the District of Columbia, Irvin Nathan, announced Friday that he will not press charges against NBC News’ David Gregory nor any employee of the broadcast network for violating the city’s gun laws. Violation of the city’s firearms laws carry a maximum $1,000 fine and one year in jail.”

  3. OOps. Next time tip it over and tap the bottom hard about a few dozen times. Then run a magnet through the bag. After that the finger run through. Just my opinion and 2 cents worth. 🙂

    • Or lay it on the driveway and start hitting all the seems with a hammer. That’ll get rid of those pesky .22 rounds…

    • I’m confused. Is the magnet supposed to pick up the brass case, the lead bullet, or the copper jacket?

  4. Yep our precious Muslim allies. Are the Pakistani’s as special as the Saudi’s who financed 911? Whahabi anyone?

  5. Range bags are range bags and are the only ones to hold ammo in my house. If a bag has been to the range then it will never be used for traveling.

    • Same practice here. Even if you do a thorough sweep and clear the bag and its many pockets of all ammo and its remnants, there’s still the molecules of gunpowder to contend with. You’re never going to clean a range bag, especially one made of any kind of natural fibers/materials, of traces of powder beyond what a specially trained, specifically bred scent hound will detect.

      Aeroflot, the Russian national airline, has an entire in-house dog breeding program in place since the 1970’s, resulting in dogs-by-design with insanely sensitive snouts. They’ll pick up from a distance in luggage the scent of numerous types of chemicals, in an amount no larger than a single grain of sand. You don’t want that kind of attention in a place like that, even if the subsequent very thorough search of you and your belongings confirms there’s nothing more than that harmless trace amount.

      Best just to leave all range items at home.

      • I stopped using my range bag as carry on luggage after twice having it cause me delays due to “explosives residue” being found.
        Having another bag show positive for radioactive material was even more “amusing”…..

  6. Always check your luggage before your roflcopter goes soisoisoisoisoi
    In all seriousness though, there’s generally no need (nor is it smart) to carry on a plane anyway. One wrong shot and the whole side of the plane is gone. I know, ammunition generally doesn’t go off by itself, but that’s also a risk. Not to mention the legal ramifications of being just a liiiiiiittle bit forgetful.

    • “One wrong shot and the whole side of the plane is gone.”

      No, that doesn’t happen. A wrong shot puts a tiny hole in the side of the plane and the worst case possible scenario is that the plane slowly depressurizes over the course of 30 minutes or something … and even that may not happen if the plane’s pressurization system can keep the plane pressurized.

  7. I don’t use range bags for carry-one any more. The airports I attend just don’t appreciate quality ammo as much as I do.

  8. I don’t fly anymore. It is the epitome of dehumanization. The seats keep shrinking, there are more and more fees, there are more and more restrictions, and it just keeps getting worse.

    And I didn’t even mention the ever increasing intrusiveness of “security” screening.

    No thank you … I’ll drive.

    • Yep, “the truth is there is something terribly wrong with this country”

      “How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.”

      V for Vendetta: The Revolutionary Speech

      • I like to have a few beers and watch V, Fight Club, and Watchmen every once in a while. I don’t fly if I can help it, though contractual obligations sometime require the crossing of oceans. Being treated like cattle at international airports just pisses me off.

    • Driving can be just as bad. What jurisdictions are you driving through? Are you sure there are no spent casings in your trunk? under the seats? in the console? in the door pouch? in the back seat cushions?

      If you get pulled over in DC while sightseeing with plates from somewhere far south or west you might be treated to a search. I rarely forget about rounds but sometimes I forget that other people get freaked out by stray brass.

    • “I don’t fly anymore, I drive”. Difficult to drive to London.
      Range bags should not be used for travel, especially airline travel.
      I sometimes put a gun, magazine or knife in other bags or in the car. Check all bags, car and self before going into areas where they ban “items”. I “pat myself down” before going into airports, caught myself with a knife once which I still had in my pocket.
      Different Countries, States and places ban different things. Some buildings have no gun signs, some have no gun AND knife signs. Always check.

    • It’s tough to drive to Hawaii or Asia from Pennsylvania, as much as I’d like to. I fly when I have to. I remember a severe scare I had back in 1996 on my first flight to the Philippines. After arriving at my hotel, I was unpacking my bag and discovered a single .22LR round. Granted, this was pre 9-11, but I had boarded 3 different flights to get to the Phils and passed through customs, and had it been discovered at customs, I’d have been looking at years of jail time. I sat on the bed in the hotel shaking as I held the cartridge in my hand because I knew how darn lucky I was that day. My mistake was using my range bag as a carry on, because it had all those handy pockets and compartments. Never did it again. My range bag is ONLY used as a range bag. I gave the bullet to my brother-in-law, who thought it was funny.

    • I wish I could too but it’s a bloody long way from here to Albuquerque & there’s a drop or two of water in between.;-)

  9. My wife was walking around DC with a few spent 9mm casings from a range session that found their way into her purse for a couple of months. Fortunately for her the Capital Police never found on her daily screening entering the Library of Congress them before she did.

  10. Here is another reason: The smell of gunpowder can set off security in some airports.

    If it has been to the range, wash it well before flying with it. I’m talking about your range bag, AND the clothes you wore to the range that day.

    • I took a premium older progressive shotgun reloader through the airport once. Think big and heavy. Maybe 30 pounds. It went as a carry on. It reeked of spent primers and spilled powder. I could of cleaned it, but hey, I bought it as a favor for someone else… I figured as a used reloading tool, it was obvious that it might smell of primers and powder.

      The TSA guy went over it with their machine, took swabs, and all was A-OK. It did not test positive for “explosives”.

      I sent another with a Sister in Law as checked luggage. Again, nothing.

  11. Apparently, sometimes it doesn’t take even the scent of gunpowder – just having some bling on your ass in the form of sparkly jeans can get you to second base with a preggo TSA agent, and get you a bonus GSR residue check, too. Then again, maybe I just looked hot that day. LOL

  12. I had gone shooting and decided to use a backpack to carry range gear. I always made sure to keep my ammo in the dry box and never carry any on person or in bags. Well as we packed up, my buddy did not follow my rules and a 7.62x54R round made it to backpack; without me knowing . Months later, we traveled to Ecuador on a family vacation. On the return to the states I was stopped in ecuadorian security. They found the round and questioned me about it. I explained that it was an accident and slipped into my bag into the states. The round was taken and I was able to continue home. I was very lucky that the officer was very understanding of the situation. I just couldn’t believe that the round went through TSA in the states and Security as I entered Ecuador.

  13. I had a 12 ga birdshot round make it through mpls and Chicago airports, wow I felt dumb when I got home after my trip and found that bugger hiding at the bottom of my bag.

  14. Since I live in Georgia, and fly out of ATL, I guess I can just leave any they find with the TSA guy and pick it up on the way back through now…..

  15. I get swabbed for chemicals on more than half my flights anymore, and I don’t think there’s a bag I own that hasn’t had some kind of firearm or ammo in it at some point. I’ve become EXTREMELY careful with my search process before I fly anymore.

  16. “Unless you’ve got top level CIA clearance and a couple of million dollars of U.S. taxpayer money in your back pocket, check your luggage for rounds before flying and don’t shoot anyone in Pakistan, if you can avoid it.”

    …unless you’re CIA you should probably avoid being in Pakistan altogether.

  17. be careful of even empty cases 22s included for mexico, 1, .22 empty may earn you many mucho long time in their one of their filthy jails and usa cant or wont help you look at our marine down there now that accidently went into mexico with his guns and ammo,and one previous did accidently with 1,, 22 empty and suffererd horribly.. they told him he could get 30 years for it . but he didnt ,,got out somehow .they hate americans down there and just love to get you any way they can. not the common people, theyre great ,,but the govt and policia and authoritarians ,,theyre the bad ones.

  18. When you commute as much as I do, mistakes happen. I’ve lost 2 loaded magazines that I forgot were in my backpack. First time I felt dumb. The second time it happened, i felt… dumberrerrr. 🙁

  19. Why would anyone in their right mind go to Pakistan?? Even the Pakistani’s hate the place. Been in a taxicab lately, dry cleaners, or a convenience store??

  20. Happened to me a few months ago. I had a long-forgotten .45 ACP round in my toiletries bag. How did it get there? Hell if I know. They were fairly cool about it, but they did make a formal report, so I guess it got me on some government list. Oddly, they ask me if I wanted to take the round back to my car. I said I would just take a tax deduction instead! Ha!

  21. Easy fix: Keep ammo and firearms completely separate from any and all luggage containers.
    Obviously you couldn’t because you needed the range bag for traveling, but better safe than sorry right?

  22. I was going to take a business trip to Maryland and fly through Reagan. Same situation, was about to take my range bag as a carry on when I found a spent 9mm brass. Since my name isn’t David Gregory, I’m sure I would have been prosecuted if I took that bag with a single spent brass. How jacked up is it when Marijuana possession in DC is now a $25 ticket and possessing a single spent handgun cartridge brass will get you time in jail and a four figure fine.

    Only in DC would they criminalize a 200+ year plus right and decriminalize a controlled substance.

  23. Curse you for not letting me reply to comments, phone.

    Uncommon_sense— Wow. I learned something today. Thank god for for that. Though why you’d carry on a plane is still beyond me.

  24. So robert, are you actually complaining that the guy from 2011 didnt have to serve jail time in PAK? If memory serves the Pakistantani nationals who were killed were attempting to rob him at the time.

  25. I managed to accidentally get into mainland china with a .22 round in my sweatshirt pooch pocket.

    Needless to say, it found itself wadded in a napkin and thrown in the trash can on the street!

  26. The stupidity is in the laws and law enforcement. The whole concept of “intent” has been lost and replaced with “zero tolerance”. “Zero tolerance” means nobody has to think anymore.

    Fix the stupid laws. Fix the stupid people who are enforcing these laws.

    Who cares if you have 22lr, simply remove it and throw in the trash like all the shampoo and water bottles.

    Even in the case of the 9mm mags, simply remove them and let the person go. Why does this always have lead to an arrest. Are the courts not already over run with stupid cases?

  27. Went shooting one morning before work. Noticed a “clinking” noise walking on the tile floor in work. Empty cartridge case in the tread of my boot.

  28. This happened to me on my honeymoon going through Amsterdam. Only difference was that it was a 200 gr .45 hollow point. Amsterdam PD was none to pleased. Got off with a talking to and nothing else.

  29. It would take a week of cleaning to make sure all the brass was all cleaned out of the cars and trucks and bags and my wife’s purses… like change, brass finds it’s way into every nook and cranny.

    • If you are traveling anywhere near the northeast corner of the USA, you might want to invest in that week. Or stay out of MA, CT, NY, NJ, DE, MD, Washington D.C., IL, HA, CA, CO, and all of Canada and Mexico.

    • Hey, it’s ONLY $2.49 for a box of 40 rounds at Dick’s Sporting goods with a limit of 2 boxes. (sarc) When I saw the price this week AND the 2 box limit (like 80 rounds of .22LR is a lot somehow) I couldn’t believe it. I realize I sound like my grandmother when I tell stories of how I used to buy 500 round bricks of Remington or Winchester for $9.99…… as I walked 6 miles to the store…… uphill both ways….. in the snow……

  30. This happened to me, once. But it was a domestic flight. And a magazine full of 9mm ammo. They TSA guys were cool–confiscated the shells but let me keep the magazine (I had to return it to my car).

    It’s good to have a dedicated range bag.


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