Federal Offense: Teen Detained for Purse With Gun Design

Posted: December 4, 2011 in Uncategorized
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It’s not unusual for 17-year-old to find themselves in hot water with the fashion police. But on a flight from Virginia to Florida, Vanessa Gibbs found herself detained by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) over the appearance of her purse.

And just to be clear, it wasn’t the content inside the purse that the TSA objected to. No, agency officials took exception with the design of a gun on Gibbs’ handbag.

“It’s my style, it’s camouflage, it has an old western gun on it,” Gibbs told News4Jax.com. Gibbs didn’t run into any trouble while traveling north from Jacksonville International Airport. But on her way back home, TSA officials at Norfolk International Airport pulled her aside.

“She was like, ‘This is a federal offense because it’s in the shape of a gun,’” Gibbs said. “I’m like, ‘But it’s a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?’”

Nonetheless, the TSA says the design could be considered a “replica weapon,” something that the agency has banned since 2002. Just imagine what would have happened if Gibbs had also been wearing stiletto heels.

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