The idiots outdo each other

I missed it when it first came out but late last month the TSA banned all lighters from checked as well as carry-on luggage.  I had grumbled about the congressional idiots who passed the law before and sort of expected the TSA would bring some smarts to the table.  I was wrong.  The TSA expanded the congressional idiocy.  Read their press release here.  Relevant snippets are here:

After carefully evaluating the security threat, Congressional intent and operational considerations, TSA determined that passengers should be prohibited from carrying all lighters on their person or in carry-on luggage in the sterile areas of airports or onboard an airplane. The policy will be fully enforced beginning April 14, 2005.  

All lighters will be banned from sterile areas beyond security checkpoints at airports.  This includes, for example, butane, absorbed-fuel (Zippo-type), electric/battery-powered and novelty lighters.

TSA’s mission includes preventing air piracy and use of an airplane as a weapon.  TSA prohibits items that may be used to that end from being carried aboard an airplane.  The lighter ban will fulfill Congress’ intent as expressed in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act and reduce security vulnerabilities, providing one more layer of security for the nation’s travelers.

No mention of matches in their press release.  So I guess if you light a fuse with a match they don’t have a problem with it.  And interestingly enough, confirming their idiocy, is that their list of prohibited items says:

Up to 2 lighters or 4 books of safety matches are allowed in your carry-on baggage – NOT checked baggage. Disposable lighters and absorbed liquid lighters are allowed in your carry-on baggage.

Everything I said before about the congress critters applies to the TSA idiots that implemented the idiotic law.


2 thoughts on “The idiots outdo each other

  1. Heh. I’ve lost two cigar lighters to TSA. One at the security checkpoint. Well before the latest ruling, “torch” lighters were verbotten. Sending the next one through in check baggage resulted in it disappearing and a TSA ‘we were here’ note being left in its place.

    The ironic thing is that I’ve been stowing the cigar cutter in checked baggage, thinking that anything with an edge would be confiscated, but the PDF you link to says the cutter is okay for the carry-on. Not that I’m going to test that theory.

    I also note that their list of prohibited explosives does not appear to include Boomershoot targets. And that strike-anywhere matches are prohibited in all baggage.

    Go figure.

  2. Things have changed. They used to prohibit some of the components of my reactive targets. I can’t see that they still do that. Even following to this link,, I could not find what used to be there. However they do mention you cannot bring “Flammable Liquids or Solids”. Powdered formula for your baby will burn really good. I guess that means you can’t bring your clothes or actually much of anything short of rocks and dirt in terms of solids.

    My guess is I could, according to the posted restrictions, bring all the components for the current Boomershoot targets onboard. Once I mixed them together then I would run afoul of their restrictions on explosives but by then it would be too late. Idiots.

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