My first time

Reno was the first time for me. I’ve had lots and lots of encounters where it could have happened had they given me enough attention. There have been dozens of times I certainly was making the moves on them and wanted something to happen. But it seemed they just weren’t interested in me. Oh well. You try as best you can and it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.

At the SeaTac airport on my way to Reno I wore my Boomershoot 2004 t-shirt and my Boomershoot 2006 hat. On the way back I was a “good boy” and didn’t wear the provocative shirt. But when they ran the swab over the edge of my gun case and ran it through the explosive sniffer it came back with a positive indication for explosives. The guy didn’t quite know what to do and called a supervisor. They talked about it a bit and seemed to think the boxes and boxes of ammo (probably about 300 rounds of .223 and another 100 rounds of .40 S&W) could have influenced the test. I pulled out my ATF type 20 license (license to manufacture high explosives) and showed it to them and explained I have a lot of contact with explosives. They looked at it but didn’t seem to know what to do with that information either.

Finally they removed most of the ammo from the case and pushed on the foam in the case looking for “something” underneath the foam. They didn’t touch the gun. My guess is they are not authorized to do that. Finally they put all the ammo back in the case and said I could go.

Why this time I wonder? It could be because I’ve never had this case sniffed before and I do use this gun and case a lot to test my reactive targets. Some of those tests result in prills of ammonium nitrate flying back at me (and the gun case). That rifle has been handled a lot after I was mixing up explosives. Whatever. I don’t really think it was the ammo.


3 thoughts on “My first time

  1. Traveling back and forth between Nashville and Burbank I’ve head many “hits” for explosives from the TSA swab abd sniff machines.

    The best one was when I was told that my suitcase showed traces of PETN. Not having handled a firearm or propellants or explosives I was a little surprised. The TSA guy said he had to call his supervisor over. The supervisor asked me a few questions but I noticed that he was really paying attention to my demeanor and body language. That actually made me more nervous. Anyway the supervisor stepped away from me and leaned into the TSA drone’s ear saying something I didn’t catch. Supe left drone started searching my bag. What had me nervous was that I had seven 2/3 scale Glock shaped paperweights that I’d made from aluminum. They were wrapped, all together, in bubblewrap and you couldn’t tell from the outside what was inside the taped up bundle. Drone searches through my checked luggage examining all sorts of metal objects, sample parts I’d made, and hefts this semi-large package weighing several pounds. Annoyed now that I’ll have to explain what they are I’m surprised when he sets the bundle of Glock paperweights down and says everything is OK.

    Good for me sure, I can go through. Bad for security? Absolutely! There was no way he could tell what was in the package. He told me himself that his machine said PETN and an opaque several pound package remained unsearched.

    The very best part was when he complained that after the hit for PETN he’d have to clean his whole machine. I sailed through the rest of my flight.

  2. In reno, they swabbed my rifle case. I said ‘i was at the range yesterday so you’ll likely get a hit.’ But nothing. odd.

    Then they took my ammo.

  3. Once at SeaTac I had been at the indoor range less than an hour earlier and probably had particles of gun powder all over my clothes and hands and they didn’t notice anything about my computer case they just swabbed. After talking the guy up a while to get him friendly I gave him a freshly fired shell casing they had missed when I went through the metal detector. He swabbed the inside of it and it passed. He insisted on keeping the shell casing–for some reason it was considered unacceptable on the plane. [shrug]

    SayUncle, I read your post about losing your ammo. Sorry to hear about that. Good luck on getting some satisfaction on that. Had you thought of it I would have been glad to run out to the airport, pick it up for you and ship it to your home. If it happens next time…

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