The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscated a "rocket-propelled grenade launcher" at Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley International Airport on Monday.
TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted, "
@TSA officers detected the unassembled parts of a military rocket-propelled grenade launcher in a man's checked bag at @FLYLVIA yesterday. When assembled, the launcher was determined to be non-functioning and the grenade an inert replica. (Thank goodness!)."
.@TSA officers detected the unassembled parts of a military rocket propelled grenade launcher in a man's checked bag at @FLYLVIA yesterday. When assembled, the launcher was determined to be non-functioning and the grenade an inert replica. (Thank goodness!) pic.twitter.com/hrBt5ECdpJ— TSAmedia_LisaF (@TSAmedia_LisaF) March 5, 2019
In a press release, TSA said the inert grenade launcher belonged to a Florida man who tried to pass it through a checkpoint of high-tech security scanners.
The unassembled pieces were spotted by TSA personnel who were operating an X-ray machine. TSA said there was a barrel, trigger, sights, and an inert round.
Pictures from the TSA indicate it was an inert Russian RPG-7, a portable, reusable, unguided, shoulder-launched, anti-tank rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
The unidentified man, from St. Augustine, Florida, was detained by airport police. He told police that he thought a replica grenade launcher could be allowed on a plane.
Though the TSA website indicates “realistic replicas of firearms” may be permitted in checked bags, no weapons of “military nature” are permitted in checked or carry-on luggage, a TSA official said in the press release.
Passengers who attempt to bring weapons of “military nature” through a checkpoint can face civil penalties of up to $13,000, TSA said.
However, in this situation, the inert grenade launcher was confiscated, and the man was allowed to continue his flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport, reportedly without a fine.
This comes one day after Farbstein tweeted another incident that occurred over the weekend where someone tried to sneak a fake grenade, pellets and other paraphernalia through a security checkpoint at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport.
Someone on Twitter replied to the TSA spokesperson post and asked: Is this a "trial run"?