TSA and "Tactical Pens"

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2edgesword
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TSA and "Tactical Pens"

Postby 2edgesword » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:58 am

There are no details on the make/model of pen but here you go...

http://www.tsa.gov/who_we_are/workforce ... 00110.shtm
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Postby 2cha » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:13 am

Somehow this doesn't even surprise me. Then again, I'm a pessimist. I hope the victim has the resources to lawyer-up and to challenge the criminal charge instead of making a no-contest plea and letting the absurdity fade away. I truly hate to agree with the position taken by some "rights" organizations that regulation and restriction inevitably leads to more regulation and restriction, but sometimes history does seem to support the position.

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ChrisR
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Postby ChrisR » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:34 am

To be fair, I think that in a place where a pair of nail clippers or tweezers can be deemed a potential offensive weapon, if the carrier of that alleged 'tactical pen' was aware of what he was carrying then he was very very unwise to carry it in his hand luggage. We have all got used to making sacrifices like leaving penknives in our hold luggage so what did he think would happen with a pen designed for use as a weapon? :confused:
My spydies: Squeak, Tenacious, Terzuola, D'Allara, UKPK CF peel-ply pre-production, UKPK CF smooth pre-production, UKPK G10 orange leaf-blade, UKPK FRN grey drop-point, UKPK FRN maroon leaf-blade, Bug ... all PE blades :)

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The Deacon
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Postby The Deacon » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:22 am

On the one hand, most "tactial pens" are advertised as weapons, so it's not really all that surprising that the TSA would treat them as such. On the other, the logic of requiring a 6" long pen to be placed in checked luggage and considering it contraband if not, while allowing a screwdriver in carry-on luggage as long as it's under 7" long is rather difficult to understand.
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ChrisR
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Postby ChrisR » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:45 am

Even before all this recent fuss I remember a guy getting stopped for carrying a small trowel in his hand luggage. That was 1989 and they made him go back to check-in and check it into the hold. As you say, a tactical pen is advertised as a weapon so the owner shouldn't be surprised when someone took him to one side for it. :)
My spydies: Squeak, Tenacious, Terzuola, D'Allara, UKPK CF peel-ply pre-production, UKPK CF smooth pre-production, UKPK G10 orange leaf-blade, UKPK FRN grey drop-point, UKPK FRN maroon leaf-blade, Bug ... all PE blades :)

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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Thu Oct 14, 2010 5:31 pm

Here are some more "weapons":

http://www.zebrapen.com/products/steel

Or even...

http://www.staples.com/BIC-Cristal-Ball ... 127/MS11BK


Notice how the Bic's cap is tapered for deadly kubotan strikes.


Seriously though. These pens range from $.40 to $8 each. They are quite a bit cheaper and that doesn't include the attorney fees. Surprisingly enough, they will still go right into someone. :eek:

It's amazing how people are made of skin and not wood or metal. ;)
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ChrisR
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Postby ChrisR » Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:29 am

Oh sure ... I am not saying that these 'tactical pens' are the equivalent of an Uzi and we all know with the right training someone could use virtually any object as a weapon. But I just thought the guy who tried taking one onto a flight in hand luggage shouldn't have been surprised when they took exception to him having one ... unlike a Bic or Sharpie it's actually sold as a weapon so ... ;)
My spydies: Squeak, Tenacious, Terzuola, D'Allara, UKPK CF peel-ply pre-production, UKPK CF smooth pre-production, UKPK G10 orange leaf-blade, UKPK FRN grey drop-point, UKPK FRN maroon leaf-blade, Bug ... all PE blades :)

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Postby The Deacon » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:16 am

Logic has nothing to do with this. The TSA needs to show it's "doing something" in order to justify its budget.

The fact that at least one prison inmate has been fatally stabbed with an ordinary wooden pencil, or that any number of regular pens, from dirt cheap to expensive can be used as weapons is irrelevant.

The fact that only a relatively small percentage of those owning "tactical" pens would be able to use them any more effectively as weapons than they could use a Bic, is irrelevant.

The fact there are other "TSA approved" items with which a trained person could inflict equal or greater damage, is irrelevant.

The fact they'd be infinitely more suitable for attempting to avert a hijacking than for perpetrating one is, very unfortunately, irrelevant.

The fact they are advertised and sold as weapons paints a target on the back of anyone carrying one, whether or not that person is even aware of their secondary purpose.
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Postby Pinetreebbs » Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:56 am

Tactical Pen, sounds like a great gift for a manager flying to a seminar. :eek:

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SecSpyral
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Postby SecSpyral » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:53 am

I carried a screwdriver with me a month ago with no problems, they looked at it and let me through. Now someone tell me why I can bring a screwdriver and not a tactical pen. Face it, even if the tactical pen is classified as a weapon (which is ridiculous since they were made to be carried where weapons cannot be, I.E. School, which is why I carry one as a teacher), it's still less harmful than something else I can bring with me. I can bring my metal frame sunglasses and sharpen the ends to a point, I can bring a normal plastic pen and take the cap off and stab someone in the eye. How about some glass mug from the shop before we take off and I'll smash that and use it to stab and cut someone. Anything can be used as a weapon in the right situation, if I wanted to use a piece of paper to kill someone I'm sure I can find a way. It's the person, not the item. Are we going to strip naked and fly? that might be the TSA "safe" way of flight in the future.

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Postby 2edgesword » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:35 am

It makes absolutely no sense to me but screwdrivers 7" or less are o.k. for carry-on...

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... ems.shtm#7
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:39 am

Tactical Pens can be very tactical....I knew it would be only a matter of time before someone got the book thrown at him for boarding a plane with one...Quite Ironic though a friend took his son to the Yankee games some years back and security took away his nail clipper saying it was a dangerous weapon...so he gave it up...instead of making a fuss...the kid so wanted to go to the game...then at the game they hand out something like 50,000 bats...it was bat day :eek: :eek: :eek: .....Hey if you want a weapon on the plane they give you one already..it's in the flap in front of the seat in front of you...it's called the airplane travel magazine....open it up and place a roll of quarters( which until now is legal to take on the plane) and place them in the center by the staples, roll up your flight magazine and now you have a very effective sap...trouble goes down...swing away!!!......Doc :D
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Postby c.joe » Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:25 am

Dr. Snubnose wrote:Tactical Pens can be very tactical....I knew it would be only a matter of time before someone got the book thrown at him for boarding a plane with one...Quite Ironic though a friend took his son to the Yankee games some years back and security took away his nail clipper saying it was a dangerous weapon...so he gave it up...instead of making a fuss...the kid so wanted to go to the game...then at the game they hand out something like 50,000 bats...it was bat day :eek: :eek: :eek: .....Hey if you want a weapon on the plane they give you one already..it's in the flap in front of the seat in front of you...it's called the airplane travel magazine....open it up and place a roll of quarters( which until now is legal to take on the plane) and place them in the center by the staples, roll up your flight magazine and now you have a very effective sap...trouble goes down...swing away!!!......Doc :D
LOL that is hilarious!! Thanks for sharing! :D

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Postby stonyman » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:35 pm

I am not surprised one bit! I have used the mag trick and preach it's virtues. It is sad that these pens are being singled out, but many do take on the look of a weapon. Now back to where we were before this whole tactical pen craze came about. A nice sturdy pen........should write well!

I have been fortunate with tuff writers, but could easily be replaced with something even more normal...........just a pen afterall! :rolleyes:

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Blerv
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Postby Blerv » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:59 pm

2edgesword wrote:It makes absolutely no sense to me but screwdrivers 7" or less are o.k. for carry-on...

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... ems.shtm#7
That is very true.

In fact, same goes for the counties that forbid ANY fixed blade regardless of length. Still, walk around with a flat head in your pocket and you are squeaky clean.

Tactical pen stabbings aren't the norm. My vague understanding of the criminal world is that it's screwdrivers, box knives, and kitchen knives (thanks Europe!).

People will kill people with any make-shift weapon they can find. Our carnal human nature is a scary thing sometimes. Not to get religious but look at Cain and Abel... :(
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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:07 pm

ChrisR wrote:To be fair, I think that in a place where a pair of nail clippers or tweezers can be deemed a potential offensive weapon, if the carrier of that alleged 'tactical pen' was aware of what he was carrying then he was very very unwise to carry it in his hand luggage. We have all got used to making sacrifices like leaving penknives in our hold luggage so what did he think would happen with a pen designed for use as a weapon? :confused:
Speak for yourself when you say that we've all gotten used to it.

I'm not used to it. I think it sucks. I think it's absurd. I think it's offensive and idiotic that even as they admit the pens are "DEFENSIVE" weapons, they prohibit them. That IS, UNAVOIDABLY, tantamount to saying, "We are taking away your ability to DEFEND yourself." They're not taking away your offensive capability, they're taking away your ability to protect your own life if someone comes to threaten it. I have no plans to "get used to" being rendered defenseless. The "sacrifice" that you speak of BUYS US NOTHING in terms of safety -- or have you failed to read that airline employees themselves have been caught recently smuggling weapons aboard airliners?!

Once again, we strike upon the same tired irony -- that they ban the "defensive weapon pen" and still we are able to carry MiniMagLites and a plethora of other items that can do what the pens do.

I flew from FL - NY and NY - FL recently. With me in my carry-on bag was a small knitting project (yes, I knit) complete with knitting needles. Pointed objects, ostensibly just as potentially deadly, or more deadly, than a tactical pen. Mine happened to be made of aluminum, double ended, about 7 inches long, 5mm diameter. Pretty small. But I also had bamboo ones that were 7mm diameter, about 10 inches long. If I had wanted to, I could have had tough plastic ones that are over a half inch diameter, 10 inches long. And TSA doesn't say BOO about it. They never even asked me to verify that I know how to knit. (Presumably, there is nothing in the rules that says that the person carrying knitting needles must know how to knit, anyway. "I'm taking them to my grandma -- she left them at my house inadvertently during her last visit.")

Oh, and I also had a 12 mm hex wrench, the kind that's about 6 inches long and bent into an L shape. It's for adjustments on my motorcycle. That was singled-out during my initial TSA check when leaving FL, identified, and allowed through. It IS an allowed item. (Tools up to 7 inches long may be taken aboard as carry-on. I assume, though I haven't checked, that this would include pliers and screwdrivers.)

So why are they banning the pens, when a determined person could do plenty of similar damage with a 6 inch heavy steel hex wrench? The whole thing is idiotic.

What I'd most like to see is a return to sanity, and the ability to carry knives up to 3" blade length; kubotans; and tactical pens once again.
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Postby ChrisR » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:23 pm

peacefuljeffrey wrote:So why are they banning the pens, when a determined person could do plenty of similar damage with a 6 inch heavy steel hex wrench? The whole thing is idiotic.
Couldn't agree more - I didn't say I liked it or thought it was a worthwhile activity :) All I'm saying is that airlines have conditions of travel and one of them is that you're not allowed to bring weapons or items on their banned list into the cabin ... and the guy broke the rules, so it shouldn't have been a big surprise to him.

Airline security is reassurance for the shallow-thinking masses anyway - just about all airline security experts I have ever seen interviewed say that the metal-detectors and the bans on scissors are there purely to make passengers think they're safe ... they didn't stop a moron with exploding underpants or a shoe-bomber from getting on a plane though.

The only reason I think it's probably a good idea to keep overt weapons out of the cabin is that more and more idiots board flights, get drunk and then assault the cabin crew. I personally wouldn't like to be sitting next to a drunk guy with a knife and and attitude problem.
My spydies: Squeak, Tenacious, Terzuola, D'Allara, UKPK CF peel-ply pre-production, UKPK CF smooth pre-production, UKPK G10 orange leaf-blade, UKPK FRN grey drop-point, UKPK FRN maroon leaf-blade, Bug ... all PE blades :)

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Postby peacefuljeffrey » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:30 pm

ChrisR wrote:Couldn't agree more - I didn't say I liked it or thought it was a worthwhile activity :) All I'm saying is that airlines have conditions of travel and one of them is that you're not allowed to bring weapons or items on their banned list into the cabin ... and the guy broke the rules, so it shouldn't have been a big surprise to him.
I think that any judge worthy of the robes should quickly and unceremoniously dismiss all charges against this man.

I don't care about the fact that he took a pen he should have known was prohibited. I looked on the TSA website prior to my trip, to ascertain what I could bring. (I was making sure about the hex wrench and the knitting needles.) I saw nothing about pens like my TuffWriter -- and I decided at the last minute to not bring it! (Now I think about how lucky I was to decide against packing it with me.)

The judge should dismiss the charges out of recognition of the fundamental logic going on, here. To wit: How can we in good conscience prosecute a man for bringing along a prohibited item that could easily be replaced with a legal one capable of doing the exact same kind of damage?
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Postby Blerv » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:40 pm

The only thing that a $90 Tactical pen proves is someone who appreciates the tactical mindset. Since you can't prosecute someone before they commit a crime (unless you are Tom Cruise in that flick from the 90's) the guy should be cleared for everything as mentioned. Was the pen clearly mentioned on visible signs? I don't read the list of regulations every day to see if they change.

That pen doesn't make him any more dangerous or unstable than anyone else with a pen and a dark thought. It just makes him FAR more gimmicky and likely well-off. Poor people don't dump $90 for a pen...I sure as heck don't. :(

Note: Practically moving forward most of us can agree that the TSA is full of generalized and moronic policy. That said, here is a list of things you CAN'T bring on-board:

http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/ ... items.shtm

Better to read it than fight it later I guess. My favorite is this one:

Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches
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Postby stonyman » Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:15 pm

What is funny. Execs pay a premium for qualiy writing pens. 90 bucks for a Pen? Man, they have a huge pen show in the New York and DC area yearly that folks participate in just like our beloved blades. I just think that once companies began marketing the pens as weapons, it made the sheeple take notice. It insinuated weapon and the knee jerk reaction........still have options! Fly under the radar! Stay within the law and unleash your minds! Take care all and God Bless!


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