A couple boarding an international flight at England’s Gatwick airport unknowingly set off alarms when they tried to pass a small British military figurine through security in one of their carry-on bags.
According to the Daily Mail, Ken and Julie Lloyd were forced to detach the figurine’s 3-inch plastic rifle and mail it to their home in Ontario, Canada after airport security told them it would not be allowed on the aircraft.
The Canadian tourist and his wife had bought the toy, which holds a replica SA80 rifle, during a visit to the Royal Signals Museum at Blandford Camp in Dorset. …
[Mr. Lloyd] said: ‘As the figurine’s SA80 rifle was pulled from the box, the security search officer contacted her supervisor. The moulded SA80 could not pass.
‘My wife asked for a “reality check”, explaining how this offending piece of sculptured moulding is a 9 inch painted model with a moulded and painted rifle that is part of the figure.
‘The supervisor was confident within the surety of the regulations and said a “firearm” is a firearm and cannot pass.
The Lloyds purchased the souvenir model for £135. A curator at the Royal Signals Museum commented to the Mail that while the military museum takes security very seriously, the Lloyds’ situation seemed “more than a little excessive.”
“It is probably just as well we didn’t sell Mrs Lloyd a toy tank,” he joked.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport said that firearms and items “with the appearance of firearms” are prohibited.