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TSA Hassles Pregnant Florida Teen Over 'Pistol' Design on Her Purse


A pregnant Florida teen claims she missed her flight back home from Virginia after Transportation Security Administration agents at the Norfolk airport took exception to the gun she was packing.

That is, the gun design on a purse she was packing. News4Jax reports on Vanessa Gibbs' unpleasant encounter with TSA agents in Virginia that caused her to miss her original flight, and then land in Orlando rather than her home in Jacksonville:

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"She was like, 'This is a federal offense because it's in the shape of a gun,'" Gibbs told News 4 of her experience with TSA. "I'm like, 'But it's a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'"

Agents eventually figured out that the gun was a fake, but according to Gibbs, told her to check the bag or turn it over.

By the time the inspection had ended, the pregnant teen missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive at Jacksonville.

Gibbs claims she has traveled with the favorite purse many times without trouble, including her original flight from Jacksonville to Norfolk.

While it may seem shocking that security officials would put so much effort into inspecting the purse, Yahoo News reports that the TSA says the design could be considered a "replica weapon," something that the agency has banned since 2002. Gibbs tells News 4 that she finds it hard to make that connection to her carryon.

"Common sense," she said. "It's a purse, not a weapon."

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