Tested positive for TNT at airport ION scan

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by crazyrec12, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. crazyrec12

    crazyrec12 cornbread

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    in a field
    Hello All,

    Yesterday I was flying out of Austin after a business trip and was doing the normal declare firearm drill, they sent me over to TSA to make sure it was unloaded and do a swab around my bag. First bag with gun no problem, second bag with ammo (2, 50 rd boxes left over from range trip) when they swabbed my bag they clipped the swab into the machine it beeped and turned red, I said OH that's not a good color. He said yeah it's saying there is tnt particles on this bag. I politely told him I don't even mess with big firecrackers due to an incident as a child, my hands are important to my profession and I'd like to keep them.

    He gets on the radio and calls over more TSA agents. They zero in on my shoes, get nothing, I jokingly tell him that the TNT must have been in the San Marcos River because I had been Kayaking in those shoes the day before.

    Couple more areas they retest everything comes back negative. They let me go through. My question to you all that travel with guns alot is, has this ever happened to you?

    Could spent powder from a Mag tumbling around in that bag set it off, I'm not a chemist by any means so what else might have caused this ?
     
  2. Lethaltxn

    Lethaltxn

    Messages:
    8,300
    Likes Received:
    4,272
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    Lot's of stuff can trigger those machines. They look for particular particles that are associated with TNT and other explosives. When I worked for TSA, about 6 months was all I could handle, we used to get false positives all the time from hair gel and other stuff.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010

  3. airmotive

    airmotive Tin Kicker

    Messages:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    6,280
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Location:
    Debris Field
    Not TNT, but I frequently find myself walking around and sitting my carry on backpack down in jet fuel, hydraulic fluid and God knows what else.

    Whenever they pick my bag or shoes to swipe, I give them a heads up that if they're checking for petro chemicals of any kind, I'll likely pop positive. They said (rather foolishly, IMHO, but that's the TSA for you) that they don't swab for petroleum-based chemicals.

    Never had a TNT flag on my bag...in spite of having taken it to the range a few times.

    Shooting any strange, new ammo loads lately??
     
  4. vafish

    vafish

    Messages:
    16,785
    Likes Received:
    275
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Commonwealth of Virginia
    Ever see the Jeff Dunham clip about the lotion?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgcrEhhiEhA

    Anyhow I've never set them off and I'm on the range 3 times a week. My brother sets them off all the time, but he's an operations manager at an open pit mine and is around the explosives guys a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  5. sputnik767

    sputnik767

    Messages:
    8,536
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    I had the outside of my bag come up positive for traces of explosives once. I was not surprised, I had my bag in my truck's toolbox, where I carried ammunition and fireworks at one point or another. The agent gave me the "is there anything you want to tell me before I search your bag" line, I said "no," and after emptying my entire bag and scanning it through the xray scanner 3 times, they came up with nothing, and I was allowed to go. Apparently what triggered their suspicion was some DayQuil medication in those blister packs, and the guy had no idea what he was looking at on the xray.
     
  6. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood

    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    4
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    I get flagged all the time. Not only do I get powder traces on my bags, etc from my shooting hobbies, I also work with a ballistics and blast lab...so there is always TNT, gunpowder, C-4, Semtex traces on my stuff. Plus, I occasionally travel with commercial samples of armor, etc that have residues. It always makes for good drama at the TSA checkpoints.
     
  7. DocwithGlock

    DocwithGlock

    Messages:
    3,206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    I have used my range bag as a carry on several times. Once they swabbed it for explosives and when it came back negative I almost asked them to do it again:wow:
     
  8. Chad Landry

    Chad Landry Cajunator® CLM

    Messages:
    38,164
    Likes Received:
    23
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I've had that happen. Kinda funny, once it was over.
     
  9. Glock20 10mm

    Glock20 10mm Use Linux!

    Messages:
    15,639
    Likes Received:
    1,564
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2005
    Location:
    Land of Idiots and ********
    I got pulled (for some reason I always get the extra special treatment :upeyes:) when I was seeing my daughter off. I was in a wheel chair with crutches (pre-op recent knee injury) and I get pulled. The guy goes to swab my hands and I tell him he does that and I will pop positive as I reload and had handled power earlier that day (finished off some rounds I was working on).

    So they test my knee brace... all I have to say is, it's BS in my book. But that's the Libertarian in me speaking I suppose. I don't fly anymore and other than picking up and dropping off my daughter, I don't go to airports. Can't stand the self important pricks and the ridiculous rules.
     
  10. DR. HOUSE

    DR. HOUSE Everybody Lies

    Messages:
    5,963
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Mid Nebraska
    Cos I'm
    T.N.T.
    I'm Dynamite
    T.N.T.
    And I'll win the fight
    T.N.T.
    I'm a power-load
    T.N.T.
    Watch me Explode
    :music: :rock::rock::rock:
     
  11. DocwithGlock

    DocwithGlock

    Messages:
    3,206
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    I was once asked if my umbrella was a weapon...I replied that I use it to fight off raindrops...I was given the "extra special" treatment. The guy gave me the whole, "I'm in charge" speech and asked if I had a problem with that. I told him, "whatever makes you feel better about yourself". His supervisor came over and watched him go through all my stuff...then when he realized his guy was just being a jerk, he put a stop to it and waved me through.
     
  12. badge315

    badge315

    Messages:
    5,259
    Likes Received:
    3,152
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Middleburg, FL
    What is he expecting you to say, "Oh, that's right...I almost forgot to declare the bomb in my luggage"? :upeyes:
     
  13. WHEC724

    WHEC724

    Messages:
    625
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    SC
    LOL. That's pretty funny...

    I'm so darn glad I don't fly anymore (former platinum medallion with Delta). I have a knife hanging off my key chain, and at least one gun on me at all times. Life is good!
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  14. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bliksem

    Messages:
    4,187
    Likes Received:
    74
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Location:
    Pentagon City VA
    On public transport I often see bomb snuffing dogs. I wonder if a loaded firearm would alert them.
     
  15. copaup

    copaup

    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2004
    Location:
    Memphis TN
    Actually, you'd be amazed how people answer that question. I always am. Granted I'm looking for drugs and weapons, not bombs, but more often than not people will look sheepish and reply, "well, I've got _______." Even when they lie or don't say anything their body language can tell you a lot.
     
  16. sputnik767

    sputnik767

    Messages:
    8,536
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    Haha, I wanted to mess with him a bit, but figured it was probably a bad idea.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  17. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Messages:
    1,729
    Likes Received:
    9
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tennessee
    TNT = trinitrotolulene if I remember correctly. And as far as I know, there would be nothing in the civilian world that would expose you to that. Gun powder used in firearms is typically composed of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, but of which are considered high explosives, but deflagrate in firearms. Basically, it means they burn rather than detonate.

    Dynamite is mostly composed of nitroglycerine, which from what I understand it sometimes mixed in large ratios with TNT to form a more stable explosive. So perhaps the machine may detect the nitroglycerine in the gunpowder residue, and come up with dynamite, which can contain TNT and show as such.

    Other than that, I wouldnt know. I am not an expert or anything, just going off my basic knowledge of explosives.

    Edit- I forgot to mention that I think the chemical tolulene is or at least was used in either paint or paint thinners. Not sure if they would identify it as an explosive, but perhaps cross contamination occured?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  18. 1811guy

    1811guy Formerly1811guy2

    Messages:
    3,535
    Likes Received:
    5
    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    I did have a ticket agent demand I show him that the M1 Garand I declared was unloaded about 2 years after 9/11. I told him that wasn't necessary but he insisted. So, out came the gun from the locked hard case, and the action was opened - KACHINK! Then I closed it - KACHUNK! Then the airport police came running over. I looked at the gate agent and said "see what you started?" He was pretty embarassed when it was all over.