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Man traveling with replica RPG launcher stopped by TSA at Lehigh Valley International Airport

Local Press Release
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Fully-assembled rocket propelled grenade launcher that was packed, unassembled, in a traveler’s checked bag. (TSA photo)

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Florida man’s checked bag triggered an alarm as it passed through the Transportation Security Administration’s checked baggage security equipment at Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) yesterday (March 4th). When they opened the bag, TSA officers were quite surprised to see unassembled parts of a rocket propelled grenade launcher and grenade packed inside. The checked bag contained the weapon’s barrel, trigger, sights and grenade.

The man, a resident of St. Augustine, Fla., was located at his departure gate and detained by police for questioning. Upon closer inspection, it was determined that the various components of the device could be assembled, but fortunately the device was not a functioning launcher and the grenade itself was determined to be a realistic replica.

The traveler told officials that he believed the item could be brought on the flight in a checked bag. Contrary the passenger’s belief, however, no realistic or replica weapons are permitted to be brought onto airplanes. The items were confiscated and the man was able to continue on to his flight to Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB).

As a reminder, individuals who bring weapons and replica weapons to the airport are subject to possible civil penalties of up to $13,000. The complete list of penalties is posted online.