A sock monkey (not pictured above) had his gun taken away by a TSA agent. Credit: Flickr / kpwerker
No one gets guns past TSA agents – not even cowboy sock monkeys named Rooster Monkburn. Phyllis May of Redmond, Wash., was traveling through an airport in St. Louis on Dec. 3 when a TSA agent confiscated her sock monkey’s tiny pistol.
May told King 5 News that she is “appalled and shocked and embarrassed all at the same time.” May sells custom sock monkey dolls and she and her husband were traveling from St. Louis to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport with a few of her monkeys in tow.
May was going through security when she noticed one of her bags was gone. A TSA agent was holding it up, asking who the owner was. May stepped forward while the agent searched the bag and found the two-inch long toy gun.
“[The agent] said, ‘This is a gun.’ I said no, it’s not a gun, it’s a prop for my monkey,’” said May. “She said ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’ and I said ‘Really?’” The TSA agent informed May that she had to confiscate the gun and report the incident to the police.
May, exasperated, told her to go ahead. “Rooster Monkburn has been disarmed so I’m sure everyone on the plane was safe,” May told King 5. “I understand she was doing her job but at some point doesn’t common sense prevail?”
The agent did not end up calling the police.
A representative for the TSA confirmed the incident and told Metro, “TSA officers are dedicated to keeping the nation's transportation security systems safe and secure for the traveling public. Under longstanding aircraft security policy, and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.” He also pointed out that there is a real gun called the SwissMiniGun, which is just 2.2 inches long.