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back to article Gatwick Airport security swoops on 3-inch rifle

A Canadian tourist has admitted Gatwick Airport security operatives "successfully protected the free world from the threat of terrorism" after relieving him of a deadly three-inch plastic rifle. Ken Lloyd was about to jet home packing a nine-inch tall replica of an armed British soldier in his hand luggage. The innocent £135 …

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Black Helicopters

its gone mad

seriously though, if you can manage to hijack a plane with a small three inch piece of plastic from a model, then to be honest youd deserve the plane.

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Joke

Nah that'd never work

From looking at the photo, the entire trigger assembly was missing as well as the pistol grip.

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FAIL

The appearance of a firearm

that is FAR AWAY.

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Pirate

Cunning plan defeated

It's obvious what he was planning - as soon as the plane was in flight he was going to sneak into the toilet and use the tap there to add water and reconstitute his dehydrated terrorist.

Security has saved us from the deadly threat of Instant Terrorist - Just Add Water!

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Coffee/keyboard

You sir, win one internet

Best comment I've read this year, and probably for quite some time before that. That was spit-coke-through-my-nose funny.

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WTF?

Just what we need...

...people acting completely without thought to give the Sun and Daily Mail a reason to feel smug about "political correctness gone mad".

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WTF?

no title needed

EH?

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3-inch gun

I've been misled!

For a moment I thought the guy was trying to hide a 12-pounder artillery piece in his luggage.

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Coat

A little light in the loafers?

I really don't know if any of you blokes have seen this movie ... "Full Metal Jacket"?

There's one scene where the platoon is in training running around singing ... "This is my rifle, this is my gun... This is for shooting, this is for fun..."

Well you get the drift.

I guess you Brits, at least those who work in airport security are trying to compensate for their inadequacies... (A 3" gun)

Mines the coat closest to the door as I head out to a pub.

PS. yeah I know, I'm mixing my metaphors when I said 'light in the loafers' but hey, its a joke people!

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FAIL

Maybe someone could start a list of these jobsworths.

It might make them engage common sense in future.

If they've even heard of it.

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Joke

Compare the Jobsworths

Dot Com!!

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wim
WTF?

British soldier = terrorist now ?

good to know.

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WTF?

"Items with the appearance of firearms"

Except for the scale, or course. What, you think someone's going to hold up a plane with a 3" long plastic toy?

In other news, officers have warned people not to come through customs with Lego spaceship models "because they have the appearance of ICBMs". And best not to mention the fate of the kid who tried taking an Airfix Challenger tank kit through.

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Coat

Hmmm

Perhaps if the pilot had only one eye, and you held it really close to their face, they would think it was full sized.

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FAIL

How can we trust our airport security with stories like this?

There seems to be absolutely no intelligence behind those conducting security checks. Or their managers.

I guess, in the worst case, an innocent Barbie or Ken might've been capped during the flight. Let's hope they would not be dressed in flight attendant or pilot outfits.....

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FAIL

Nothing new

This has been going on for years. I remember a good 10 years ago a boy had his Action Man gun taken from his Eagle Eyes Action Man before he could board the plane.

I agree it all sounds stupid, but where do you draw the line? Some guns are tiny, and taking a quick look at the home made guns, and weapons made in prisons, they can be very very small. As soon as a size limit is introduced, someone will just make one 1mm smaller. I'm surprised they still allow pens on board planes, with the plans for home made zip-guns so easily available on the interwebs.

Or is it a threat issue? Are the airlines afraid that someone will try to pretend that the 1 inch plastic gun is real and hijack the plane?

Can't they just X-Ray it, then put it on the plane like they do with dutyfree at many airports these days? Then just pick it up when you leave?

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Boffin

Draw the line?

How about this:

If it's a real weapon, you cannot bring it on the plane.

If it could be (mis)used as a weapon, you cannot bring it on the plane.

If it could be mistaken for a real weapon (and hence utilised to make threats) you cannot bring it on the plane.

If it is obvioulsy not a real weapon, and could not be used as one, then you can bring it on.

Granted, this leaves some room for interpretation, but I'd like to imagine that those doing the security checks would have had some training (ha ha).

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Black Helicopters

"If it could be (mis)used as a weapon, you cannot bring it on the plane."

That's worrying, because almost anything can be used as a weapon. People can be killed or very seriously injured with most parts of the body, for instance.

I doubt that I am the only one who has gone through the stuff I am allowed to take on board a plane and thought "If I wanted to, I could ..."

What do you mean, I am? I hear the helicopters ... goodbyyyyyyeee

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FAIL

That'd make a dent in profits

All those 1Kg+ foot long glass clubs that you can pick up in the duty free shops, easily convertible to jagged edged weapons or a molotov cocktail on demand - would be forbidden.

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Remember Bourne?

"That's worrying, because almost anything can be used as a weapon."

Bourne used a rolled up magazine in one movie to smack an opponent...

Planes could get very dull indeed without reading material been allowed on flights

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Anonymous Coward

I...

can very much vouch for that technique too, from both sides of the magazine. Bloody painful!

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Funny?

That was a pretty realistic and well made model. I'm glad he wasn't a real terrorist, wielding that on a plane. Can you imagine the horror you would feel having that pointed in your direction...

I'm laughing at the ridiculousness of it all, but inside I'm quietly weeping for the loss of common sense.

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Hmm

You do know what an inch is, don't you?

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"It it looks like a gun......"

It didn't look like a gun. It looked like a cast, minature scale model of a gun

Next you will be accusing him of human smuggling because the statue of the soldier looked like a human.

idiot

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Jobsworth Morons

It's easy to point, roll your eyes and call them jobsworth morons, and you'd be right of course.

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Grenade

Unthinking total stupidity the British way

This is the way of the British these days.

a) We allow our government to tell us that a piece of paper issued to law abiding citizens will protect us from those naughty people that want to blow themselves and us up.

b) We believe our government when they tell us that allowing bankers to pay themselves 5 million a year is good for us

c) We lap up their insistance that closing entire industries and buying foreign is an improvement on having more than 70% of the workforce working.

d) We know - because our government told us - that privatising essential services makes them cheaper - it certainly doesn't line the pockets of rich - often foreign investors - with massive profits because I'm not allowed to buy the water I need from anywhere else!

e) The truth that locking people up without trial protects us is self evident isn't it - the government tells us this.

the list goes on and on and on and on, unfortunatly the thick idiots who occupy the UK are all lined up waiting to grease their..... for the .... thats sure to come which ever party they re-elect for yet another farcical term 'in power'. Democracy anyone?

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FAIL

Ashamed to be British...

I cannot believe that I live in and am a citizen of a country that would do this.

<hangs head in national shame>

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Silver badge

Quite.

As I posted alongside the link when I shared it with some UK and international pals on Failbook:

"In case anyone wanted to know why the UK is such a moronic, pointless and drivel-slathered nation these days then I think this goes a long way to summing up why our new national sport is 'Complete Apathy to Everything'"

The main reason uk.gov keeps everyone so poor is so they can't afford to fkn emigrate.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits

You are not a citizen, you are a British Subject.

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Actually

Since I know that our side (the good ol' USA) has done stupider things*, there is no reason for shame.

*Perhaps we are in some contest for national stupidity that will come out later.

In which case England et al has quite topped us.

For now; we will bounce back.

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WTF?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear

I feel a head / brick wall interface moment coming on....

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Anonymous Coward

Meanwhile ...

Meanwhile they let the next passenger on carrying a fuelled-up petrol-powered chainsaw ... because someone forgot to add chainsaws to the list of banned items.

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Actually the chainsaw story was from New Zealand

Actually the chainsaw being allowed on a plane story was from New Zealand:

https://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-336512.html

On one hand, as a kiwi I should perhaps be embarrassed by it happening. On the other hand, it's sort of good to know that because NZ is relatively free of the fear of terrorism, the passenger was allowed to board...

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No joke

The problem is that the security staff are doing a very important job, and this seems to indicate that they don't fully understand what that job is.

With this "rules is rules" mentality, what chance is there that they might spot something which is actually suspicious but isn't against any specific rule. The next bomb probably won't be in somebody's shoes or pants.

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Anonymous Coward

"With this "rules is rules" mentality,,,

,,,what chance is there that they might spot something which is actually suspicious but isn't against any specific rule."

Well at that point a spokes"person" for airport security repeatedly states, "Everything possible was done in accordance with the rules to stop this incident happening." He then smiles, wipes the dust of blame from his shoulder and walks away.

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Same happened to my son 2 years ago at Stanstead

While waiting for checking with Ryanair to open, I bought my 4 year old son the fireman sam magazine. attached to the front was a very cheap plastic water pistol.

while he passed through security, the officers informed us that we could not take a replica firearm into the flight - even though it was still attached to the fireman sam magazine!

obviously, you can image I now had a screaming 4 year old on my hands for the entire flight and he was completely confused as to why it happened.

he still mentions it every time we go through security, so it obviously had an effect on him,

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Thumb Down

Thank Labour for the VCRA

This crap prohibits replica firearms which might be a reasonable course of action apart from the fact that the burden of proof is whether a person would be convinced it was real. If some old dear sees your kid with a water pistol and thinks it real then there is trouble. Even better its a strict liability law so you have to prove that your kid had a legitimate right to have it.

Based on this just having it confiscated was better than being charged with illegal possesion of a firearm.

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FAIL

Prisoner transport is ...

still prisoner transport.

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Bronze badge

"you have to prove that your kid had a legitimate right to have it"

Really? Being a child isn't a legitmate reason to be in possession of a toy?

I'm glad I never travel anywhere, it hardly seems worth the hassle.

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Anonymous Coward

@Robert G Ward - Re:Cheap Plastic Water Pistol

That's nothing new. In 1989, I was prevented from taking a purple plastic water pistol through customs when leaving Barbados. The security officer explained that, even though it was clearly not a real gun, it could potentially be used to squirt acid, etc. I was 7 years old at them time and rather annoyed that I couldn't keep my favourite water pistol - since it was clearly empty. My parents said they'd buy me a new one when I got home. Crisis averted.

Of course, I still mention it over 20 years later, so it obviously had an effect on me.

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FAIL

Dopey Idiots

"A firearm is a firearm", so all the kids out there playing with toy guns are now armed and dangerous!?

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WTF?

This

makes me want to cry in despair. Morons like this should be lucky to have a job let alone one where they have ANY power of anyone else...

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Pint

The SA80 actually works now?

That's news to me.

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Flame

SA80 of all things

To be fair, this was probably more dangerous than the full-size, MOD-issue piece of plastic crap...

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Pirate

SA80, Nimrod class British technology!

Just remove the magazine, take a firm grasp of the barrel and swing hard.

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FAIL

Just so you know...

About 10 years ago the MOD bothered to pay H&K to fix the problems with the SA80. Specifically the fact that the stock falls to pieces when you sneeze on it, and the fact that it jams far too easily. They fixed this, and reports back from Saif Sareea (Exercise in Oman in 2001/2) was that it worked very well.

The x4 SUSAT sight is still a major improvement over anything foreign forces have. Also the fact that the trigger is forward of the chamber make it an excellent weapon for urban operations.

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Pirate

Rant alert

These would be urban operations where you don't need to fire from cover at a right-handed corner.

Did no-one notice that you can only use this thing off the right (as in: not left) shoulder? I for one have been happy to put up with brass bouncing of my head! (Yes, it was an SLR, long, long ago).

No argument about SUSAT, just put a decent rifle under it, say H&K G3 and life could be much happier, even though ammunition scale will be heavier.

As I noted before, Nimrod class defence technology.

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Pirate

Aaaarrrggghh....!

Just when you thought airport security couldn't be any more ridiculous than it already is!

Where do they find these idiots and why do they give them jobs?

One can only assume they struggle with such polysyllabic words as "reasonable" and "proportionate".

FYI guys, a firearm is a weapon capable of discharging a projectile that is propelled by gases produced by a rapidly burning, or instantaneously decomposing chemical compound.

Hence "fire", the "arm" bit is a contraction of "Armament".

Three inch long inert pieces of plastic are rarely, if ever, any of these things.

So now you know.........

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Anonymous Coward

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Never heard such a load of old tosh in my entire life.

Matt Lucas and David Walliams have got it right with 'Come Fly with me' - a more searing indictment of the jumped up jobworths you find at airports you are not likely to find.

Anyway, on which planet is a 3 inch toy a 'replica' firearm? Surely a replica would have to be the same size as the original to be classed as a replica? Otherwise its a model. These morons really have had every ounce of common sense extracted.

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