TSA confiscates an 84MM Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle from a passenger’s luggage at a Texas airport

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KXAN) — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at the San Antonio International Airport confiscated a portable anti-tank rifle from a male passenger’s checked luggage Monday, according to a Twitter post.

The passenger was scheduled to fly from San Antonio to Las Vegas, where he planned to attend the Shooting and Hunting Outdoor Trade Show. He was planning to exhibit the weapon — a de-militarized 84MM Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle — at the show, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

TSA said the passenger didn’t declare the weapon, prompting its confiscation. Once the anti-tank rifle was discovered, TSA officers identified the passenger and escorted him to their office.

The passenger was able to provide paperwork verifying the rifle’s de-militarized status. An on-duty TSA explosives specialist also corroborated that it was no longer in use.

TSA declared he would not be able to fly with the prop anti-tank weapon, however, so he arranged for a family member to retrieve it, according to police. The traveler was able to rebook his flight to Nevada.

The San Antonio Police Department said no charges are pending at this time.

It is currently permissible to travel with a firearm as long as a passenger declares it, keeps the weapon unloaded, and stores it in a locked, hard-sided container within a checked bag, according to TSA regulations.

The 84MM Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle is a portable rocket launcher developed and produced by SAAB Bofors Dynamics, a Swedish defense giant, according to Military Today.

Texas code on weapons also indicates that it is illegal to own a rocket launcher unless registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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TSA finds demilitarized anti-tank rifle in checked luggage at San Antonio airport

TSA agents in Texas found an undeclared anti-tank rifle stowed in checked luggage – but the owner has escaped charges after proving he demilitarized the piece.  

The 84MM Carl-Gustaf M4 recoilless rifle was deconstructed and packed in its hard-shell case when discovered during the baggage screening process in San Antonio on Monday.

The owner, who has not been publicly identified, was tracked down by airport security, and explained to them that the weapon he was carting across state borders was in fact just an exhibit item for the SHOT show in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

He was able to provide company paperwork that showed the rifle was made unusable – or demilitarized – which was later also confirmed by a TSA explosives expert. 

The anti-tank rifle was discovered by TSA agents at San Antonio International Airport in Texas

The anti-tank rifle was discovered by TSA agents at San Antonio International Airport in Texas

In a tweet posted by the agency's account, an image of the weapon, snug in its packing case, was shared, along with instructions on how to legally travel with firearms

In a tweet posted by the agency’s account, an image of the weapon, snug in its packing case, was shared, along with instructions on how to legally travel with firearms 

Still, TSA officers decided the potentially deadly weapon would not be allowed on the aircraft. A family member of the unidentified owner came to retrieve the rifle, and he was allowed to rebook his departing flight. 

The San Antonio Police Department told Dailymail.com that no charges are pending in the case at this time. 

Transportation Security Administration rules for transporting firearms

  • Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage
  • Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only 
  • Replica firearms, including firearm replicas that are toys, may be transported in checked baggage only
  • When traveling, comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international governments
  • Firearm parts, including magazines, clips, bolts and firing pins,
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