A man traveling from Rhode Island to Detroit with his 4-year-old son was stopped at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, R.I., the Transportation Security Administration said, after a TSA screening agent noticed disassembled gun components "artfully concealed" inside three stuffed animals in his carry-on bag.
The gun parts were found in an X-ray scan during a routine security screening. According to the Associated Press, a ".40-caliber gun was found inside one animal, while a magazine loaded with two .40-caliber rounds and a firing pin were found inside a second animal; another part of a gun known as a slide was found inside the third animal."
The stuffed animals were a teddy bear, rabbit and a Mickey Mouse, the TSA said. The gun parts--which could have been assembled to make a working firearm--were confiscated.
Astonishingly, the man--whose name was not released--and his son were allowed to continue to their destination after authorities concluded he didn't pose a safety threat. The man said he did not realize the stuffed animals contained the weaponry.
"It appears to be the result of a domestic dispute," Rhode Island Airport police chief Leo Messier said in a statement to the AP. "It was jointly investigated by the RI Airport Police, FBI and the Rhode Island State Police and it was determined that there was no threat at any time to air safety."
"This is just another example that threats can appear anywhere, and this is why TSA officers take a closer look at everything," the TSA added in a release. "It's also an example that shows that even though TSA has modified the screening process for children 12 and under, the security process is still just as effective."
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