TSA Detains FL Teen with Gun Design on her Purse Posted on December 2, 2011 by Dan Zimmerman Sure, the UK is but a hollow shell of what it once was, but maybe we can take a lesson from their recent experience. When Border Agency passport control workers struck to protest government cutbacks earlier this week, travelers at airports and channel ports found that things actually worked more smoothly with the usual public servants walking a picket line. Who knows? This may be exactly what the TSA needs to improve security and keep the flow of passengers moving in this country. Its hard to see how replacements could do any worse. As an example Vanessa Gibbs was returning Florida from a trip to Virginia and carrying a purse worthy of one of our What could possibly go wrong? posts. Thats when the ever-vigilant TSA squad at the Norfolk airport detained her. From dailymail.co.uk: Gibbs said she was headed back home to Jacksonville from a holiday trip when an agent flagged her purse as a security risk. She was like, This is a federal offence because its in the shape of a gun, Gibbs said. Im like, But its a design on a purse. How is it a federal offence? After agents figured out the gun was a fake, Gibbs said, TSA told her to check the bag or turn it over. By the time security wrapped up the inspection, the pregnant teenager had missed her flight, and Southwest Airlines sent her to Orlando instead, worrying her mother, who was already waiting for her to arrive. Scary, huh? Thank God the TSA was on duty and intervened. Who knows what she could have done with that thing. Vanessa and her mother said its hard to believe anyone could mistake the design on the purse for a real gun because its just a few inches in size and its hollow, not to mention Vanessa has taken it on planes before. I carried this from Jacksonville to Norfolk, and Ive carried it from Norfolk to Jacksonville, Vanessa said. Never once has anyone said anything about it until now. TSA isnt budging on the handbag, arguing the phony gun could be considered a replica weapon. The TSA said: Replica weapons have been prohibited since 2002′. Judging from the Brits experience, the age of government cutbacks and austerity cant get here soon enough.