Old-school James Bond was something special. It had a well-trained but otherwise ordinary guy up against Lex Luther-type villains with armies of henchmen. It was almost cartoonish, in a way, and yet it wasn’t.
One of the most famous of the Bond stories was The Man With the Golden Gun.
In part, it was famous because the gun itself was distinctive and became iconic. In fact, I can’t see a gold-plated firearm without thinking of the movie.
So, you know what popped into my head when I read this story.
An American woman has been arrested at an airport in Australia after arriving with a 24-carat gold-plated handgun in her luggage.
The 28-year-old woman, who authorities did not identify, was arrested and charged shortly after arriving at Sydney Airport from Los Angeles on Sunday, the Australian Border Force said in a news release.
The border force said the woman had not declared the golden firearm, nor did she hold a permit to import or possess the weapon in Australia, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the world.
The woman was charged under section 233BAB(5) of the Customs Act 1901, which states it is illegal for a person to “intentionally” import firearms without prior approval. If convicted, a person can face up to 10 years’ imprisonment, the border force said.
Of course, this means that TSA failed to detect the firearm in the first place.
So they can catch a gun in peanut butter or inside of a raw chicken, but not one that was apparently just thrown inside of a suitcase.
Brilliant. Our tax dollars are clearly well spent.
NBC News didn’t bother to even acknowledge that there might be a reason why the woman try to bring the gun into Australia.
Because of that, we don’t know just why she did this or anything else. Based on the x-ray image provided at the above link, it seems unlikely that it was just in the bag and she forgot about it, as some have alleged when caught trying to fly with a firearm.
Regardless, while Australian officials are celebrating the arrest as some kind of blow against gun running–because it’s very likely that a 24-karat gold-plated handgun was destined for the mean streets of Sydney–it’s a huge black eye for the TSA, which is charged with detecting such things on our side of things.
They clearly didn’t, and this wasn’t even remotely hidden, it appears. It and its case appeared to have been near the top of the bag, meaning it wasn’t difficult to find if TSA had bothered to look.
But at least they didn’t find it inside of something ridiculous.
So what we’ve learned is that if you want to transport a gun illegally and you want to avoid TSA’s prying eyes, just don’t carry it in something stupidly obvious like a raw chicken. Just throw it in your bag and soldier on. There’s no way the TSA agents fresh off their previous occupations as baristas at Starbucks will detect anything that way, it seems.