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Peter Griesch
Peter Griesch,
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 324
Experience:  Tax Counsel at AIG, Inc.
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I have an unusual business that is going to require me

Customer Question

I have an unusual business that is going to require me to fly with equipment that is used to make a toy bomb for theatrical gaming purposes. It has a keypad, a timer LED, and a siren and when we put that all together in a vest with some clay in zip lock baggies it looks real. But we are not flying with the clay and putting the keypad (built into a black box) in checked luggage and in carry on there will just be the LED and a siren - just random electronic components. Nothing causes a spark. Nothing that is combustible. My partner is worried that it might look like a bomb and thinks we should alert the TSA before going on. I feel like that is a mistake because it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission to someone who might randomly bar us from bringing it. When, in fact, it doesn't look anything like a bomb when it is in pieces. Just borrowing trouble.
My question is, could he or I get into trouble from taking that approach?
Thank you for your time,
Larry Volz
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Peter Griesch replied 6 months ago.
The short answer is, no, you'll not be committing a crime by having components to make a pretend bomb with you on the flight...unless you use those components in the commission of another crime. For example, pretending they are real to scare someone or in an attempt to hijack the plane.That said, you may want to consider shipping the components by UPS or some other service before your flight. If TSA spots the components, they could pull you from your flight to investigate. Moreover, you could be detained until the person that discovers gets clearance up his chain to release you.Still further, in an extreme case, you could be charged with a crime, which, while unconstitutional, requires you to fight federal charges...just or unjust.The folks at TSA aren't the brightest bunch, so you're taking a chance.

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