Toy weapons under fire.In late October of last year, a toy gun that was part of a congressional aide's Halloween costume Halloween costumes are outfits worn on or around October 31, the day of Halloween. Halloween is a modern-day holiday originating in the Pagan Celtic holiday of Samhain (in Christian times, the eve of All Saints Day). triggered a scare that shut down the Cannon House Office Building The Cannon House Office Building, completed in 1908, is the oldest congressional office building as well as a significant example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. It occupies a site south of the United States Capitol bounded by Independence Avenue, First Street, New Jersey , sealed off underground corridors, and sent Capitol Police Capitol police in the United States are agencies charged with the provision of security police services for various state agencies, but especially State Legislatures. Capitol police may function as part of the state police or may be an independent agency. and SWAT teams First developed in the 1960s by local law enforcement agencies, Special Weapons and Tactics units, or SWAT teams, have become common in police departments throughout the United States. combing the hallways in search of a terrorist. This was just the latest of many cases in which fake weapons or jokes about weapons have led to scares or tragic results.
Last March, for example, Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport was locked down for 40 minutes when a toy gun was found on a child's belt buckle in carry-on baggage; a toy gun found in the Charlotte, North Carolina “Charlotte” redirects here. For other uses, see Charlotte (disambiguation).
Charlotte is the largest city in the state of North Carolina and the 20th largest city in the United States. , airport in 2000 closed down a terminal for two hours during the Thanks-giving travel season.
For screeners, identifying fake weapons can be as important as finding the real thing. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. terrorism expert and former U.S. intelligent agent Louis Mizell, at least 20 hijackings have been pulled off with fake grenades, guns, and other weapons.
Mizell is concerned that these incidents, and security's reaction to them, are not going unnoticed by terrorists. He notes that toy weapons can actually be used in an assault, as when people have loaded high-powered water pistols with chlorine. At least one criminal has tried to convert a toy gun into the genuine article. The reverse tactic is also a possible trick. Mizell notes that terrorists or criminals could camouflage real firearms as toy firearms, such as by coating them with fluorescent paint.
Despite these incidents and concerns, the Transportation Security Administration continues its policy of permitting passengers to travel with toy weapons, either in checked luggage or carry-on bags, as long as they aren't "realistic replicas." TSA TSA
See tax-sheltered annuity (TSA). officials weren't available to comment on the logic of that policy, but critics have questioned it. "Having spent the last several years looking at why FAA/TSA do and don't do certain things, I've come to the somber conclusion that there is very little logic in most of their security policies," says aviation security expert Andrew R. Thomas.