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Memphis airport police/tsa randomly searching vehicles


Regular Member
Jun 19, 2013
Nashville, TN
I flew out of memphis last week on a business trip. As i approached the airport there were big signs on each side that said something like ALL VEHICLES SUBJECT TO SEARCH or something like that. The lanes were coned down to one and there were about a dozen airport/TSA cops with an area for directing vehicles in to and seats where people were sitting as their vehicles were being searched. I was in my company car which i would neeeeeever have a firearm in because that is against policy but i had cleaned it out before my trip since i was parking it at the garage. I had removed my emergency bag which has an ax, knife, pliars, food, water, flares in it though. I was curious about both the legality of the search to begin with and secondly what if i had a firearm on my person or in my car? I often leave an AR pistol in a case with 6 mags in my trunk with my emergency bag. What kind of issues would that cause?

Also, when flying back out of FL, they swabbed my hands. WHen i asked what for, he said it tests for explosives and ammunition. I asked what if i had been to the shooting range earlier or just had my hand on my carry weapon and some residue was still on my hands? He didnt have an answer and seemed concerned with my questions but the machine came back negative so he let me go.

Oh Shoot

Regular Member
Aug 9, 2010
Permit holders may have loaded firearms in personal vehicles in public and private parking lots, and as of of July 1, anyone not prohibited from owning firearms may do same.

Only exception is if it's contrary to federal law. Airports are not federal facilities, so not sure any way could be banned in that manner.

Also, of course, it is perfectly legal to bring unloaded firearm into the airport to declare in checked baggage. Matter of fact, if airport is not posted no carry under 39-17-1359, it's legal to carry your loaded heater into airport, short of secure area.

My guess is it was some sort of explosive search exercise, either drill or because of some perceived threat, but who really knows with any of the 3 letter agencies anymore.

- OS
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