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Old 04-11-2018, 03:02 PM
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Default Tactical Pens and airport security

This could go into the lounge but since it has an impact on concealed carrying of weapons I am putting it here. Besides, it relates a little to this other thread:

Speed loaders and five-shot cylinders

Okay, so, how many of you carry a tactical pen? I will presume that all of you know what they are but, if not, run a search and you will see.

The one thing most tactical pens have in common is that they do not possess a blade. There are one or two that have some kind of blade but they are rare and then that makes them a knife and totally inappropriate for airport security and most other types of security/metal detectors we run into.

A good tactical pen is definitely a pen. It has a ballpoint refill and can be used just like any pen. Some tactical pens have glass breakers on the cap or tip (for car windows), some have rounded bases for striking, some are round but pointed for more serious striking, some have a cup-like structure on the top useful for striking or collecting DNA (and the literature says that). They are all made from aircraft aluminum or a similar metal and can be used defensively in close quarters in a variety of ways.

The problem for the TSA is that they view tactical pens as offensive weapons. "Kubatons" is what they call them. They WILL confiscate them the same way they will confiscate a knife - or let you go back and give it to someone or mail it to yourself, etc.

I tell you all this because on my last flight I had my usual tactical pen in my carry on bag, as always, and it always passed through security until this last trip. I figured they were okay for travel until the TSA lady went nuts over it - that's how I learned that they consider them to be offensive kubatons. I was like, "Seriously? This little thing?" Didn't matter, she was determined, and that was that.

So now you know.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:29 PM
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Every week I travel for my job. 60-80 flights per year. A couple international flights as well
For 4 years plus I have carried a S&W tactical pen. It is well made out of aluminum
It is in my computer bad in a zipper pouch with calendar and note pad
Never once had an issue, and it gets run thru the scanner is very time
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:36 PM
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I have read on many a forum where people are getting their tac pens confiscated in recent months for what it's worth.

That being said the old tried and true zebra f-301 is all I carry. Cheap, refillable, and low profile.
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Old 04-11-2018, 03:45 PM
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Default FOR OFFENSE OR DEFENSE.

DOES IT MATTER? A weapon is a weapon, regardless of how it may be disguised, or used. PRETTY SURE most people of sound mind know that bringing a weapon on an airline is a NO NO. Congrats on sneaking them by TSA agents. Got caught??? There's NO CRYING in sneaking contraband aboard. IMO you got off easy. Perhaps a new area for WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING is needed?
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
DOES IT MATTER? A weapon is a weapon, regardless of how it may be disguised, or used. PRETTY SURE most people of sound mind know that bringing a weapon on an airline is a NO NO. Congrats on sneaking them by TSA agents. Got caught??? There's NO CRYING in sneaking contraband aboard. IMO you got off easy. Perhaps a new area for WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING is needed?
My belt buckle is a weapon. So is a steel toe boot. A cane is a weapon. A sock with a soda can or stack of quarters is a weapon. A pen is a pen.

So what is your point?
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Old 04-11-2018, 04:08 PM
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They have never questioned my two freshly-sharpened pencils...
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:41 PM
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Default NOT HARDLY.

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Originally Posted by eb07 View Post
My belt buckle is a weapon. So is a steel toe boot. A cane is a weapon. A sock with a soda can or stack of quarters is a weapon. A pen is a pen.

So what is your point?
MY POINT is that the OP should have known a tactical pen was NOT made for writing, and would not be allowed on an airplane, or get confiscated if discovered.
IF the tactikewl pen is SO HARMLESS, why the need to disguise it to smuggle it aboard. The items you mentioned were made for OTHER purposes than a weapon, & MAY BE improvised into a weapon. NOT SO the tactical pen. This is my rifle, this is my gun.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:54 PM
Andy Lowry Andy Lowry is offline
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I'm pretty sure my sterling Parker ballpoint could be used as a weapon. It even has a crosshatched surface for better grippitude.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:16 PM
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Nacho is partially correct. It is, arguably, a weapon. But I never tried to conceal it from the TSA - I always clipped it to the OUTSIDE, OPEN pocket of my carry-on bag. It was ALWAYS visible. If they ignored it on some dozen or more flights why was it suddenly such a big deal? I didn't ever try to hide it from TSA and when I went through any number of NYC metal detectors I always tossed it openly into the little plastic thing you put your keys and phones in. One guy said, "Hmm...Tactical pen?" I said, "Yup." He let it through. So I was NOT then nor have I ever tried to hide the thing from anyone. It is hardly any different from the aluminum Rotring pen that I carry and that pen was no problem. Someone at TSA decided it was an evil thing and that was that.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:21 PM
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I don't fly, my teeth can be used as a weapon, and I am not taking them out. They are still attached to my jawbone.

How is it people can fly with dogs, a very effective weapon.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:24 PM
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Don't fly. It's not the weapons, it's the attitude and the intelligence. These are the people who brought you 9/11.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:07 PM
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Default THEN WHY THE TERM "TACTICAL"? NOT FOR THE COLOR OF THE INK.

A Montblank, a bic, a tactical pen, and a sharp pencil walk into a bar. ALL will hurt if stuck in your eye. Let's be real, the tactical pen was specifically designed to be strong enough to be used for stabbing, an impact weapon, or "DNA collector". Can we simply call a spade a spade? A cop at say a courthouse that let one get by, & it was then used, NOT FOR WRITING, would be in some hot water, I'd hope.

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Old 04-11-2018, 07:48 PM
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I don't use a tactical pen. I do carry a Zebra F701 because I like sturdy pens. Never had a problem with them as far as security screenings, including the TSA (when put in my carry-on bag) and a courthouse. If it does get confiscated, I can swing by an office supply store and pick one up for less than $10.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:54 PM
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Pen was a gift from a customer.
It is a pen!
I had no idea it was tactical!?!
There are also 4or 5 zip ties in my bag
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ISCS Yoda View Post
If they ignored it on some dozen or more flights why was it suddenly such a big deal?
My guess is that they came to the attention of the higher-ups in the TSA. I can almost picture the intel report...
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:25 PM
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Gotta remember most employed by tsa are lacking skills to work in the private sector, hate their jobs, and could care less
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:37 PM
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Default ANYONE RECALL

Rocker Rick (no pun) Derringer was arrested a while back for a handgun in his carry on bag. "He claimed" I've been touring/flying VERY often (30ish years) & have ALWAYS had my handgun in my carry on bag. Like with fishing, you can't catch them all, but come on. Like the "secret" handgun pocket in fanny packs, the "secret" gets out, after a while.

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Old 04-11-2018, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
DOES IT MATTER? A weapon is a weapon, regardless of how it may be disguised, or used. PRETTY SURE most people of sound mind know that bringing a weapon on an airline is a NO NO. Congrats on sneaking them by TSA agents. Got caught??? There's NO CRYING in sneaking contraband aboard. IMO you got off easy. Perhaps a new area for WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE YOU THINKING is needed?
Is a box cutter a weapon? It is disappointing that someone on a gun forum thinks it is the inanimate object that is capable of evil.
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Old 04-11-2018, 09:24 PM
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I have always felt totally disarmed on commercial aircraft, and as late as last September, I carried a "tactical" pen as a last-ditch protection device. Seems like even that option is gone. Damn.

John
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:03 PM
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A tactical pen IS a pen. It will write and can be used as a daily workimg pen.

Exactly what separates this aluminum sheath len from other aluminum, metal or other material pen?

If it were in fact a fake oen, unusable as a pen then there would be an argument to be made it is not a pen. Well because it in fact is NOT a pen when there is no ink or usable as a pen.

Makes as much sense as the Brits making kitchen knives with a point illegal. After all outlawing guns didnt work (gun crime in britain is UP 16%. Seems the criminals didnít follow the law). Iím sure outlawing knives will work equally ineffectively! I suppose Britain will soo outlaw tennis balls as they can be projected through the air and used as a weapon.

Give me a break!
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Old 04-11-2018, 10:07 PM
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Default IN THE WRONG HANDS, THAT WOULD BE A BIG YES!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill1911 View Post
Is a box cutter a weapon? It is disappointing that someone on a gun forum thinks it is the inanimate object that is capable of evil.
The terrorists that hijacked the United airlines plane on 9/11 sure thought that box cutters were weapons, (in their hands) I would have to agree. I guess it would have been better if they only had harmless tactical pens. SO SORRY if you are disappointed and can't face facts. Evil people have & will continue to use "inanimate objects" to commit evil acts. NO, I don't believe box cutters are any more evil than pressure cookers, but there ya go. If you only needed to write why not a bic/pencil whatever? The description/name TACTICAL sums up it's TRUE potential use. Denial aint just a river in Egypt obviously.

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Old 04-12-2018, 12:05 AM
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Cross pen and pencil set. You can drive one of them through a 2x4.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:40 AM
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TSA = Thousands Standing Around
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:21 AM
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Next they will want my money clip that if held just right can be as effective as a razor blade in cqb.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:40 AM
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When I was in the Army they taught me that I am the weapon; anything else is just a tool.

My credit union always has a canister of Bic pens on the counter for members. I haven't purchased a pen in years, tactical or otherwise.
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
MY POINT is that the OP should have known a tactical pen was NOT made for writing, . . .
Some write better than others. All depends on what the refill is. I've got a few, and use one every day. For writing . . .
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Old 04-12-2018, 08:31 AM
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Default THEY ARE NOT A SECRET ANYMORE.

IF you want to carry a tactical pen, fine. I have no problems with them. Carrying them onto an airplane, into a prison/courthouse or other restricted place, YOU may end up being the one with the problem, is all I am saying. Double edged belt buckle knives have been "discovered" too. Want to go all double naught spy? Sharpen an edge on your credit card, get a rolex with a garot, a kevlar trenchcoat, and a steel lined derby hat.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
The terrorists that hijacked the United airlines plane on 9/11 sure thought that box cutters were weapons, (in their hands) I would have to agree. I guess it would have been better if they only had harmless tactical pens. SO SORRY if you are disappointed and can't face facts. Evil people have & will continue to use "inanimate objects" to commit evil acts. NO, I don't believe box cutters are any more evil than pressure cookers, but there ya go. If you only needed to write why not a bic/pencil whatever? The description/name TACTICAL sums up it's TRUE potential use. Denial aint just a river in Egypt obviously.
Tactical is a word used as a selling point/marketing gimmick. So are you suggesting confiscating 5-11 pants of passengers? One could take them off, and strangle somebody with a leg. This is what happens when the gun community cuts their own throats by marketing memes that sound exactly like they are intended to sound, yet mean nothing. A term used to evoke emotions to make a sale.
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:32 PM
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Forget flying on a golf trip if they ever sell tactical golf clubs...
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Old 04-12-2018, 12:57 PM
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Default NOT SUGGESTING ANYTHING.

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Tactical is a word used as a selling point/marketing gimmick. So are you suggesting confiscating 5-11 pants of passengers? One could take them off, and strangle somebody with a leg. This is what happens when the gun community cuts their own throats by marketing memes that sound exactly like they are intended to sound, yet mean nothing. A term used to evoke emotions to make a sale.

NO, but it might make things more interesting at airports & such.
Show me where I made ANY suggestion to take ANY action. Tactical pens are NOT A WEAPON because they can write, is like saying belt buckle "knives" are NOT KNIVES, cuz they can hold your pants up. Keep telling yourself they were not intended/designed from the ground up as a weapon. Eventually you may convince yourself. Me thinks many of you dost protest too much. I'm gonna go make some popcorn in my tactical popcorn maker.

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Old 04-12-2018, 01:33 PM
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I'm not tactically oriented and had never heard of a tactical pen until a few months ago on this forum. Other than tactical fad value, do these have any advantage over regular pens?
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:43 PM
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I'm not tactically oriented and had never heard of a tactical pen until a few months ago on this forum. Other than tactical fad value, do these have any advantage over regular pens?
They're heavy and hard to break . . .
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Old 04-12-2018, 01:56 PM
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I'm not tactically oriented and had never heard of a tactical pen until a few months ago on this forum. Other than tactical fad value, do these have any advantage over regular pens?
Here's one I USED to carry on commercial aircraft. Now I have to get by with a Cross pen...

John

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Old 04-12-2018, 01:59 PM
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Maybe TSA could start profiling like the Israelis and reduce the kabuki theater.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
NO, but it might make things more interesting at airports & such.
Show me where I made ANY suggestion to take ANY action. Tactical pens are NOT A WEAPON because they can write, is like saying belt buckle "knives" are NOT KNIVES, cuz they can hold your pants up. Keep telling yourself they were not intended/designed from the ground up as a weapon. Eventually you may convince yourself. Me thinks many of you dost protest too much. I'm gonna go make some popcorn in my tactical popcorn maker.
Heavy duty pens have been made for a long time with metal housing long before the word tactical was put to everything to make a tactikewl buck. A pen is not a knife, that is apples to oranges. A knife is intended to cut, a pen to write, besides the knife belt buckle would still be a belt buckle designed to carry a knife even if it did not have a knife in it. You seem to be suggesting banning the buckle because it can carry a knife. That gets back to the tactical pants, they can carry a number of options of weapons, including a expensive gentleman's pen which are usually dangerous if used improperly. You seem to be hung up on the word tactical.
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Old 04-12-2018, 02:48 PM
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Default TSA BASHING NOW?

Does the TSA get employees with secret service type pedigrees, for what they pay? I doubt it, nor does the avg screener get a say in what makes the NOT ALLOWED list. To any TSA members, I wouldn't want your job. NOT ALLOWED ITEMS are well posted. Here's a wild idea, since it's only been 17 years since 9/11. DON'T BRING NOT ALLOWED ITEMS INTO NOT ALLOWED PLACES. I came up with that one all on my own. At home or about town, do as you will.

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Old 04-12-2018, 02:54 PM
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I guess since K-Bar makes a tactical cane I will be forced to use a wheel chair if I ever fly. Or are there tactical wheel chairs?

Has anybody ever been seriously injured, or killed with a tactical pen yet? I would be interested in hearing the news reports. Outside of pressure points I am curious to it's value as a 'lethal' weapon? My hickory stockman cane is more dangerous used as a weapon than the pen. Oh shoot that word 'stockman' will probably get it banned.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:20 PM
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For the record, jokes aside, politics aside, cynical and and vituperative remarks aside, the "tactical pen" that I lost to the TSA was a Hoffman-Richter similar to Paladin's EXCEPT it was flat on both sides. It had no point. To write with it the cap had to be removed like Paladin's but it did not have that pointed end - I have one like that as well but it's not the one I flew with. So it was a very non-threatening tube of aluminum. But TSA knew what it was and it is on their list as a kubaton, as discussed above, end of story.

So, the whole point is, pun intended, the tactical pen is specifically designed as a personal defense tool that can also be used to write with. If TSA doesn't like them then we are stuck with their rule if we intend to fly. But I pay attention to my friends and Forum members and I lloked up the Zebra F701 pen - it WILL suffice for the purpose. As long as it is metal - plastic is good, pencils are good, but they can break. Aluminum pens will work.

Besides the Zebra referenced above suggestions include the Retro 1951 HEX-O-MATIC Ballpoint and the Rotring 600 pencil and Rotring Rapid-Pro pen. All metal body. Just pens. Ten bucks, maybe twenty bucks, they'll do in a pinch and won't be confiscated or looked at negatively by anyone.

Yes, you are the weapon, so choose your defensive tools carefully.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:27 PM
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There are heavy-duty pens that look tactical and have silly tactical logos and will get snatched up by TSA as tactical pens, and then there are heavy duty pens that are just pens and look like regular pens but will be just as effective.

Choose your pen wisely.
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:55 PM
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No one pays much attention to an old man with a cane...
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Old 04-12-2018, 03:56 PM
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Old 04-12-2018, 04:26 PM
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They have never questioned my two freshly-sharpened pencils...
Make mine # 4
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Old 04-12-2018, 07:37 PM
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Default A GOOD/HONEST POST YODA.

I know I've lost a few "dangerous" things to airport security, aftershave and a bottle of water. Since Walking Wolf keeps falsely stating that I am suggesting this or that, HERES A SUGGESTION that may quiet you down and save you a few bucks. Get a prescription from your Dr for a bariatric cane (a heavy duty cane for heavy people), because the one you currently use is flexing & not getting the job done. Insurance may cover the cost completely, & save you the 100$+ for the tactical K-Bar cane. You will have to live without the curved end for Ninja esque hooking your attackers. Cute comic whoever posted that one. I guess the mugger was out of bullets, OR the cane wielding victim was THE FLASH.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
Does the TSA get employees with secret service type pedigrees, for what they pay? I doubt it, nor does the avg screener get a say in what makes the NOT ALLOWED list. To any TSA members, I wouldn't want your job. NOT ALLOWED ITEMS are well posted. Here's a wild idea, since it's only been 17 years since 9/11. DON'T BRING NOT ALLOWED ITEMS INTO NOT ALLOWED PLACES. I came up with that one all on my own. At home or about town, do as you will.
What Can I Bring? | Transportation Security Administration

Go to the TSA website. The term "tactical pen" is not in the list of allowed/not allowed items.

"Pens" are allowed. There are no special instructions regarding pens.

"Kubotan" is not allowed. But I never considered a "Tactical pen" a "kubotan."

Knitting needles, with which one can easily kill with a well place puncture to the neck, are allowed in carry on. I'd rather face a tactical pen.

So are scissors with blades less than 4". I can separate those into two separate piercing instruments. I'd rather face a tactical pen.

The TSA needs to clarify the rules. A tactical pen is not a kubotan. Either ban it, or not.

As for the admonishments you advance, your only authority is the arbitrary and capricious judgment of the TSA agent. The OP did nothing wrong; your arguments are premised on non-existent authority.

Last edited by Pef; 04-12-2018 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:25 PM
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Yet another reason not to fly.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:45 PM
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Duly noted. Over/under: Mother's Day. I'm taking the under . . .

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Originally Posted by nachogrande View Post
I know I've lost a few "dangerous" things to airport security, aftershave and a bottle of water. Since Walking Wolf keeps falsely stating that I am suggesting this or that, HERES A SUGGESTION that may quiet you down and save you a few bucks. Get a prescription from your Dr for a bariatric cane (a heavy duty cane for heavy people), because the one you currently use is flexing & not getting the job done. Insurance may cover the cost completely, & save you the 100$+ for the tactical K-Bar cane. You will have to live without the curved end for Ninja esque hooking your attackers. Cute comic whoever posted that one. I guess the mugger was out of bullets, OR the cane wielding victim was THE FLASH.
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:47 PM
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During the first week of the academy we all walked into a classroom with a table up front with all sorts of weapons. Nightsticks, slappers, brass knuckles, even a set of thumb screws.

The instructor asked the class what our "Most Effective" weapon would be and predictably most of us chose the sawed off shotgun.

He smiled, reached into his starched shirt pocket to produce his department issue ballpoint pen......"Your reports will be written in the third person....." and so it began. We learned and came to appreciate those of us who could "weave the facts" into a compelling tale.

But today we are speaking of something entirely different when we talk about "tactical pens" and of course, since I fly frequently I have learned to love the feeling of the K-9 pressing it's nose in the crack of my britches while I'm minding my own.

Being a Texan I have always had a fascination with Bolo ties. String ties for those who live "up yonder". I always felt that they were something that maybe old men or actors playing a part in a movie wore. One day I glanced in the mirror and decided that it was no longer of any value to be in denial.
Somehow I had slipped into old man territory. Being semi-senile I thought it might even be a good idea to wear one with my Stetson on a recent trip through Chicago O'Hare airport. I thought that maybe my Lucheese boots might have given them a clue since they are all world known for their "profiling acumen".

She points at my solid brass bolo and says "What that?" I knew I shouldn't, but remember I can play the senility card now.......So I told her that if my flight is delayed I'm proceeding to the Men's Room to hang myself. I thought it was pretty funny.....they didn't.

Last edited by Ingramite; 04-12-2018 at 09:49 PM. Reason: semi senile
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Old 04-12-2018, 09:50 PM
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Talking NEVER KNEW I WAS IMPO-TENT. LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pef View Post
What Can I Bring? | Transportation Security Administration

Go to the TSA website. The term "tactical pen" is not in the list of allowed/not allowed items.

"Pens" are allowed. There are no special instructions regarding pens.

"Kubotan" is not allowed. But I never considered a "Tactical pen" a "kubotan."

Knitting needles, with which one can easily kill with a well place puncture to the neck, are allowed in carry on. I'd rather face a tactical pen.

So are scissors with blades less than 4". I can separate those into two separate piercing instruments. I'd rather face a tactical pen.

The TSA needs to clarify the rules. A tactical pen is not a kubotan. Either ban it, or not.

As for the admonishments you advance, your only authority is the arbitrary and capricious judgment of the TSA agent. The OP did nothing wrong; your arguments are premised on non-existent authority.
IDK, I guess "the rules" are ever changing, with a great deal of discretion on the TSA's part??? My 85 y/o (at the time) Mom in a NON tactical wheelchair had her tiny antique sewing scissors & nail clippers confiscated. I TOLD HER not to bring ANYTHING metal or sharp. She did not RESPECT MY AUTHORITY.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Being a Texan I have always had a fascination with Bolo ties.
My brother explained how useful a bolo tie can be. If, for no other reason, to tie up a perp's hands or feet rather quickly. But he had other uses, too.

Quote:
What Can I Bring? | Transportation Security Administration

Go to the TSA website. The term "tactical pen" is not in the list of allowed/not allowed items.

"Pens" are allowed. There are no special instructions regarding pens.

"Kubotan" is not allowed. But I never considered a "Tactical pen" a "kubotan."
The problem here is that while I agree, the TSA gets to write its own definitions. Since a true "kubotan" is a 5 or 6 inch defensive weapon, originally attached to a keychain but the term has been redefined through usage, anything that remotely resembles a defensive or fighting instrument of around that length can be declared to be a kubotan by TWMTR. That would be Those Who Make The Rules.

A real pen, as discussed earlier, despite the materials of which it is comprised, is still a pen, and cannot be so easily redefined.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:47 PM
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If I wasn't so lazy and technically challenged I would look up who to attribute this famous quote to:

"The pen is mightier than the sword"

Or even another:

"There is no justice. Just us"

In 1988 I got off of a jetliner at the Rome airport and was shocked to see uniformed troops with automatic weapons patrolling. Only now do I even begin to realize how naive we have been in the past.
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