TSA confused my PeakDesign Capture Camera Clip with a flip knife

I usually walk around with the camera all the time when traveling, so I have a PeakDesign Capture Camera Clip that allows me to keep the camera in my backpack strap and have quick access to it: I can pull it, take the photo and put it back really quick.

The camera clip is very small, and has a plate that goes attached to the camera, and the base that you can attach not only to backpack straps but also to belts or anything that has a strap with the right width. Here’s a video showing how the camera clip works:

You would think that it looks like a camera clip and nothing else, but airport security had a different opinion.

The first time: PWM

So the first time my PeakDesign camera clip was confused with a flip knife and I was hold back at security as at the lovely airport of Portland, Maine, where everyone seems to be happy. A very kind man asked me to proceed to the table to check my backpack. I was totally lost about what it could be since he said it was something like a knife. What!? I know the rules and would never, ever, attempt to carry a knife in the cabin.

My Billabong Combat Pack backpack (a fantastic general usage backpack) has a lot of pockets and sections and even after checking them all he still couldn’t find anything. Until he turned the backpack around and saw the clip:

ā€“ “Ah, this is it. What is this?”

You have no idea how surprised I was.

ā€“ “That’s a camera clip. I can carry the camera in it.”

I showed him how and he was as surprised to learn about it as I was about the fact that it was confused with a flip knife. He told me I could continue and I thanked him for the inspection. Regardless of the confusion, he was doing his job and made me feel safe. His face brighten up:

ā€“ “You’re very welcome.”

A nice guy makes for a nice TSA agent.

The second time: DCA

The second time happened in the Washington, D.C. airport. This was a bad experience. Luckily, since I knew what it could be, I told the agent to look at the strap. He reluctantly did it after I insisted a few times. Saw that it wasn’t a knife, and told me to go.

Lesson learned

After this, I started putting the camera clip aside, in a tray. If I forget to remove it, I tell one of the agents in advance. So far I haven’t had any other situations.

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