Thoroughly Clean Out Your Hunting Bag Before Vacation

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Darrell Lapp was on a dream trip with his son's Boy Scout Troop. He was on a scuba diving trip to the Bahamas, a trip that he had worked 2 jobs for a year to save for. The trip had gone beautifully for the troop from Liberty, Missouri. Then at the airport for the return flight home, Bahamian airport police arrested Lapp. Lapp had a single bullet in his bag, an overlooked bullet from an earlier hunting trip in the year. Lapp tried to explain this to the police, but they still took him to jail. He spent three days in jail. His attorney told him to plead guilty. He will have to pay a hefty fine, but the Bahamian court will acknowledge he had no ill intent with the hidden bullet. Curious that the bullet was not detected by any of the American airports on the way down. Lapp is expected to return home today. From WDAF Fox News.


cowgal's picture

Driving into Canada can be

Driving into Canada can be bad too, especially if you're hauling a camper. We typically keep a handgun in our camper, so when we headed to British Columbia on our camping trip, I stressed over not forgetting to remove the handgun. Canada is brutal if you "forget" - they don't care if you have a CC in the states, are a police officer, nothing - you just better not bring in any type of firearm, without declaring it of course and leaving it at the border. They will confiscate everything, vehicle, camper - everything, and throw your butt in jail, then add some very stiff penalties. 

When we've flown, we've lost pocketknives and other gear they deemed dangerous. My husband is a flyfisherman, so has scissors in his fishing gear carry-on bag. He got through security here but lost them in Turks & Caicos when we returned home. Thankfully no jail! 

Once a few years ago (I think in Ft Myers) when my husband had several items, including a pocketknife (again!) on him, the TSA allowed him to get a self mailer and mail the items back to himself. That hasn't happened again. He just loses things he forgets to put in his checked bag now. 

I was surpised to read that Lapp ended up in jail. The islands are crazy, he probably got a security officer on a very bad day. 

hunter25's picture

First of all like the others

First of all like the others have said it's pretty bad that the cartridge was not discovered here like it should have been. It seems they have caught everyone else here. If they had found it a lot of his troubles could have been avoided and explained away with just a little hassle. Secondly he was still very fortunate as it could have turned out a lot worse than it did. I remember a case I read in a hunting magazine about 20 years ago where some guys drove into Mexico for lunch after a day of hunting anf were caught with a box of shells that had slid under the seat. In this case it was several months before the owner of the vehicle was able to return and due to some federal trafficking charges of some kind is never allowed to own or use a firearm again. SO although annoying in this case he will still have a normal future. I haven't flown in years but this will now make me much more aware if I decide to.

arrowflipper's picture

Outstanding recommendation!

Check your bags before leaving on any airline trip.  Outstanding recommendation.  A number of years ago, (about ten) my wife and I went to Australia to celebrate our 45th anniversary.  We flew out of Seattle into LA for our flight across the big pond.  Everything went well in Seattle, so you can imagine my surprise when the LA police asked to have a chat.  There were six 270 cartridges in my carry-on bag.  Six of them.  They had been there from a recent deer hunting trip.

I did a heap of a lot of talking before they let me go.  At least I was in America and I got lucky.  I now empty out my bag before going on any trip which involves airlines. 

A few years ago, my son and I flew out of Seattle to Alaska for a moose hunt.  Kevin had just recently purchased a 9 mm handgun to carry in the wilds of Alaska.  It was stashed safely in our rifle case and had been through inspection.  Little did he know that he had forgotten to take one clip out of his carry on.  The police were called and he was taken off for interrogation.  To make a long story short, had the clip held ten cartridges or more, he would have been court-martialed (he's in the Army) and hauled to jail.  There's something about the number of shells in a clip that makes the whole thing a lot worse.  Of course they impounded both the shells and the clip.  He talked till he was blue in the face to keep his clip but I guess some tsa officer wanted it more than he did. 

A few years ago, I flew from Seattle down to Las Vegas for a national wrestling tournament.  Everything went well until I went through security to come home.  There again was something I had forgotten from a hunting trip.... a hunting knife and a Leatherman.  They kept them both. 

I don't blame the tsa for being careful, but they sure wouldn't want to profile the scum bags that are the ones causing all the trouble.  Maybe I'll wear something on my head the next time I travel???


niceshot_smitty's picture

That really sucks for Lapp. 

That really sucks for Lapp.  it doesn't suprize me about tsa missing it here in the states.  I always try to keep my hunt bags away from my regular trip bags.  Because i too have had run in's with tsa.  I made the mistake of using my back i just used for a blackpowder hunt and they swobbed it and it came out postive.  I missed my flight and spent the next 6 hours being interview about my bag.  it came down to them warning me and putting me on a watch lists.  Which really sucks because i get pulled out of line every time i fly now.  so i keep my bags apart!! 

Ca_Vermonster's picture

I always worry about this,

I always worry about this, especially since I am on the border with Mexico, and we fish over there alot in their waters.  Combine that with the fact that I sometimes use the same bags for hunting that I do for fishing, and I could be ina heap of trouble if they found a single bullett on me.

Sucks to be in his situation, but unfortunately, when in other countries, you are at their mercy.  It's almost best to get it done and over with, and get back home safely.

One of the many reasons I try to avoid travelling anywhere but Canada these days.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Such the luck.  That is the

Such the luck.  That is the kind of luck I usualy have.  I too am real curious on how it got past the top notch TSA pople we have at out air ports.  Hopefully it all works out the best for him which I am sure it will.  I have heard of other stories like this also, but not one where someone went to jail.