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  • Transporting lockpicks

    I need some advice on how to transport my lockpicks to Defcon.

    I'm Coming from Canada via a plane. Is there anything I need to do to legally carry my lockpicks to the event?

    From what I can see on the TSA website tools can be transported in checked baggage.

    Are there any Nevada laws or TSA policies I need to address?

    Cheers.
    ...
    HC SVNT DRACONES
    I Dream of exploring the edges
    ...

  • #2
    Re: Transporting lockpicks

    Originally posted by student_T View Post
    I need some advice on how to transport my lockpicks to Defcon.

    I'm Coming from Canada via a plane. Is there anything I need to do to legally carry my lockpicks to the event?

    From what I can see on the TSA website tools can be transported in checked baggage.

    Are there any Nevada laws or TSA policies I need to address?

    Cheers.
    Checked bags should work fine. Most states have no laws on carrying or using lockpicks, but possession of lockpicks while trespassing can be evidence of being a "professional burglar" and turn a misdemeanor into a felony, or change the class of misdemeanor to something with a stiffer sentence. So, if you plan on breaking these kinds of laws, don't carry your lockpicks. :-)

    Other than that? Carrying them out in the open could be considered by some officers as probable cause to stop you and interrogate, err, ask you what you are doing with them. Same with a case if you are using them to unlock some lock somewhere instead of a key. In that case, if you were unable to show you were a professional locksmith, had permission to pick the lock from the owner, or were an owner of the lock/space, then they may choose to search you, or ask you for ID.

    Keep your use to private spaces, your own equipment, and within the Defcon areas, and you probably won't have any problems. Low profile, and not attracting attention is a way to avoid being hassled, even if what you are doing isn't breaking any laws.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Transporting lockpicks

      Cool. I got worried after reading someones comments about fooling the TSA.
      That's not my cup of tea.
      I would rather spend time learning new things and meeting new friends, as opposed to touring the city jail.

      Best Regards
      ...
      HC SVNT DRACONES
      I Dream of exploring the edges
      ...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Transporting lockpicks

        In flight, don't try to pick the door to the cockpit.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Transporting lockpicks

          As a fellow canuck, I fly with my picks all the time. Never had a problem. Ask to see my hat sometime :)

          Keep them in checked baggage, be discreet (i.e. non descript case as opposed to something with 'lockpick' written all over it). Keep them in your room or on your person at con. Dont go walking the strip with them or out drinking where small trouble could get into big trouble.

          Most of the time, the restrictive laws (I should know, Alberta has the most restrictive) say anything purpose built to manipulate the lock without a key. Well, until they are in a lock doing so, they could be excentric grooming tools for all intents and purposes and in general, TSA/Customs is worried about outright dangerous things, they are not the enforcers of licenses or administrative things.

          Render
          Never drink anything larger than your head!





          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Transporting lockpicks

            I have a TOOOL metal card that resides in my wallet all the time. Only once has a TSA officer looked at it; he didn't even question what it was, and put it back.

            Two years ago, a Hoover Dam Police LT saw it as he x-rayed my wallet when I was entering the visitor center. He had me come around and look at the x-ray screen.
            Him: "What is that?", pointing at the TOOOL card in glorious, false, x-ray colors.
            Me: "A lockpick set."
            Him: <Dead silence for 10 seconds> "Huh, OK. Just don't pick any locks here."
            Thorn
            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Transporting lockpicks

              Originally posted by Thorn View Post
              I have a TOOOL metal card that resides in my wallet all the time. Only once has a TSA officer looked at it; he didn't even question what it was, and put it back.

              Two years ago, a Hoover Dam Police LT saw it as he x-rayed my wallet when I was entering the visitor center. He had me come around and look at the x-ray screen.
              Him: "What is that?", pointing at the TOOOL card in glorious, false, x-ray colors.
              Me: "A lockpick set."
              Him: <Dead silence for 10 seconds> "Huh, OK. Just don't pick any locks here."
              :-)

              I've mentioned on the forums before, that I took lockpicks with me as part of carry-on, in the US, domestic flight, post-9/11, and post-locking-cockpit-door, and was asked no questions about bringing these with me. However, when I tried to leave Salt Lake City airport, domestic flight, post-9/11, and post-locking-cockpit-door, they opened up my leather pouches of tools, and spread my ~40 tools all over a table to inspect them. They call over several people and talked about them. It looked like a supervisor, and supervisors supervisor, all in uniforms, and then a guy in a suit who was probably a supervisors, supervisors, supervisor, They also asked me to drop my pants, and asked me if I wanted a private room. I said no thanks and dropped them in public. :-D

              After around a 10-15 minutes delay (IIRC) they let me continue with my picks on my flight. This was enough of a hassle for me to decide that the time delay and risk of loss of tools by confiscation and the attention this focused upon me were all not worth the convenience and decreased risk for theft of picks. Now, if I must bring them, I include them in checked luggage.

              Low-profile. Blend in. I'm a sheeple. ;-)

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Transporting lockpicks

                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                :-)

                <snip> This was enough of a hassle for me to decide that the time delay and risk of loss of tools by confiscation and the attention this focused upon me were all not worth the convenience and decreased risk for theft of picks. Now, if I must bring them, I include them in checked luggage.
                Since defcon last year when a couple coworkers and friends had their picks and progressive practice sets snagged out of their checked baggage, I always carry mine. If I'm ever bothered, I say "these are the tools of my trade, and the TSA likes to take them out of checked luggage. i can't show up on site without my gear, so i keep them close." (You can pile it on with "this is $500 worth of equipment, and i'm not letting it leave my sight, etc...) That's only really ever happened once though. I've had them pulled out of my bags a few times at x-ray just because they looked "odd", but usually get "okay, we just needed to see what it was"...

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                • #9
                  Re: Transporting lockpicks

                  Just tell them it's your religious articles. That'll protect 'em.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Transporting lockpicks

                    Originally posted by astcell View Post
                    Just tell them it's your religious articles. That'll protect 'em.
                    Sweet, yeah! Hang them from a necklace, or better yet, weave them in to a headdress!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Transporting lockpicks

                      Originally posted by rev.rance View Post
                      Sweet, yeah! Hang them from a necklace, or better yet, weave them in to a headdress!
                      You know... I do find the beard gets in the way. Maybe I can turn them into a beard clip.
                      ...
                      HC SVNT DRACONES
                      I Dream of exploring the edges
                      ...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Transporting lockpicks

                        Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                        I have a TOOOL metal card that resides in my wallet all the time. Only once has a TSA officer looked at it; he didn't even question what it was, and put it back.
                        I carry the Mitnick metal card in my wallet because people have heard of the guy and it provides an interesting conversation piece. While serving jury duty recently I eventually crossed paths with an officer who recognized the tools on the X-Ray. He asked me what it was, and I accurately responded "business card" (I usually begin from a place of ignorance when dealing with officials). He helpfully let me know that it was, in fact, a set of picks and confiscated the card (I got it back).

                        Other than that, my experiences have been the same with security ignoring them. They paid far more attention to the metal card with "Fuck You" cut out of it even though it could be used for little more than creating more-precise graffiti.

                        Oh, and never tell security that your tritium keychain fob is "radioactive". People really freak out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Transporting lockpicks

                          just to add some more first-hand experience to the pool. I've never actually received any attention to a pick set in carry-on at major airports. on two occasions at smaller regional airports I've had the TSA guy (in both cases, a guy who looked like he was getting close to retirement) pull them out and ask me about them. On both occasions i've responded "I am a security professional, I'm travelling on business" and been sent on my way with nothing more than a dirty look from them.

                          Unless something's really explicitly banned, it's down to the combination of the TSA worker's mood, and your reaction to that attitude, that determine if an item will give you problems. There are no hard and fast rules beyond that (which is why we laugh at the TSA)

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