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Redmond woman has sock monkey’s gun confiscated by TSA

The TSA agent told Phyllis May that her sock monkey's toy gun, pictured in the holster above, could appear to be real to an unknowing fellow passenger. (Phyllis May via KING 5)

A local woman on a flight home from St. Louis had a gun replica confiscated from her luggage last week.

You’re not allowed to travel with a replica of a gun because people might think it’s real. Except this replica pistol was taken from a cowboy-sock-monkey-puppet named “Rooster Monkburn.”

Phyllis May of Redmond, who owns the sock puppet, has a small business selling sock monkey dolls including “Rooster Monkburn,” a take on John Wayne’s character “Rooster Cogburn” from the film “True Grit.”

May and her husband were going through the screening process when she noticed that one of her bags was missing.

She says the TSA agent held up her bag and asked ‘Whose is this?’

May told KING 5 the TSA agent went through the bag, through the sewing supplies and found the two-inch long pistol, which is about the size of three quarters. If it could shoot, it would fire a bullet the size of a cupcake sprinkle.

So, the TSA agent says ‘This is a gun.’ And May says, ‘No, it’s not a gun. It’s a prop for my monkey.’

The TSA agent responded, ‘If I held it up to your neck, you wouldn’t know if it was real or not,’ and May responded, ‘really?!’

The TSA agent told May she would have to confiscate the tiny gun and was supposed to call the police.

She took the monkey’s gun, but in the end, the agent did not call police and May did get her other sewing supplies back.

On Monday, the TSA issued a statement, saying under longstanding aircraft security policy and out of an abundance of caution, realistic replicas of firearms are prohibited in carry-on bags.

When stuff like this happens, there’s only one thing to do, as John Wayne himself said, “Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let’s go! We’re burning daylight!”

KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross contributed to this report.

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