The three-inch long plastic gun attached to a model of a soldier carried by a passenger at Gatwick was branded a firearm by security staff and had to be posted home.
The small but realistic plastic model of a soldier holding a tiny gun bought as a surprise for her husband by Julie Lloyd, 59, flagged up on a scanner at Gatwick Airport, just as Julie was about to board her flight back home to Toronto after visiting her mother .
To her amazement, she was told by security officials she could take the model soldier on board, but not the three-inch plastic gun as it was classed as a firearm. The little piece of plastic had no moving parts, not even a trigger but, after Julie had struggled to take the request seriously, she was forced to retreat from security, buy a jiffy bag and send the gun to her home address in Canada. She and the plastic soldier, minus his weapon, were then allowed to board the plane.
Mrs Lloyd, who had emigrated to Canada with her husband 17 years ago and was possibly, at that point, convinced she’s made the right decision, arrived home three days before the tiny plastic gun safely packed in its jiffy bag.
Julie had bought the resin model at the Royal Signals Museum in Dorset. as a retirement gift for.her husband. When the museum heard about her problem, a spokesman, hiding a grin, said the military museum took security matters very seriously but it was probably ‘just as well we didn’t sell her a toy tank’.
Mr Lloyd, 60, just retired from the Canadian police force, said his wife had been faced with a system ‘created by bureaucrats’, and a slightly embarrassed spokesman at Gatwick Airport said the incident was being investigated by heads of department.Author's Google+ page