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Hey kids, you know you can’t bring a gun onto a commercial airplane, right? That means no guns whatsoever, not even toy guns.
“But what about my bright blue minion ‘Despicable Me 2’ Fart Blaster?” you may ask. The answer is still “Absolutely not,” as one 3-year old boy, Leo Fitzpatrick, and his mother, Daire, recently learned the hard way.
The pair was boarding a flight at Ireland’s Dublin Airport when a security official took the toy — which looks more like a megaphone than a gun, makes a farting noise, and emits a banana-like odor — from Leo, citing the rule that toy guns are not allowed on the aircraft.
The incident, which allegedly left little Leo utterly distraught, and his mother enraged, attracted attention when a woman named Paula, a self-declared friend of Daire, tweeted about it and tagged Universal Pictures, the studio behind the "Minions" franchise, to the post.
The story picked up more steam when the Daily Mail interviewed Daire Fitzpatrick, who said that the security official recognized that the Fart Blaster didn’t look like a gun, and was most concerned by the trigger mechanism.
It may seem cruel — taking a clearly harmless toy away from a child. But Dublin Airport was indeed following protocol and in fact, the security agent in question was simply doing his job.
“We do not make up the security rules but we have to apply them,” a spokesperson for Dublin Airport told TODAY. “Toy/replica guns are on the prohibited list for security screening. We adopt a consistent approach so there is no confusion for passengers and our staff in the area.”
The spokesperson added that airport security officials are subject to stringent audits on a regular basis to ensure compliance.
“Had this been an auditor on a covert operation with the toy gun we would have failed the compliance test.”
In other words, the security agent could have lost his job had he not confiscated the banned item.
“While we apologized to the family for the inconvenience caused we did say that we would hold onto the Minion toy so the family can collect it on return from their holiday,” said the spokesperson.