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article imageTSA: Sorry kid, Buzz Lightyear toy looks too much like a real gun

By Karen Graham     Nov 20, 2015 in World
A five-year-old boy returning home with his family after his first visit to Walt Disney World was brought to tears when TSA agents confiscated his Buzz Lightyear toy and threw it in the trash, saying it "looked too much like a gun."
It goes without saying that with the world's attention riveted on the terrorist attacks in Beirut, Paris, and now, Mali, that vigilance is always needed to keep the public safe.
Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) agents at Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida were hyper-vigilant a few days ago in their efforts to protect national security when they confiscated a little boy's souvenir, tossing it in the trash.
Levi Zilka and his family were returning home to Pennsylvania after making a weekend visit to Walt Disney World, and little Levi was excited and happy because his uncle had bought him a Buzz Lightyear “flip grip” toy-- a plastic grabber, as a souvenir of his trip.
But the happy trip turned sour when TSA agents told the family the toy looked too much like a weapon and said TSA requires realistic replicas of firearms to be checked. But the family only had carry-on luggage, so the toy was taken and thrown in the trash.
"Once he realized what was happening, that they weren't giving his toy back, he immediately starts bawling, just tears streaming down his face, crying," said David Zilka, Levi's father.
"We understand that things are scary out there right now but taking a toy from a five-year-old doesn't enhance national security. It was all I could do not to break down with him in that moment," the father said.
CBS Philly printed the following statement from the TSA regarding the incident: “TSA officers are charged with protecting passengers and making final judgments on which items are permitted on aircraft. In our review of this situation, the officer’s decision complied with approved procedures. We recently reinforced that training on the procedures with every front line TSA officer. TSA officers have the discretion to deny passage of an item if they cannot definitively rule out that the item could be used as a weapon, or perceived to be a weapon, including replica weapons."
When asked what made him the saddest about the incident, levi said it was when the TSA man threw his toy in the trash.
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