En route from San Jose to Phoenix, I was told by a Transportation Security Agency (TSA) screener about a ban on lighters (cough) starting April 14th, but the book allowance has been cut from 4 to 2. I had been tagged for a pat-down, a perfectly reasonable thing considering whatsinmybag. The agent was reasonable and amicable and I knew the drill. When he pulled a cigarette lighter out of my bag he mentioned the forthcoming ban, how you could carry four packs of matches and the whole idea was to prevent quickly lighting explosives (like that idiot with evil shoes). When he pulled out two books he mentioned that right now you can only have four books and on the 14th you can only have two. He didn't have any explanation for this, and I can't even fathom the purpose.
I must highlight that this could be bad information and hearsay. I can't confirm this with the DHS or TSA prohibited items list. However, the TSA list notes it's own inaccuracy -- and the discretion of the screener to interpret policy:
The prohibited and permitted items chart is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as
necessary. To ensure everyone's security, the screener may determine that an item not on the
prohibited items chart is prohibited. In addition, the screener may also determine that an
item on the permitted chart is dangerous and therefore may not be brought through the
I post this story because our current administration is the only one in history to take away more rights than it gives, the policy would disturb basic freedoms, policy interpretation and enforcement is in the hands of screeners and a screener told me the story in the first place. Can anyone help me bring clarity on this important issue? Until then, it's eBooks for me.