A Chinese student was stopped from entering the United States after telling customs officers that he was carrying a bulletproof vest in his luggage.
The student, whose name was not revealed, came back to the country through Detroit Metro Airport on August 27, New York Post reported.
During a security check, the student informed officers he had a bulletproof vest inside of his luggage, World Journal reported as translated by Shanghaiist.
Officers immediately searched through his belongings, and reportedly inspected and confiscated both his computer and phone, which were sent off to counterterrorism investigators.
The student, who is a gun license owner in Michigan, explained to the officers that his vest was for his own personal use and he had no bad intentions. Despite his efforts, authorities still denied the student from entering the country. They also canceled his visa and sent him back to China.
Social media users expressed their outrage after the story began trending on China’s Weibo.
“Americans get to have guns but we don’t get to have body armor,” a user said.
“All foreigners who come to China with face masks should be repatriated,” another Weibo user wrote.
Even though the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration stated on its website that soft body armors have no restrictions, the TSA clarified that the final decision to let someone enter with such an item lies in the hands of the officers in charge.
“Generally, body armor is allowed in carry-on or checked bags,” the TSA wrote. “Please note however that even if an item is generally allowed, our officers make the final decision on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”