(NEXSTAR) – A passenger traveling through Boston’s Logan International Airport was stopped after officers with the Transportation Security Administration detected a pen gun in his carry-on.
The single-shot firearm, which resembles a pen in size and shape, was found during X-ray screening of the man’s luggage at about 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 13, a representative for the TSA confirmed. Massachusetts State Police were called to the security checkpoint, where they interviewed the passenger.
After speaking with police, the male traveler was allowed to continue through the airport and ultimately to his destination in Portland, Oregon — sans pen gun.
The TSA said he would have been allowed to transport the item had he packed it properly in his checked baggage.
The term “pen gun,” according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, is generally used to describe any firearm designed “to look like an ink pen.” They were also more widely used around the turn of the 20th Century for self-defense purposes, according to the FBI’s October 2018 “Artifact of the Month” entry.
The pen gun discovered at Logan Airport was a .22 caliber firearm that folded open to the shape of a pistol, the TSA said. It was the 17th gun detected at Logan screening checkpoints this year, the agency said on Twitter.
The TSA, meanwhile, said in Oct. 2021 that the number of guns detected at screening checkpoints across the country had reached an “alarming” level, and later confirmed they stopped a total of 5,972 guns at U.S. checkpoints in 2021. But in the first half of 2022, TSA officers detected more than 3,000 guns at checkpoints in the U.S., putting the country on pace to possibly break the previous year’s record, The Hill reported.