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Pen gun found in carry-on luggage at Logan Airport; 17th firearm detected this year at security checkpoint

TSA officers at Boston Logan International Airport discovered this unloaded .22 caliber pen firearm in a passenger's carry-on luggage on Aug. 13.Transportation Security Administration

In what could have been a scene from a spy movie, a .22 caliber pen gun was found in a passenger’s carry-on luggage at Logan Airport on Saturday, officials said.

The rare tiny weapon, which was not loaded, was discovered by Transportation Security Administration officers around 1:30 p.m. during the routine X-ray screening of luggage, said Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for the TSA.

The owner of the luggage was a man who was traveling to Portland International Airport in Oregon, she said.

“Upon seeing the image on the X-ray screen, TSA notified Massachusetts State Police,” she wrote in an email to the Globe. “They responded to the security checkpoint and interviewed the traveler who was ultimately allowed to continue to his flight.”


Designed to look like an innocent writing instrument, the pen gun is an actual firearm.

Pen guns “are, in fact, a real thing,” Dankers explained in her email to the Globe. “They are a single-shot pistol, which folds open like a Transformers toy to reveal a tiny trigger.”

This was the 17th firearm detected in carry-on luggage at Logan Airport in 2022, she said.

“Kudos to the TSA officers on duty who spotted this image on the X-ray screen, ensuring this potential security threat did not make it onboard the aircraft,” she said.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.