Airport authorities in Portland, Maine, caught a passenger with a hatchet and a homemade gun last week Tuesday. As reported by Transportation Security Administration, officers at the Portland International Jetport caught the man as he attempted to pass the checkpoint and board a flight with the dangerous items stowed away in his carry-on bag.
TSA recounted the incident in its official New England Twitter account. “Yesterday @portlandjetport, @TSA officers detected this homemade firearm in a man’s carry-on bag,” the tweet read. After TSA officers found the items, Portland Police were called to the scene and upon arrival, they confiscated the firearm, as reported by spokesperson Dan Velez.
Yesterday @portlandjetport, @TSA officers detected this homemade firearm in a man's carry-on bag. They also found a hatchet in the bag. Portland Police responded and confiscated the firearm. This was the 3rd firearm detection at PWM this year. #Travelfail pic.twitter.com/QMpKaMYXIQ
— TSA_NewEngland (@TSA_NewEngland) December 15, 2022
Velez later told Mass Live that the firearm looked like a pipe in a cylindrical shape with holes on its body and a knob with a hole coming out from one end. It appeared to have been made of silver metal. He said the hatchet’s handle was wrapped in protective sheaths and dark green cord.
While law enforcement seized the man’s firearm, they allowed him to keep his hatchet in his checked baggage.
Velez revealed in his tweet that this makes the third time a firearm would be detected at Portland International Jetport this year. In a later post on Dec. 16, he announced that TSA agents flagged weapons that passengers tried to smuggle into Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport.
“A couple of nice carry-on bag detections by our @TSA officers @Bradley_Airport yesterday,” Velez wrote, adding that passengers should always properly pack items like double-edged knives and replica gun lighters in their checked bags.
Two guns were also detected at Boston Logan International Airport within two hours of each other in the past week. A woman had attempted to go through TSA with a loaded gun in her purse. The second person – a man – was found with a loaded gun with 12 rounds. He was arrested because he could not produce a permit for the weapon.
A press release from Dec. 16 revealed that the agency stopped 6,301 firearms from getting past security checkpoints within this year. More than 88% of them, the TSA says, were loaded.