I recently came across this “Workforce Stories” article on the TSA’s website about a guy who was issued a criminal summons for a carrying a concealed weapon when he tried to board a fight carrying a Tactical Pen in his backpack.
Below is the TSA article unedited:
“When is a pen not just a pen? The answer is when it doubles as a potential weapon.
A TSO at Palm Beach International (Fla.) was working the X-ray machine when he came across an anomaly on the screen and called for a search of a passenger’s backpack. Inside, the responding Officer discovered a tactical pen, used commonly by law enforcement as a defense tool with its sharp aluminum-based point on one end and blunt portion on the other.
A Supervisory TSO confirmed that item was a prohibited item. The police responded and issued the passenger a criminal summons to appear in court – under the state statute – for carrying a concealed weapon. He was cleared for travel and there were no flight delays.”
Interesting right? When I was reading this I was thinking “man, I have carried a Tactical Pen on airplane flights dozens of times”. This sort of freaked me out because if I was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon I would be 100% fucked because I would lose my security clearance = never work as a Civilian Contractor again – EVER.
One thing I was wondering is; if this guy was not boarding an Airplane could he still have been arrested for Carrying a Concealed Weapon? As far as I know [just off the top of my head] as long as the pen writes it is still considered a pen, so only Tactical Pens that don’t write or don’t have ink could be considered a “weapon” right?
Wrong! [Well, sort of] this is what my Criminal Defense Attorney friend told me:
So I asked a buddy of mine who is a criminal defense attorney if he thought I could be arrested for carrying a concealed Tactical Pen and he said quote;
“As long as you were not boarding an aircraft, entering a city or state building, a prison or school and the Tactical Pen still wrote I could probably get you off but it would cost you about 15 grand – but why even take the risk, when in doubt just don’t do it, you don’t need the headache dude”
15 G’s to some lawyer’s country club membership just to get me off the hook for packing a 40 dollar Tactical Pen?
Well, that was pretty much all I needed to hear, so no more carrying Tactical Pens in the US for me unless I am in a state where I have a “Concealed Weapons Permit” [Note I said “weapons” and not “handgun” or “firearms” Permit, as these permits only cover firearms].
Anyway, for the Tactical Pen enthusiasts reading this you may want to reconsider carrying your tactical pen around [especially concealed] unless you have 15 thousand clams sitting around [or you don’t mind prison man rape]. And definitely don’t even think about packing one if you are going to board a flight.
If any LEO’s are reading this chime in and let us know if you would arrest someone for carrying a concealed weapon if they were packing a Tactical Pen.
Founder – Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long; he has traveled to over 50 countries chasing fortune and glory. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and selling his Tactical Pen collection on ebay. James G. on FACEBOOK