TSAGun

This loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun was detected by TSA officers in a Salem man’s carry-on bag on at Boston Logan International Airport. (Photo courtesy of TSA.)

BOSTON — A Salem man was arrested on weapons charges Monday after Transportation Security Administration officers say he tried to bring a loaded semi-automatic handgun onto an airplane at Boston Logan International Airport.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper James D. DeAngelis confirmed that Stephen Buckley, 30, of Salem was charged with carrying a firearm without a license. Buckley was arraigned at East Boston District Court Monday, DeAngelis said.

Buckley was stopped with a 9mm handgun in one of his carry-on bags, according to the TSA. It was said to be loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber.

Massachusetts State Police responded to the airport and arrested Buckley after a TSA officer spotted the gun in a checkpoint X-ray machine, officials said.

According to DeAngelis, Buckley is properly licensed in New Hampshire to carry a gun and told authorities he was unaware the firearm was in his backpack.

Air travel was not impacted by the arrest.

The incident marked the first gun to be seized from a passenger at Boston Logan International Airport in 2019. In 2018, 21 guns were seized from carry-on bags.

In New Hampshire, TSA agents discovered four guns in carry-on bags at security checkpoints at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in 2018, one more than was found the year before.

Across New England, there were 45 handguns found in 2018, versus 29 caught in 2017.

Nationally, 4,239 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints in 2018, averaging about 11.6 firearms per day. That was about 7 percent higher than in 2017.

Carrying a gun onto an airplane is punishable by a civil penalty of up to $13,000. A typical first offense is $3,900, according to the TSA. Violators can also face criminal charges.

Paul Feely is the City Hall reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Reach him at pfeely@unionleader.com