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Vampire straw gets passenger arrested at Boston airport: ‘These items are not allowed’

  • April 26, 2023

A passenger was arrested for carrying a self-defense weapon known as a vampire straw through security at Boston’s Logan International Airport, authorities said Tuesday.

Arman Achuthan Nair was detained Sunday evening and charged with carrying a dangerous weapon, Massachusetts State Police said in a statement. A trooper was alerted after the 10-inch-long titanium straw with a beveled end was found in Nair’s backpack.

The Transportation Security Administration doesn’t allow vampire straws to be carried onto a flight. The company that makes the straw bills it as a self-defense weapon since it can be used like a dagger. It also can be used as a straw to slurp down smoothies and other drinks.

“These items are not allowed in passenger carry-on bags,” the TSA said Monday in a tweet that included a photo of the straw. “A passenger found that out yesterday.”

Nair, 26, of Chicago, posted bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on May 30 in East Boston Municipal Court. A phone and text message seeking comment was left with his attorney. A phone number could not be found for Nair.

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Rise in TSA detection incidents

There has been a steady increase in weapons being detected at TSA checkpoints at airports across the nation. Between Jan. 1 and March 13, 2023, security agents found an average of nearly 17 firearms per day, or 1,508 total, according to new data from the TSA – a 10% increase from the same time period last year.

In 2022, TSA officers detected 6,542 firearms at airport security checkpoints, a rise from 5,972 in 2021 and 4,432 in 2019. 

Guns are not allowed through TSA and someone may face civil penalties up to $15,000 for doing so. Travelers must pack unloaded guns in a checked bag and in a locked hard-side case. They must also declare the firearm and any ammunition of firearm parts at the airline check-in counter and abide by any firearm laws according to their destination.

Contributing: Nathan Diller, USA TODAY 

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