Boston, MA– The Massachusetts State Police Department is facing yet another scandal. The Boston Globe reported last week that several guns seized by state troopers at Logan Airport were destroyed without following proper protocol. Two of these guns were to be used as evidence in criminal cases against passengers who had attempted to travel with guns in their carry-on luggage. (Which is illegal. Just wanted to clarify, since apparently more than one person is unaware that guns are indeed one of the top no-no’s of carry-on items.)
In February 2018, an airline passenger and member of the Coast Guard attempted to go through airport security with an antique black powder pistol in his backpack. Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) officials spotted the weapon and called in state troopers, who confiscated the gun. When the passenger went to court to face charges for illegal possession of a firearm, the judge dismissed the charges, noting that the law does not apply to guns manufactured before 1900. The judge ordered the gun to be returned to the owner, only to be informed by the State Police Department that the gun had been destroyed.
The incident has raised questions about how the State Police are handling evidence in criminal cases. The department is currently reviewing the evidence handling process at Troop F, which oversees the airport. The officer who was in charge of evidence at the airport has been removed from that post.
In addition to this latest scandal, the State Police are also under scrutiny as a result of an overtime pay scheme that resulted in charges against numerous department employees, both former and current. Furthermore, there is a pending investigation into troopers who are alleged to have received free guns from a state-contracted firearms dealer.
Last year over 4,000 guns were confiscated by TSA officials at security checkpoints around the country. At Logan Airport, 21 guns were seized last year. If you’ve ever waited in line to go through security at Logan Airport, you’ll know that the TSA is pretty clear on the rules. “Take out your laptop, empty your pockets, remove your shoes, and no guns please.”
Photo by Politikaner
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