Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at JFK Airport experienced a sticky situation on Thursday.
A man from Rhode Island was stopped after passing through an X-ray unit at Terminal 8. The reason? He was carrying two jars of peanut butter, each containing parts of a disassembled semi-automatic handgun, TSA officials said on Friday.
“The gun parts were artfully concealed in two smooth, creamy jars of peanut butter, but there was certainly nothing smooth about the way the man went about trying to smuggle his gun,” said John Essig, TSA’s Federal Security Director for JFK Airport. “Our officers are good at their jobs and are focused on their mission—especially during the busy holiday travel period.”
The .22 caliber gun parts were wrapped in plastic, and the gun’s magazine was loaded with bullets, according to the TSA.
Upon checking the baggage, Port Authority Police confiscated the items, tracked down the traveler in the terminal, and arrested him. The man now faces a stiff financial civil penalty and could end up paying up to $15,000, according to the TSA.
You can transport your gun on an airplane, but it must be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided case, and taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared. You are also required to declare it with your airline to ensure it will be transported in the belly of the plane. Replica firearms are prohibited in carry-on baggage and must be transported in checked luggage.