A sticky issue developed when a TSA inspector took two jars of peanut butter from a checked baggage screening area at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Each jar included pieces of a disassembled semi-automatic weapon that had been cleverly concealed inside.
The plastic-wrapped. 22 caliber pistol components were crammed between two plastic peanut butter jars.
The gun’s magazine was full of ammunition.
A TSA agent opened the checked bag after it raised the alarm in an X-ray machine at Terminal 8 and, upon closer examination, discovered the concealed handgun parts.
TSA employees called the Port Authority Police, who arrived at JFK’s Terminal 8’s checked luggage room and seized the contraband before locating the traveler inside the terminal.
According to John Essig, TSA’s Federal Security Director for JFK Airport, “the gun parts were skillfully placed in two smooth, creamy jars of peanut butter, but there was absolutely nothing smooth about the man’s attempt to smuggle his pistol.”
Particularly during the busy holiday travel season, “our officers are proficient in their work and are focused on their goal,” Essig added.
If the traveler has the appropriate documentation and the weapon is secured securely, they can bring their firearms on a flight.
Unloaded firearms and firearm parts must be brought to the airline check-in counter in a secured hard-sided case.
The airline employee will then ensure the gun is transported in the plane’s belly.
Replica firearms must also be transported in checked luggage and are not allowed in carry-on luggage.
Depending on mitigating factors, civil fines for attempting to bring an unauthorized firearm onto an aircraft might reach thousands of dollars.
This person is currently subject to a severe financial civil penalty, which was raised to a maximum of $15,000.
There is an online list of all civil penalties.