NEW YORK – A traveler was not “smooth” when it came to bringing an undisclosed weapon to a busy New York airport during the Holiday travel rush.
Transportation Security Administration officers found a disassembled semi-automatic handgun inside two peanut butter jars in a checked bag at John F. Kennedy International Airport before the Christmas weekend.
According to a press release, .22 caliber gun parts were wrapped in plastic in the middle of two plastic jars of peanut butter, along with a gun magazine loaded with bullets on Dec. 22.
Officials said the gun was discovered when a TSA officer opened the bag and uncovered the concealed firearm parts. TSA officials notified the Port Authority Police, who came to the checked baggage room in JFK’s Terminal 8, confiscated the items, tracked down the traveler from Rhode Island in the terminal and arrested him.
“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.
Travelers may transport their firearms for a flight if they have a proper permit and the gun is properly packed. Penalties for carrying undeclared weapons have recently been increased to up to $15,000.
The man is now facing charges.