Texas man busted for bringing loaded gun to JFK Airport

TSA officers stopped a man with this handgun at a JFK Airport security checkpoint on June 21.
Photo courtesy of the TSA

A Texas man was arrested at JFK Airport for having a loaded firearm among his carry-on items on Friday, June 21.

Police arrested the man at the major transportation hub in Jamaica after Transportation Security Administration Officers (TSA) found the loaded 9mm gun as he entered a security checkpoint. The X-ray unit alerted on the items in his carry-on bag, and TSA officials notified the Port Authority Police, who confiscated the gun and arrested the man on a weapons charge. In addition to his arrest, the man faces a federal civil penalty fine that can reach a maximum of $15,000. The gun was the sixth firearm that TSA officers have detected at airport checkpoints so far this year.

John Essig, TSA’s federal security director for the airport, said that as summer travel is in full swing, passengers carrying firearms and other weapons are a risk to everyone’s travel plans. 

“Responsible gun owners know where their firearms are at all times, and they know not to bring them to a security checkpoint. Passengers are permitted to travel with firearms only in checked baggage if they are unloaded and packed in a hard-sided locked case. Then the locked case should be taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared,” he explained in a press release.

Essig praised the TSA officers for staying vigilant in screening individuals who are arriving at checkpoints. “I commend our officers on their good catch in preventing an individual from boarding a plane with a loaded firearm,” he said. 

Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality, so individuals who want to travel with their firearms must adhere to the local firearm laws. Travelers are advised to contact their airline as they may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition. 

TSA has details on how to properly travel with a firearm posted on its website.