A Rhode Island man was recently arrested after attempting to smuggle a gun through JFK Airport by concealing it within Jif peanut butter jars.
According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the man was arrested after X-ray alarms alerted airport security officers to a disassembled gun in the man’s checked baggage.
The .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun was located in two jars of creamy peanut butter, with its parts disassembled and wrapped in plastic.
The firearm’s magazine was also loaded with bullets at the time.
TSA officials said workers were alerted by an alarm in the X-ray unit in Terminal 8. They then notified Port Authority Police, which confiscated the items and arrested the unidentified man in the terminal.
“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,” Essig said in a statement.
The man now faces a fine of up to $15,000 for the civil penalty.
According to a statement from the TSA, travelers may legally transport firearms if they have a proper permit and pack the gun in a lawful way. The firearms must be unloaded and packed in locked hard cases.
The weapon must also be declared at an airline check-in counter.
Oddly enough, this wasn’t the first time peanut butter was used to smuggle contraband through airports.
Earlier this year, TSA at an airport in Pennsylvania discovered contraband items, including marijuana and vape canisters stuffed into peanut butter jars.
In 2022, 6,301 firearms have been seized at airport security checkpoints. According to the TSA, 88% of firearms confiscated were found to be loaded.