Man Caught With Gun At TSA Checkpoint, Ran Away, But He Forgot His Shoes – And ID

A Brooklyn man went through security screening at New York JFK on Monday, and the TSA found a gun he’d brought with him in his carry on bag. That’s not the amazing part of this story, even considering past failures of TSA screeners to spot guns going through their checkpoints.

When the screener asked the man to “step aside” he promptly ran away, left the terminal, and hopped into a taxi. He didn’t even stop to collect his shoes, which he’d sent through the x-ray machine as well. He left his bag behind, and also his wallet along with three forms of ID, “his boarding pass, a New York learner’s permit and his passport.”

It’s not clear which terminal this happened in. Both Delta and JetBlue fly from New York JFK to Atlanta. The man likely had no intention of bringing his loaded 9mm handgun with him, and simply made a mistake, otherwise he probably wouldn’t have left it in his bag and sent it through x-ray. Running from the scene, though, certainly made matters worse.

According to the New York JFK federal security director for TSA, “Fleeing the checkpoint does this man no good. It was foolish of him to run. We know who he is and he now faces a stiff financial federal civil penalty.” Of course when TSA screeners themselves ran through JFK screaming something about a bomb which didn’t exist, no penalties applied.

(HT: @jayhawknj)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. TSA is not a law enforcement agency contrary to the original local news report. The passenger has not committed a crime, in any case. He simply changed his mind about flying. TSA should arrange a time for the passenger to retrieve his belongings.

  2. Just no-fly anybody who tries to bring a gun on a plane. This civil penalty stuff just isn’t doing the job on stopping people.

  3. @jason
    actually he did, he attempted to bring a gun to an airplane, and just because he did not succeed it does not mean he did not attempt, but with you it,s always about proving your point even if it is wrong most times
    what is it? small di@ck? short? can’t find a girlfriend?
    what is causing your insecurities and your chip on the shoulder?

  4. No, he is unlikely to have “simply made a mistake”. The guy is from Brooklyn. It is almost impossible to get a license to carry a firearm in NYC unless he is law enforcement (which is doubtful because I don’t think TSA would be giving press statements like this). There is a very high probability that his entire possession of the firearm was illegal for which you could get up to 15 years in prison in New York on a first arrest. The civil penalty is likely just for running from a checkpoint. Let’s hope this wasn’t some terrorist wannabe who now goes out and commits a terrorist attack because his first plan got foiled. Simply amazing security TSA. Gu tries to bring a gun through airport security and not only is he able to flee but he is able to get out of the terminal and into a frickin cab which drives off. TSA should be embarrassed by this.

  5. @Bill
    As previously stated, TSA isn’t law enforcement. They’re not permitted to forcibly restrain you, so if you run, they can’t tackle you to the ground. They can call the airport police and THEY will tackle you to the ground. TSA’s job is to prevent dangerous items getting through the checkpoint, so they did what they were supposed to do.

  6. I agree with Bill. Concealed carry in New York is reserved for law enforcement, judges, and people who got I or bought serious connections.

    Either this guy wasn’t licensed or maybe he had a pistol permit but no carry permit so he will do time for carrying it no matter which agency turns him in to the NYPD.

  7. It’s my belief that you are not permitted to carry a weapon (gun) into an airport but they only screen when you get to security to go to board. People do forget they have them in their bags and I think the fine is pretty hefty but if you didn’t intend to violate the law they don’t send you to the big house, but I think they fined Barry Switzer like $20K. I had a brother-in-law that got fine $10K. Once you turn and run you’re going to have a tough time convincing the judge you meant no harm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *