Imagine the scene from Terminator 2: Judgement Day where Arnold Schwarzenegger pulls a shotgun out of a box of roses, all the flowers falling to the floor. The mindless machine steps on them as he pushes inexorably toward a young John Connor. Now in your mind’s eye, replace the box of roses with a full-sized, uncooked chicken.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration posted several images of a rather fowl find on its Instagram page Monday when agents uncovered a handgun stuffed into the cavity of a raw chicken. The wrapped, raw chicken found at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida was in a Quirch-brand chicken, apparently contained in its original packaging. Though when agents opened it up they found another plastic bag containing a handgun complete with what seems like an unloaded magazine.
In a series of honestly excellent bird-based puns, the TSA called it a “‘hen you believe it’ find,” further adding that “stuffing a firearm in your holiday bird for travel is just a baste of time. This idea wasn’t even half-baked; it was raw, greasy, and obviously unsupervised. The only roast happening here is this poor packing choice!”
Good stuffing there, TSA. The agency regularly posts about some of the most bonkers items travelers have tried to sneak through security checkpoints. Though the attempted gun smuggling reportedly occurred back in September, the federal agency’s Instagram page does try and post content to correspond with holidays or other current events. The page recently posted about a traveler moving a small mountain of treats shortly after Halloween.
In an email statement, a TSA spokesperson told Gizmodo the agency intercepted the handgun Sept. 27 at the FLL airport. The passenger was on their way to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, but did not give more information as to who the passenger was or why they found it necessary to stuff a cannon in a chicken.
The TSA did tell The Washington Post that an unknown international passenger was flying internationally, which meant the Customs and Border Protection reportedly became involved. Though the CBP told Gizmodo that Homeland Security is currently handling the investigation. A spokesperson for Homeland Security said the person in question was arrested, but declined to provide any further details citing it is an ongoing investigation.
The TSA recently reported that Florida has seen a record number of people trying to move guns through TSA checkpoints, most of them loaded. The agency recovered 120 guns at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood airport this year, but the record is currently held by Orlando International with 129 firearms intercepted. Overall there have been more than 700 guns recovered from the start of the year until early November, according to the agency.
Laws for travelling with firearms depend state-to-state, but in Florida people are allowed to take guns through checked baggage though they must be properly packaged in a locked hard case and they must be declared at the airline check-in. Passengers who try to move guns through carry-on can face a penalty up to $13,910 on top of possible arrest and potential criminal penalties.
But the number of guns moving through airports is on the rise, according the TSA. In 2020, officers discovered 3,257 firearms on passengers or in carry-on. That number grew to 5,972 in 2021, where 86% of those were loaded.