The District Attorneys in Albany County and Queens County (NYC)18 months ago issued an order to arrest anyone coming through the airports with a handgun in their luggage, regardless if the handgun was being transported properly by FAA regulations. The criteria is if you do not have a NY license, you are charged. So what's happening is 2 different scenarios:
1. People are flying into New York from other states, most but not all of whom have carry permits from their home states, and are carrying a pistol. When they go to fly home, they declare the gun, which has always been unloaded and locked up properly in their checked luggage, but if they cannot produce a NY license, they are promptly charged with illegal weapon possession, and their gun confiscated forever. (The Albany airport sheriff has been doing it as a lower class misdemeanor, the LaGuardia cases were charged as a felony.) As their home state permit is not reciprocal, and they were in NY state for an amount of time carrying a handgun, this group is screwed.
2. People are DRIVING to the airport from another state where the NY airport is their closest one to fly out of, and are getting popped right off the bat an hour or two from their home. In these cases, we are going to war for them being covered by FOPA, even the Sheriff's office and TSA in Albany have argued over that with the DA, but he won't budge. He did, however, blink on the two cases from Albany, with the people getting a walk. Didn't get their guns back, though, either time.
Bottom line, UNLESS you are in possession of a VALID New York pistol license, DO NOT bring a handgun in your luggage to the airport, you will be charged.
LaGuardia and JFK Airports are both in Queens County, New York City.