A California Tea Party hotshot has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct on Thursday after he was arrested in LaGuardia Airport last month for carrying an unlicensed pistol.

Mark Meckler attempted to board a Detroit bound Delta Airlines flight on Dec. 15, 2011. He had checked in a gun box to the ticket agent around 5:20 a.m., according to a press release.

In the gun box was an unloaded a Glock 27 pistol and nineteen 9mm cartridges. Meckler told authorities that he had been carrying the gun for protection, as there were threats against his life. However, this did not fly with authorities at the airport.

Many airlines when asked by a passenger about transporting a weapon will only inform them of federal regulations with no mention of the need to check local laws, District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement. It is therefore incumbent upon passengers to acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and to comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon.

Meckler faced up to 15 years in prison, however, because of the plea deal, he only has to pay a $250 fine.