Airport Gun Violations
What Happens if I Accidentally Bring a Gun to the Airport?
According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, Transportation
and Security Administration (TSA), airport officials find a startling
number of concealed firearms in airplane passengers' carry-on bags
and luggage. On any given week, TSA is likely to find dozens of firearms
in carry-on baggage alone. Between October 5 and 12, 2012, TSA workers
found 39 firearms in passenger carry-ons. 34 of these were loaded. Additionally,
TSA discovered an assortment of knives, brass knuckles, stun guns, and
other weapons. One passenger was found with a replica grenade.
These statistics may seem frightening, but in reality many people bring
knives, guns and other weapons to the airport without intending to. The
TSA blog team frequently shares their weapons discoveries online.
One blog post said the following:
"Just because we find a prohibited item on an individual does not
mean they had bad intentions - that's for the law enforcement officer
to decide. In many cases, people simply forgot they had these items."
In reality, the number of individuals who intend to bring guns into airports
is much less than the number of items TSA discovers. Even still, these
individuals may be accused of serious crimes.
What is the Charge?
If you are found with a gun in your carry-on luggage, you could be charged
any number of
weapons charges. For instance, you could be accused of carrying a concealed weapon without
a permit. This crime is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one
year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.
Additionally, you could be charged with carrying a concealed weapon in
a restricted area (even if you have a permit). This is as Class B punishable
by 180 days in jail and a fine of $2,000. More specifically, you could
be charged with carrying a concealed firearm. This crime is a third degree
felony, punishable by two to ten years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
In order to be convicted of these crimes, the prosecution must demonstrate
that you knew about the weapon and intended to bring them with you. In
the case of an airport weapons violation, prosecution would have to demonstrate
that you were aware of the weapon in your bag when you took it to the
airport. In reality, it is entirely possible to accidentally carry a firearm
through security. Unfortunately, this could lead to criminal conviction.
Legally Traveling with Firearms
Traveling with a firearm is not illegal. However, you must follow proper
- You will not be allowed to travel with a firearm if you are traveling to
or from a place that does not allow firearms.
- When you drive to and from the airport, your gun must be unreachable from
the passenger area of the car and unloaded.
- The gun must be taken directly from your vehicle to the check-in desk.
- It must be unloaded and carried in a locked, hard-sided container.
- If the case is not completely secure, you will not be able to travel with
the firearm. If the case is able to come open while locked, it will not
be allowed. TSA has approved a variety of gun cases.
- Depending on the type of gun with which you are traveling, you may be allowed
to travel with your firearm in a hard pistol case, a SKB multi-gun case,
or a DLX single rifle case.
- Since your firearm must be unloaded during travel, the law requires that
you keep your ammunition in a separate container. A cardboard, metal or
wooden box designed to hold ammunition is acceptable.
- You must declare your gun and your ammunition when you check in.
Some airlines have different rules and regulations regarding firearms;
make sure that you understand them and follow them correctly if you plan
on checking a gun with your baggage. Call your airline to learn more!
Contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC Today
Have you been charged with a serious crime because you accidentally left
a firearm in your carry-on bag? At The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC, we have
helped clients who have been arrested for weapons offense. Mistakes happen.
If you forgot to take a firearm out of your bag before going to the airport,
a lawyer from our firm can give you the top-notch legal representation
you need. In the past, we have helped clients facing the same charges
- let us put our experience to work for you. Whether you've been accused
of a Class A misdemeanor or a Class C felony, a lawyer from our firm has
the know-how and practical experience to help you get the favorable case
outcome you need.
Contact us to see what a lawyer from The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC can do for you.