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What Happens When You Accidentally Bring a Gun Into the Airport?

If you have a firearm or another weapon in your carry-on bag at the airport and don’t realize your mistake until the bag goes through screening, you can end up in deep trouble. According to the TSA, if you bring a weapon in a carry-on bag and attempt to bring it on the plane with you, the TSA will issue a notice of violation and a civil penalty assessment order. Because these regulations are civil, not criminal, the TSA does not need to prove that you intended to violate the rules by bringing the gun into the terminal. We understand that you may have forgotten that a gun was in your bag and may be mortified to discover that it was hiding among your belongings before you boarded your flight.

Penalties for Bringing a Gun into the Airport

Even if your firearm smuggling was a complete accident, the TSA can fine you up to $10,000 for your crime. Once you get a notice with the civil penalty amount, you will need to pay it within 15 calendar days of receiving it or submit a penalty amount that is otherwise agreed on by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security You may want to request a formal hearing concerning the civil penalty instead. This means that you will want a lawyer by your side to explain by you shouldn’t have to pay the penalty that you have been issued.

TSA Evaluation

The TSA will look at a host of issues when they evaluate your offenses and determine whether or not you deserve a high fine.

They will want to determine the following:

  • Whether or not you concealed the weapon artfully
  • The number of weapons found
  • The type of weapon
  • The display or use of the weapon
  • The past history of violations
  • Your experience level
  • Evidence of intent to interfere with operations

They will also evaluate your attitude about the incident. If you are extremely repentant and tell the TSA officials that you had no idea that you had left the weapon in your bag, you may have a better chance of a lesser fine than if you are arrogant and not apologetic.

The TSA will also evaluate your experience as a flyer, your age, and other factors when calculating your fine. While this is simply a civil penalty, Texas may also issue a criminal penalty on those who smuggle weapons into their bags. In some states, carrying a concealed weapon is considered a first degree misdemeanor and the charge can be applied in this situation. In Texas, you can carry a concealed weapon, but only if you are licensed to do so. If you are not, then you may be tried. Also, concealed weapons are illegal in an airport past the metal detectors or any inspection point in the state of Texas.

Further Questions? Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC Today!

If you have more questions about gun laws and airports or have been caught with a concealed weapon in a carry-on and are now facing charges, then contact a criminal defense attorney at The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today. We are willing to help you through your case and defend you in front of the court. We will try hard to prove that you did not know that there was a weapon in your luggage and will argue that you are innocent of any conscious wrongdoing. You can also be arrested for having a knife, explosive, or another dangerous item in your luggage that could pose a threat to any people aboard the aircraft. Hire a hardworking attorney from our firm today if you need help with this sort of situation!

We can put decades of experience to work for you. Contact us today!