Ringsmuth, Day & O’Halloran, PLLC - Fort Myers Criminal Defense
Former Prosecutors

Accidentally take a gun to an airport? Penalties could be steep

People make mistakes every day, and sometimes, these mistakes can lead to serious legal consequences. For example, people may forget that they have a gun in their purse or carry-on bag when they go to the airport for a flight. As you know, the Transportation Security Administration has strict rules regarding firearms at airports and on flights. 

While it is possible to transport guns, there are strict rules regarding how you can do that. Simply carrying one with you through security and onto your plane is not one of them, even if you have the proper license to carry a weapon. If you accidentally had a gun with you when you tried to board a flight, chances are that you are facing serious legal trouble. You will want to take this situation seriously and seek guidance regarding your legal options.

Serious consequences for a simple mistake

Hundreds of millions of people go through security checkpoints at airports across the country every year. With a number this large, it is no surprise that a few thousand people accidentally brought a gun with them to the airport. Your mistake may have been completely innocent, but the TSA takes any violation of firearm laws seriously. It may help you to understand the following facts about guns, TSA and your options:

  • Many people with permits to carry guns assume their permit allows them to carry it through TSA, which is not true.
  • It is also illegal to carry ammunition in your carry-on bag, even if you do not have a gun with you.
  • Upon finding a gun in a carry-on, TSA will then alert police. Police will confiscate the gun, question the traveler and determine if criminal charges are appropriate.
  • Law enforcement and the prosecution will consider the perceived intent of the person with the gun in order to determine whether criminal charges will be felony level.
  • A traveler with a gun may also have to pay civil penalties, which can be as high as $13,300.

If you were arrested in a Florida airport and are facing expensive fines because of a mistake, you have the right to defend yourself. Speaking with a lawyer about your case can help you understand the options that may be available to you and how you can seek a positive outcome to your situation. Your future interests could be at stake, and it is worthwhile to take this situation seriously.

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