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November 02, 2011

Check your Baggage Twice Before You Go to the Airport

Our office has seen a recent spike in cases where individuals have mistakenly carried firearms into airport security. It is surprisingly common for us to see cases where a client carries a self-defense item like brass knuckles, a knife, or a collapsible baton in their travel bags or hurriedly packs a rarely used bag where such item has been left in a little used compartment, but the recent cases we have seen show that someone that is used to carrying their firearm with them when they travel for business can be just as absent minded. For this reason, it is very important to always carefully check your bag, especially rarely used side compartments, before you go to the airport.
According to a recent blog by the Transportation Security Administration, from October 14 to October 20, 2011 TSA found 22 loaded firearms in carry-on baggage and 1 on a passenger’s person.
Just because airport security finds a prohibited item on an individual, bad intentions are not always assumed. Law enforcement officers try to determine the person’s intentions, but in most cases will issue a criminal citation or seek an arrest warrant and leave the final decision up to the local prosecutor. If charged, it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney that can persuade the prosecutor to understand that the actions were unintentional so as to ensure that such charge does not lead to a permanent criminal conviction.
You can travel with your firearms in checked baggage, but they must first be declared to the airline. Don’t hesitate to contact Vince Wyatt or David Raybin with any questions related to a charge of an unlawful weapon at the airport at 615.256.6666.