TSA Found A Gun In My Bag: What Now?
Everyone in America has undoubtedly seen or heard about firearms and gun rights in the news over the past few years. Much of this news has resulted in people going out and purchasing more firearms. In the ten years between 2001 and 2011, for instance, background check requests for firearms increased from 8.9 million to 16.4 million. This increase, along with the spread of right-to-carry laws, has ended with many people forgetting that they had their guns on them while walking through an airport. If this occurs, it’s imperative for a person to recognize what they’re up against.
Guns in Carry-on Baggage
Carrying a gun inside of an airport probably seems like the craziest thing in the world that a person could do. Sadly, that doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. According to an article in The New York Times, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has seen an increase in the amount of guns found in carry-on luggage. Even Ted Nugent’s wife was recently found with a gun inside of the airport, although this could have well been for media attention.
Those who think that having a gun inside of an airport would immediately result in an armed response are usually surprised by the fact that the occurrence happens so frequently. In fact, there were 1,320 guns found in carry-on luggage in 2011, and this number was actually an increase in the 1,123 that were found in 2010. If a person happens to make this mistake, they should realize that there are a few things that could happen afterward including the incident escalating out of control should you act suspiciously or over-react in any way.
Of course, you have rights too and should the worst case scenario occur you will need representation from a firm like New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys Tenn and Tenn that can also assist with criminal and government investigation cases.
Potentially Minor Inconveniences
For those who are lucky, accidentally carrying their gun into the airport may result in only minor inconveniences. The best possible thing that a person can say once they realize what they’ve done is, “I am so sorry. I completely forgot it was in my bag.” Some airports in states that have very lax gun laws may just tell the person to take the gun back out to their vehicle. Of course, this slight “slap on the wrist” won’t always occur.
In many instances, the airport may still contact local law enforcement if they think that an individual had no negative intentions by bringing their gun inside. Police will make a decision at this point, and some people have actually been slapped with disorderly conduct and several other criminal charges simply for having the weapon on them. Unfortunately for some who make this mistake, things can get much more serious.
Major Issues and Flying Again
If the TSA gets involved in these situations, the consequences can be much more detrimental than those already mentioned. In a best case scenario, a person may just receive a civil fine. Unfortunately, this fine may range all the way up to $10,000. If, for some reason, the TSA thinks that a person did have bad intentions, however, they can face federal charges and extensive terms in prison.
Many people wonder about being on the “no-fly list” after one of these accidental situations. In most cases, the TSA won’t put a person on the no-fly list for this infraction. Each airline, however, has its own no-fly list, and being on one can prevent a person from flying at all. In any of these situations, it’s a good idea for a person to seek out legal help. Only with the right representation will a person avoid the most serious of these penalties.
Carrying a gun into an airport is no laughing matter; in certain areas in America, it will result in a person’s quick and lawful arrest. However the situation unfolds, though, a person should always remain calm and never argue with airport, police or TSA officials. This accident might not result in any permanent damage for those who react correctly, and for those unfortunate enough to get special attention from the TSA, speaking with an attorney is likely the only way to reach a beneficial outcome.
Sylvia Burley is a Freelance Writer/Editor, Marketing Consultant, and avid traveler who, although not crazy about all of the TSA travel guidelines, understand their importance in travel safety. She suggests you always double check your bag before packing, stay on top of TSA instructions as they do change, and if possible, take advantage of new opportunities to decrease your time spent in security. Sylvia recommends finding a capable firm like New Hampshire Personal Injury Attorneys Tenn and Tenn, should you require legal assistance from a travel incident and live in that area.
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