Here is What Really Happens When You Bring a Gun into an Airport

Bringing a gun through security at the airport, even if it is an accident, will get you into pretty big trouble. While there are legal ways to carry a gun into an airport, bringing it into the terminal leads to criminal and civil consequences. Since concealed carry laws vary from state and city, it is important to do your research before traveling with any weapon. Additionally, certain airlines may have their own rules for bringing guns on board airplanes.

The right way to bring a gun into an airport is to first make sure the gun is not loaded and is packed in a hard-shell gun case. The ammunition should be packed in its original box or case and placed inside the gun case next to the unloaded gun. The case should be locked with a non TSA lock which you should keep on your person and checked in at the ticket counter, where it will be taken by airport personnel and stored in a specific part of the plane where passengers cannot access it during flight—usually the belly of the airplane. No airport personnel should open the box containing your weapon unless you are present.

What Happens if I Accidentally Bring a Gun to an Airport in Illinois?

So many people accidentally bring their guns into the airport that TSA held a public briefing to educate passengers on the correct way to travel with a gun. TSA’s federal security director at Midway Airport, Kevin McCarthy, noticed a 22% surge since 2013 in the number of people who accidentally bring loaded guns into the airport. Here is what will happen if you bring a gun into an airport:

  • Criminal Charges: If police arrest you for carrying a gun in an airport and you do not have an FOID card, but you are able to qualify for one, you would face up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. If can do not qualify for an FOID card, you would face up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
  • TSA Civil Penalties: TSA will issue you a fine for violating airport concealed carry rules. Fines can be as high as $13,000.
  • Revocation of TSA Pre-check: TSA will block you from a quick security screening, known as TSA Pre Check and you will be subject to a full search each time you fly. How long the block lasts depends on the seriousness of the violation.
  • Effect on Your CCW: You will not be able to obtain a concealed carry weapons (CCW) license in the future.
  • Confiscate and Destroy the Weapon: Your gun will be taken by police as evidence and will not be returned.

What Should I do After I am Arrested for an Airport Gun Charge?

If you were arrested for unlawfully bringing a gun into the airport and you would like to speak to criminal defense lawyer about defendaing your case, contact the law firm of Glasgow & Olsson. The criminal defense attorneys at Glasgow & Olsson help people who have been charged with illegal gun possession and more. We make fighting for your freedom a positive experience. Our team is compassionate, professional, and knowledgeable in criminal laws and is committed to working hard on your case. Residents of Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage counties can contact us at 847-577-8700 for more information or fill out our online form for an initial consultation.

(image courtesy of Matthew Smith)

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