Last week a Pennsylvania man was arrested by TSA for carrying a loaded gun in his carry-on. The man was passing through security at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshal Airport when officials discovered a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun in his carry-on bag. In today's blog your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorneys discuss the situation and what rights you do have to travel with a firearm.
Though it is unknown at this time whether his was simply carrying his weapon in his carry-on because he wanted to have it at his next destination or if he was plotting something more sinister, the Pennsylvania resident was immediately arrested by local authorities. On top of the arrest, he and any who attempt to bring a gun through airport security may face criminal charges and a civil fine from TSA of up to $11,000. So even if it was just an honest mistake, he is going to be paying heavily for it.
Though TSA is clear about its ban on carrying firearms onto an airplane, this is not the first time this has happened. This year there have been 1,400 reports of individuals trying to get through security with guns or other firearms.
Those who wish to travel with guns, however, don't have too much to worry about. The restriction is just for carrying the weapons onto the plane. Unloaded firearms can be transported in checked bags as long as they are properly and safely stored and the airline is informed of a passenger's intent to travel with the weapon.
If you do wish to travel with your firearm, the best thing to do is to inform yourself of the proper procedure. The TSA website has all the information a passenger needs, including the protocol if you are planning to travel with a firearm. Additionally, you should be sure to contact your airline because their policy on traveling with guns or other firearms may require a few more steps than what TSA requires.
If you have fund yourself facing gun-related charges, whether for a TSA violation or a violation of Pennsylvania's carry laws, contact our Western Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates.