Taking a Gun into the Airport


The Charlotte airport has become one of the busiest airports in the nation. One of the most common criminal charges that stems from this airport is the violation of the Mecklenburg County Ordinance and state law that prohibits the possession of a firearm in the TSA controlled area, especially in the TSA security check-point area. If you have been charged with this crime it is important that you speak to a skilled attorney as soon as possible, call the criminal defense team at Jetton and Meredith for help today.

When dealing with guns at the airport there are two different criminal systems that come into play. First, the federal criminal justice system. While it is rare that the federal government gets involved, they can, and if you are convicted of the federal crime of taking your gun into the airport you can receive up to a year in prison and a fine of not more than $100,000.00.

The second system, and the far more commonly used system, is the state criminal justice system. Both North Carolina law and Local Mecklenburg County Ordinances, prohibit the possession of a gun in the airport. In the North Carolina system, this is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 120 days in jail.

If you are charged with this kind of offense at the state level the government must prove that you willfully possessed a firearm or other similar weapon in the secure area of the airport. The Secure area of the airport includes the security checkpoint and the line to it.

It is important to know that even if you are charged at the State level, that does not preclude the Federal government from acting. Often what occurs is that the State judicial system will take the lead for the criminal system and the federal government takes action through TSA issuing a fine.

When looking at the state laws that prohibit guns at the airport, one important fact to know is that the law covers more than just guns. The law makes it illegal to bring the following items into the airport:

  1. A gun or other similar firearm (this includes muzzleloaders and other historical style weapons)
  2. Frames, Receivers, barrels, suppressors, or any ammunition
  3. Any other deadly weapon

The next thing that the government has to prove is that you willfully possessed the firearm in the secured area. This is often an area where you attorney can attack the case.

Finally, there are several other stipulations and requirements in the statute that a skilled attorney can exploit to hopefully get your case dismissed.

If you have been charged with having a gun at the airport, it is important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible. It can often mean the difference in having to spend thousands of dollars and having a criminal record that could prohibit you from gaining employment, purchasing a firearm in the future, or receiving a concealed carry permit in the future. If you or someone you know has been charged with this crime, call the attorneys at Jetton and Meredith today.