Taking a Gun Inside the Airport in Charlotte


A common gun-related offense in North Carolina is the charge of taking a gun into the airport. Whether in a purse or in a backpack that was not thoroughly searched prior to leaving the house, having a gun in an airport can be a serious and costly mistake. With both criminal and civil issues at play, it is important that you hire an experienced lawyer to represent you.

Criminal Issues

First, it is important to know that it is a crime to carry a gun in the airport. While all the entrances are marked appropriately, under North Carolina Law it does not matter if you are a concealed handgun permit holder or not, no firearms are allowed inside the airport. Violation of this would constitute the misdemeanor offense of Carrying a Concealed Weapon. Many if not all airports in North Carolina share these policies and the same violation would be considered a misdemeanor in those jurisdictions.

Another situation that often comes up when dealing with a gun at the airport is what happens when a gun is found in someone’s carry-on or person in the TSA security checkpoint. Here there is a misdemeanor crime for violating Charlotte’s ordinance about guns in the airport and secure area (The security checkpoint and area past it). TSA will hold the person and refer them to local law enforcement.

It is important to know that even if TSA doesn’t catch the firearm, you should not under any circumstances get onto a plane with it. If you are caught with a firearm on a plane you can face federal felony charges that carry a maximum of 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000.00, or a combination of both. If you are found to have the gun intentionally accessible to you while flying, the maximum punishment time becomes 20 years in prison.

Civil Issues

If you are caught with a firearm or other related item TSA will first refer your case out to local law enforcement. But that is not the end of your trouble. TSA will then levy a civil fine against you and depending on what item you are in possession of the fine can be as much as $10,000.00! Oftentimes a good lawyer can negotiate with TSA on your behalf. It is important to do hire a lawyer quickly as there are time limits that apply to these cases, especially concerning the time you have to respond to TSA about the fine. If you don’t respond or pay this fine, TSA will refer your case to the Department of Justice and they will treat it like any other government-imposed fine.

With several different potential crimes and civil matters at play, taking a gun into an airport can be a costly mistake. If you find yourself in this position, call the criminal defense team at Jetton and Meredith today!