Flying With a Firearm: Is it a Crime?

man touching overhead storage compartment on airplane

It’s important to always know applicable firearms laws when traveling, as any rule violations could result in serious criminal weapons charges. Read on to learn more about transporting a firearm on an airplane, and the potential legal risks:

Legally Flying with a Firearm

There are ways to travel with a firearm in your possession without breaking any laws. Before showing up to an airport with a gun, ensure you are following all laws for traveling with a firearm.

  • Know the laws in your destination area
  • Declare the firearm in your checked baggage
  • Ensure the firearm is unloaded and in a hard container
  • Most firearms and firearm parts may only be transported through checked baggage

Violating these guidelines can result in civil fines, even if the violation was fully accidental. Accidental firearm violations happen more often than one might think. In more serious situations, you could unexpectedly face criminal charges.

Federal Firearms Violations

Attempting to sneak a firearm through airport security or in checked luggage can result in federal charges. You may also face state charges depending on where you are located at the time of arrest.

Some of the charges you could face include:

  • Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit
  • Carrying a concealed weapon in a restricted area
  • Carrying a loaded firearm
  • Additional charges for ammunition or firearm accessory possession

Federal weapons charges can result in penalties such as decades in prison, expensive fines, probation, and the loss of rights. Depending on the circumstances of the offense, the defendant could even be accused of terrorism crimes.

Weapons Charges Defense

Innocent mistakes can land people in legal trouble. If this happens to you after you’ve been accused of intentionally violating federal weapons laws, contact our team at Weintraub & Alper Legal for assistance. We are recognized for our work handling ATF and other federal cases, and we want to be your advocate through this difficult time.

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