When Florida residents think of airports, they likely think of tourists, business people, lots of luggage and domestic and international travel. One thing you don't think about, at least when it comes to travelers, are guns. While it is legal for airline passengers to travel with handguns, there are specific requirements that must be met. Failure to meet these could land an individual with a criminal charge and serious penalties.
According to recent reports, more and more airline passengers are carrying guns when they go to the airport. The Tampa International Airport leads in the state of Florida when it comes to guns found at the airport. This year alone, 86 guns have been uncovered. In comparison, 79 were located in 2016.
The reality is that more and more individuals carry guns. Whether it is something a passenger has simply overlooked or not, firearms are only allowed during air travel if the guns are unloaded, secured in a hard-sided container that is locked, is checked and is declared to the airline at the ticket counter.
Even when a passenger walks up to the security checkpoint with a firearm and all the proper licenses for the weapon, he or she could face a wide range of consequences. This typically results in a second-degree misdemeanor, which could result in up to 60 days in jail, being reported to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and facing a civil penalty of up to $9,800.
Simply forgetting that you are carrying and concealing a weapon might seem minimal; however, when it comes to airport security that could result in the accused facing harsh penalties. Therefore, it is important that those facing this charge understand their rights. This could help with a criminal defense strategy, ultimately resulting in charges being reduced or dismissed.
Source: Tampabay.com, "More guns being detected at Tampa Bay area airports - and everywhere else," Richard Danielson, Nov. 22, 2017