Every year, local law enforcement arrests hundreds of people for bringing guns illegally to Florida airports, including Miami airport. In 2022, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confiscated 6,542 firearms nationwide. The number of firearms being confiscated at Florida airports has increased substantially in the past few years, with a 28% increase from 2021 to 2022.
Three Florida airports were among the top 10 airports with gun confiscations in 2022, including Tampa international airport, Orlando international airport, and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood international airport. Often, people are unaware of the local laws and regulations for gun possession in airports and accidentally bring weapons in their hand luggage without realizing it.
Illegal Gun Possession Lawyers at The Law Place
If you were arrested and charged with gun possession at Miami International Airport, contact The Law Place to help you defend your case. The penalties for illegal gun possession at airports are severe, given the risk and potential harm that can be caused to members of the public because of an intentional or accidental discharge. Law enforcement and the TSA take these cases seriously. So, it is important to have strong legal representation by your side.
At The Law Place, we have a team of Miami criminal defense attorneys with significant experience in criminal law. On our team, we have former prosecutors who use this experience to build top-quality criminal defense strategies. All of our attorneys have AVVO ratings of 10.0, which is the highest rating attainable. We care about protecting your future from a criminal conviction, and we will do everything in our power to help your case.
Call us today to schedule a free consultation at (941)-444-4444.
For a free legal consultation with a gun possession lawyer serving Miami, call 941-444-4444
Laws on Firearm Possession at Miami Airport
Although gun laws have loosened in many states, with some states allowing possession without a concealed carry permit, the same rules do not apply in international airports. In Florida, you must abide by strict regulations if you want to bring your weapon on a flight with you.
Florida statute 790.06 (12) provides that it is illegal to carry a weapon into “the inside of the passenger terminal and sterile area of any airport” unless the person has a valid permit and the gun is in their checked baggage. To legally travel with a gun, the person must declare their weapon with the airline before the flight, and it must be packed, unloaded, and in a locked hard-sided container in their checked bags.
If you try to bring a gun through the airport in your carry-on bag, or if you accidentally brought a gun through the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints, you can face criminal and civil penalties. You must check in your weapon in your checked luggage in the right conditions if you do not want to face criminal or civil penalties.
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Can I Bring My Gun to Miami International Airport With a Concealed Carry Permit?
Often, the rules on gun possession in Florida airports can be quite confusing. People who do not understand the legal requirements can get into trouble when they accidentally bring their firearms into the airport, either through security checkpoints or simply in the airport lobby. In fact, TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz noted that most cases of illegal possession in airports result from owners forgetting they had a gun in their purse bag or briefcases until they go through a security checkpoint.
If you have a valid carry permit, you can legally travel with your gun or another weapon in your checked bag. You may also leave your gun or other weapons in your vehicle outside of the airport once it is stored securely. Outside of these circumstances, you cannot bring your gun to a Florida airport.
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Penalties for Firearm Possession in Florida Airports
If you are arrested and charged with illegal firearm possession in Florida airports, you can receive criminal penalties from local law enforcement and civil penalties from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Firearm possession laws vary, and you will receive harsher penalties if you did not have a valid concealed carry permit.
The criminal penalties for gun possession at Miami Airport include:
- Carrying a concealed weapon in a restricted area with a valid permit (Second-degree misdemeanor) – Maximum fines of $500 and sixty days of jail time.
- Carrying a concealed weapon (not a gun) in an airport without a valid permit (First-degree misdemeanor) – Maximum fines of $1,000 and one year in jail.
- Carrying a concealed weapon (gun) without a valid permit (Third-degree felony) – Maximum fines of $5,000 and prison time of five years.
Besides criminal penalties, you could receive a civil penalty of up to $14,950. If the gun is loaded, the penalty is usually $3,000, and if unloaded, the penalty is usually $1,500. However, this can increase substantially for repeat offenders. The TSA has handed out civil penalties worth over $52 million in the past three years for illegal gun possession at airport checkpoints.
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Will I Get Charged With a Federal Crime?
Although you are going through a federal security checkpoint at the airport, it is not the federal government that charges you with unlawful possession of a firearm. Carrying guns illegally through airport checkpoints is a crime charged under local Miami laws. Local law enforcement will be called to deal with the crime and your guns will be confiscated by Miami police officers.
Regardless of the airport that you are in, whether it is Miami international airport, Orlando international airport, Tampa international airport, Fort Lauderdale Hollywood international airport, or Jacksonville international airport, your crime will be dealt with by local authorities within that city. Federal agencies have the power to arrest you however, this is not common.
If you bring a gun in your carry-on bags and you are caught at the airline ticket counter, at the TSA security checkpoint, or while walking through the airport, you will be arrested by either local law enforcement or a TSA agent. If you are not arrested, you will be given a notice to appear or a written arrest. You should then contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to prevent severe consequences.
Contact The Law Place Today!
When you are facing illegal gun possession airport charges, you will need a strong defense strategy. Local law enforcement has cracked down on gun possession at airports, particularly in Florida. There has been a substantial increase in the number of people convicted of illegal possession in the past number of years, and we do not want your case to be added to this list.
At The Law Place, our team of Miami criminal defense attorneys can help you defend against illegal gun possession charges at Miami airport. We understand it is easy to accidentally bring your firearm in your carry-on bags, particularly if you are in a hurry or if you travel frequently. Our defense lawyers will do everything in our power to prevent a criminal conviction and severe penalties, including lengthy prison sentences and huge fines.
The criminal defense attorneys at our law firm will build a defense strategy to prevent a serious conviction, negotiate with the prosecutor, and ensure that your legal rights are protected. We have many over 75 years of combined experience defending clients in Miami. With experience on both sides of the courtroom, we have what it takes to get the best result possible in your case.
Call our law firm today at (941)-444-4444 to arrange a free consultation with a highly experienced Miami criminal defense attorney.
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