The Consequences of Gun Possession at an Airport
The right to bear arms is protected not only in the United States Constitution, but in New Mexico’s Constitution as well. Article II of New Mexico’s Constitution, which makes up its Bill of Rights, states “no law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms…” However, Federal law prohibits any person from carrying a concealed weapon beyond the security checkpoint in an airport. In New Mexico, carrying a concealed handgun into the baggage claim area and unsecured areas of an airport is allowed, provided the person has a concealed weapon permit and has followed state and federal regulations.
Unfortunately, failing to follow federal law regarding concealed carry when in an airport can lead to very serious consequences. You may carry a gun for personal protection in your purse, in a bag, or on your body. Once you step onto airport property, if caught, you will be arrested and taken into custody. Such an error could be life-changing if you are convicted, leading to a prison sentence and hefty fines.
What to Do if You Were Arrested for Gun Possession at an Airport
Attempting to carry a gun into the secured section of the airport is illegal. If the firearm is in your bag, it will be identified in screening; if you are carrying the gun on your person, once you enter security, your legal situation becomes dire. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports that in 2014, over 2,000 firearms were discovered at airports in the United States — an average of six such incidents each day. Many of these cases were likely individuals who had a lapse in memory or judgment, at the worst possible time.
If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with carrying a firearm onto airport property, your legal issues should be managed by an experienced legal professional. If you carried the firearm in error and forgot you had it on your person or in your bag, it is possible that with professional representation, you could be treated with leniency.
Fighting Airport Gun Charges
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being accused of carrying a firearm onto airport property, the best thing you can do is fully cooperate with TSA officials, and contact an attorney at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices as soon as you are allowed to make a call. It is imperative that you have a highly skilled attorney representing you as early as possible after your arrest. Contact us for immediate assistance.