CCW at RDU: Forgetting to Check Firearms at the Airport

As you rush through the security line at the Raleigh Durham airport, you take everything metal out of your pockets and throw them in the bin your carry-on bag.  You walk through the metal detector without any problem but as you approach the end to retrieve your carry on, you are horrified when confronted by uniformed TSA agents. You immediately recall that you forgot to put your firearm in your checked luggage.  Airport agents take you aside and question you as your handgun is confiscated.  The agents interrogate you. “Why are you trying to smuggle a gun on the plane?” You are charged with a crime, and in many cases, arrested.

The first thing to keep in mind in this situation is that it happens.  Good people can be forgetful without having any criminal intent.  That mere forgetfulness can, and has, resulted criminal consequences.  These circumstances can be managed by contacting an experienced trial attorney at the Criminal Defense Team of Hatch, Little and Bunn.  We can advise and guide you to protecting your rights, protecting your record, the potential of having your firearm returned, and steps to take in order to avoid or minimize fines from the federal government.

Take note that soon after you are charged by Wake County officers, you may receive notice that you are being fined for bringing the firearm through security.  An experienced attorney may be able to help you lower the amount that you are being fined and may even be able to use the payment of that civil fine as leverage to help you secure the best possible outcome with your criminal charge.  Make sure you notify your attorney immediately when you receive this notice.  Time is of the essence to save you money and frustration.

Your attorney may discuss with you proactive steps that will greatly facilitate the most favorable outcome of your case.  These steps may include gun safety courses or completing community service. A gun safety course is different than a concealed carry course because the issue here is not safely concealing the firearm, but rather possession of the firearm in a restricted area.  Completing this course may be a sign of god faith that can be used to leverage a dismissal of your case.  Another option may also be completing community service at a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.  Doing so may help demonstrate that any necessary lesson has been learned and that the forgetful mistake will not be repeated.  Note, however, that each case is different based upon the specific facts and circumstances giving rise to the offense or charge. Consulting with an experienced Wake County criminal defense attorney is necessary to address your charges with precision.

Another important issue of a criminal airport concealed firearm charge may be the potential return of the firearm.  Once a firearm has been seized, special steps are required to have the firearm returned. These steps may include a criminal back ground check and special consent from the district attorney’s office. In the majority of cases, a Court Order is required for the return of the firearm.

If you have been charged with possessing a firearm in a restricted area at Raleigh Durham Airport, call the Criminal Defense Team at Hatch, Little and Bunn today at 919-714-4306.  We represent defendants from Wake County, Durham County, Franklin County, Orange County, across North Carolina, and visitors from other states. We can help you understand your options and guide you to the most favorable outcome for your case.


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