Guns in Airports: The Penalties You May Face
In America, we enjoy the right to bear arms as protected under the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution. However, different states have different restrictions on where and when those firearms may be carried. In Colorado, for example, felons lose the right to own firearms upon conviction. However, there is one place even Coloradans who legally own a gun are not allowed to take their weapon: the security line in an airport.
Bringing your gun into the security checkpoint is an easy mistake to make. Many keep their guns on at all times, and simply forget to remove them when it comes time to travel. However, that does not mean that the act is legal. Breaking this law is a surefire way to face serious penalties.
Why You Can’t Introduce a Firearm into a Transportation Facility
Carrying a gun into an airport is illegal in Colorado. The crime, introducing a firearm into a transportation facility, is defined under Criminal Code § 18-9-118 as the act of carrying, bringing, or otherwise possessing a firearm or explosive device into any facility of public transportation without legal authority. Even if you didn’t mean to bring your gun to the airport, and forgot it was there in your luggage or your holster, you may still be facing an arrest and eventual conviction. This crime counts as a class 6 felony, which can result in some severe penalties.
Know the Penalties
Colorado rates its felonies on a class system, from 1 to 6. A class 6 felony is considered the least severe, so it does involve the lowest penalties. However, it’s still a felony, which can impact the rest of your life. Typically, a felony 6 crime conviction includes:
- Up to 18 months in prison
- Between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines
Of course, that is only your immediate sentence. Being convicted of a felony makes you a felon, whether it was a class 6 felony or a class 1 felony. As we already mentioned, in Colorado, felons lose certain rights:
- The right to own a firearm
- The right to certain employment
- The right to vote while in prison
- The right to travel internationally
- The right certain government assistance programs
- The right to parental custody
On top of this, your criminal record will also become available to the public. This means that whenever you apply for a job, a loan, or housing, your felony conviction will be available for all to see. This could seriously impact your ability to maintain steady employment, or even keep a roof over your head.
This seems overly harsh for something as simple as accidentally bringing a gun into the airport. We couldn’t agree more. Which is why we recommend that you look for skilled legal representation.
After being stopped with a gun in an airport, you could be facing both criminal and civil charges. The civil charges will be administered by the TSA, and while they will not result in jail time, they could still cost you a fair amount in fines. Then, of course, there is the issue of the criminal charges you may be facing, which, as we went over above, could have a significant impact on your life.
Thankfully, if you are near Colorado Springs, you don’t have to go through this stressful process alone. We at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., have helped countless Coloradans who accidentally brought their guns into restricted zones, and we can help you, too. As top criminal defense attorneys, we know our way around a courtroom, and can build you a strong defense. To get your free consultation, call (719) 475-2555 right now.