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What Happens if I Accidentally Take a Gun Through an Airport Security Checkpoint?

Carrying firearms, particularly a handgun, is an ordinary part of life for most members of the law enforcement community as well as a growing number of ordinary citizens from all walks of life. In fact, it becomes so common place and natural—like wearing shoes--that a number of people “forget” and carry these through airport security screening every day.

When this occurs, typically three legal matters occur that an attorney may be able to assist with. First, and most importantly, this probable cause for the crime of taking a firearm, explosive or deadly weapon through a controlled airport inspection point.1 While extreme caution should be taken to avoid this situation, there may be defenses available to this crime.2 The person may be arrested or ticked from this criminal misdemeanor.

Secondly, the firearm will be seized as evidence of this crime, and is unlikely to be returned. Thirdly, since airport security is shared by state and federal officials, a Notice of Violation will be issued by the TSA. This results in a civil penalty for the alleged violation.

It is hoped this blog is useful to understanding the complex laws and responsibilities that go along with firearms, including potential criminal risk. Also, it is important to note that TSA allows “checked” (not in the passenger compartment) firearms under certain conditions. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. for general informational purposes. It is not intended as specific legal advice, or a solicitation for services. It is advertising material in nature. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. advocates handle criminal cases throughout Indiana.


  1. Ind.Code ¶ 35-47-6-1.3.
  2. Kribs v. State, 917 N.E.2d 1249 (Ind.Ct.App.2009).
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Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.